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Article

Land Is Life: Indigenous Relationships to Territory and Navigating Settler Colonial Property Regimes in Canada

School of Resource and Environmental Management, Simon Fraser University, Technology and Science Complex 1, 643A Science Rd, Burnaby, BC V3J 0A4, Canada
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: John Tomaney
Land 2022, 11(5), 609; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11050609
Received: 21 March 2022 / Revised: 16 April 2022 / Accepted: 18 April 2022 / Published: 21 April 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Governance of Land Use)
Respectful and reciprocal relationships with land are at the heart of many Indigenous cultures and societies. Land is also at the core of settler colonialism. Indigenous peoples have not only been dispossessed of land for settler occupation and resource extraction, but the transformation of land into property has created myriad challenges to ongoing struggles of land repatriation and renewal. We introduce several perspectives on land rooted in diverse Indigenous worldviews and contrast them with settler colonial perspectives rooted in Eurocentric worldviews. We then examine several examples in Canada where Indigenous nations attempt to reconnect with their homelands, protect them, and/or engage with them for economic development. We look at land relationships rooted in historical treaties, contemporary comprehensive claims/self-government agreements, the Indian Act, and the defence of unceded territories. The Indigenous communities we look at include the Six Nations of the Grand River, the Nisga’a Lisims Government, the Westbank First Nation, and the Wet’suwet’en. We contend that a complex configuration of settler colonial institutions challenges long-term efforts for Indigenous land reclamation, protection, and sustainable development, however, Indigenous nations remain steadfast in asserting their self-determination in diverse relational ways inside and outside of settler state systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: Indigenous lands; self-determination; private property; settler colonialism Indigenous lands; self-determination; private property; settler colonialism
MDPI and ACS Style

Atleo, C.; Boron, J. Land Is Life: Indigenous Relationships to Territory and Navigating Settler Colonial Property Regimes in Canada. Land 2022, 11, 609. https://doi.org/10.3390/land11050609

AMA Style

Atleo C, Boron J. Land Is Life: Indigenous Relationships to Territory and Navigating Settler Colonial Property Regimes in Canada. Land. 2022; 11(5):609. https://doi.org/10.3390/land11050609

Chicago/Turabian Style

Atleo, Clifford, and Jonathan Boron. 2022. "Land Is Life: Indigenous Relationships to Territory and Navigating Settler Colonial Property Regimes in Canada" Land 11, no. 5: 609. https://doi.org/10.3390/land11050609

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