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Michelle Daigle (University of Toronto)
The fields of Indigenous Geographies and Indigenous Studies have provided crucial theorizations on Indigenous place-based ontologies and practices, and how ties to place are at the core of Indigenous understandings of kinship, as well as visions for decolonization and freedom. In this presentation, I seek to build on this scholarship by centering Indigenous movement as an analytic that incites a radical consciousness of genocidal violence and decolonial futures. My analysis emerges from historical and contemporary Mushkegowuk (Cree) mobilities through the nation’s regional waterways in and beyond so-called northern Ontario Canada. Through Mushkegowuk movement, I trace the expansiveness of extractive geographies, from mining developments called the “Ring of Fire” in rural areas, to seemingly incompatible spaces of colonial state violence against Indigenous peoples in urban centers. Within these conditions of violence, I am interested in exploring how Mushkegowuk movement is a source of theory that makes the links between the socio-political formations that constitute Mushkegowuk life. In particular, I examine how regional rivers are a site of confluence, and how movement on such rivers elucidates the connectivity of colonial regimes of power, and Indigenous political agency, kinship and interconnected struggles for freedom.
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