For Place & Movement: The Politics & Analytics of Indigenous Water Relations.
Lecture by Michelle Daigle. Daigle is Mushkegowuk (Cree), a member of Constance Lake First Nation in Treaty 9, and of French ancestry. She is an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto with a cross-appointment in the Department of Geography and Planning and the Centre for Indigenous Studies.
Drawing on 20 years of collaborations with Indigenous communities and organizations in Canada and the U.S., her research examines Indigenous resurgence and freedom amid the global conditions of colonial capitalist violence. Her current project focuses on the renewal of Indigenous relations of care that emerge through Mushkegowuk waterways, and how an ethics of care informs conceptions of decolonial relationalities. Over the past several years, she has also collaborated with Dr. Magie Ramirez, in an effort to build grounded theorizations of decolonial geographies across Indigenous, Black, Latinx and anti-colonial communities. Her writing has been published in Antipode, Environment & Planning D, Political Geography and Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society.
The fields of Indigenous Studies and Indigenous Geographies have provided crucial
theorizations on Indigenous place-based ontologies and practices, and how ties to place
are at the core of Indigenous conceptions of colonial dispossession and decolonial
futures. In this presentation, I build on this scholarship by examining the politics and
analytics of Indigenous mobilities. My analysis emerges from Mushkegowuk movement
on regional waterways in and beyond so-called northern Ontario Canada. In particular, I
examine how rivers are a site of confluence, and how movement on such rivers
elucidates the connectivity of extractive geographies from the “Ring of Fire” mining
developments in rural areas, to seemingly incompatible spaces of colonial violence
against Indigenous peoples in urban centers such as Thunder Bay. Within these
conditions of violence, I examine the project of settler colonial infrastructure in (and
beyond) Canada. Simultaneously, I am interested in the political possibilities that are
activated through Indigenous movement, by considering the expansiveness of
Indigenous relationalities and infrastructures of resistance and life-making.