February 17: Shoreline Knowledges: Practices for Unsettling the City

Shoreline Knowledges: Practices for Unsettling the City

Sarah Hunt/Tłaliłila'ogwa, Assistant Professor, School of Environmental Studies, University of Victoria

The City Talks - Shoreline Knowledges: Practices for Unsettling the City










In west coast cities like Victoria, as we face rising sea levels and other climate-related threats to island living, our identities as eco-conscious citizens are being formed through stories which foster a reverence for the natural world. Whether through a passion for weekend hiking or the celebration of historical figures like Emily Carr, whose paintings depict rich west coast landscapes, our social and collective identities are deeply formed via the celebration of nature. In this talk, we are asked to consider how these green narratives continue to foster the colonial erasure of Indigenous relationships with land – and how the practices and legacies of Indigenous women actively unsettle urban colonial landscapes. How might we reform our relationships with the gendered legacies of colonialism via practices which actively disrupt, interrupt and unsettle popular narratives of nature?

Sarah Hunt / Tłaliłila’ogwa is a Kwagu’ł (Kwakwaka’wakw) scholar-activist who has spent more than two decades engaged in collaborative work in pursuit of justice for Indigenous people and communities. As Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Political Ecology in the School of Environmental Studies at UVic, Sarah’s research asks what justice feels like across the nested scales of our bodies, homes and waters/lands. In 2014, Sarah was awarded a Governor General’s Gold Medal for her doctoral dissertation which examined the nature of violence in everyday encounters with Canadian legal systems and actors, including in response to interpersonal violence. This research was part of Sarah’s longstanding work to build up alternatives to state injustice systems, through local level actions and strategies toward greater safety, care, and self-determination for Indigenous people, particularly 2SQ people, youth, women and families.

Note: This City Talks lecture was a hybrid event held in-person at the Legacy Gallery and live-streamed via Zoom.