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The materiality of archival occlusion: status as property and the urbanization of Coast Salish territories

Authors: Jessica Hallenbeck*, University of British Columbia
Topics: Indigenous Peoples, Urban and Regional Planning, Historical Geography
Keywords: Indigenous, feminist, Settler colonialism, critical, materiality, coast salish
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This paper seeks to hold together the emergence of the “identity-property-nexus” (Bhandar, 2018) with the urbanization of Coast Salish territories, specifically the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh lands and waters of North Vancouver. I put Bhandar's arguments in the Colonial Lives of Property into conversation with work from Indigenous feminist scholars (Barker, 2011; Mojica 2011; Million, 2009; A. Simpson, 2014) to foreground the violence of archival occlusion, which I argue continues to bind together identity and property relations. Reading status as the articulation of abstract racial and gender characteristics with specific property relations, I draw on ongoing collaborative work with Rosemary Georgeson, a Coast Salish and Sahtu Dene storyteller and fisherman to think about Rosemary’s Scottish great great grandfather Henry “Scotty” Georgeson as the “ideal legal and political subject of the burgeoning settler state” (Bhandar, 2018, 157). Importantly, following the demands placed on theorizing through an Indigenous feminist analysis, I show how relations to lands and waters persist despite loss of status and dispossession.

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