Decolonizing Urban Spaces for Transformative Indigenous Land- ...

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Abstract

This article examines how Indigenous spatial resurgence in urban landscapes supports access to Indigenous cultural practices, specifically Indigenous land-based education. I investigate how Indigenous urban education can sustain resistance to social inequality and racism, enhance the well-being of Indigenous people, and develop pathways for transformative learning. I explore how Indigenous public spaces function as multi-dimensional environments capable of restoring Indigenous relationality and intergenerational relations, as well as multidisciplinary and experiential education, to rebuild Indigenous pathways to wellness. As an example, I present the experience of xʷc̓ic̓əsəm (The Place Where We Grow) Garden, a project managed by the Indigenous Research Partnerships (IRP) in partnership with the Medicine Collective—a group of Elders and traditional Knowledge Keepers from different Nations including xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) community members—and the involvement of a diverse community built around the Garden over the past fifteen years. I suggest that Indigenous urban landscapes and land-based pedagogies can provide opportunities for intercultural ways of learning, enhance biocultural diversity, and reposition human relationships with nature. I present reflections on how Indigenous land-based pedagogies can contribute to the implementation of restorative education, support decolonization and reconciliation efforts, and contribute to the mobilization of Indigenous knowledge in urban settings and institutions.