Abstract: Multiple forms and spaces of energy are enrolled in nation-building projects. In this cross-disciplinary paper, we outline how struggles to govern the relations between climate and the human body have shaped nation-building efforts and electricity infrastructure in the settler-colonial society of Australia. Focused on Australia’s tropical zone, notably the hot, recalcitrant, militarized region of the Northern Territory, we explore how questions of climate have slowed, undone and accelerated efforts to securely settle its capital city, Darwin. In doing so, we highlight the multiple links between electricity infrastructure and air-conditioning that have made it possible to hold ‘climate’ and ‘body’ together, co-producing indoor microclimates and habitable territory while contributing to the warming climate that is now raising questions about the limits of this electricity-enabled habitability. By examining the intersecting spatialities of electricity, we help advance more ‘thoroughly geographical’ (Bridge, 2018) accounts of the relation between energy infrastructures and nation-building, highlighting the multiple forms, frontiers and feedback loops through which energy – broadly defined, as foundational category – acts as hindrance, enabler and side-effect of nation-building projects. We show how this perspective reveals troubling paradoxes and tensions, including accelerating feedbacks between energy use and climate change extending far beyond Australia’s borders.

Abstract: This dissertation weaves Indigenous and decolonial scholarship together with recent work on ignorance to consider the constraints and possibilities of decolonizing education in the current Canadian context of reconciliation. While the study of knowledge and its nature has been the focus of Western thought since ancient times, it is only recently that scholars have begun to grapple with ignorance as a social and political phenomenon in its own right. Ignorance, as these scholars use the term, is not a neutral or incidental absence of knowledge, waiting to be filled. Rather, it is epistemological, a powerful organizing logic that emerges from and works to sustain strategic methods of not knowing that, consciously or not, function to perpetuate the status quo, privilege, and domination. Ignorance in this sense is deeply tied to settler colonialism. To survive as a political and economic system, settler colonialism requires normalization of the ways of thinking that legitimate denigration and subjugation of Indigenous nationhoods. This dissertation elucidates the role of formal education in Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, in encouraging the formation of political subjects with deep, and often unacknowledged, investments in the maintenance of settler colonial relations of power. My colleagues and I worked with over 200 Indigenous educators to develop a research tool that seeks to assess how Ontario high school graduates are learning to think about colonialism and its relationship to First Nations, Métis and Inuit people(s) and Canadian society. This co-designed questionnaire was then disseminated to the first-year cohorts at 10 Ontario universities (over 42,000 students). Results from this study, together with findings from analysis of the most recent generation of Ontario K-12 curricula and textbooks, demonstrate the endurance of colonial modes of thought and their role in undermining the epistemological and affective orientations necessary for the development of decolonizing relations. I argue the importance of epistemic responsibility to enacting the decolonizing promise of new educational emphases. Moving racism and colonial violence to a different place in Canadian public consciousness requires disrupting the economies of value and attention that work to perpetuate colonial ignorance and legitimate ongoing Indigenous dispossession.

Abstract: Background: Indigenous peoples in developed countries have reduced life expectancies, particularly from chronic diseases. The lack of access to and take up of palliative care services of Indigenous peoples is an ongoing concern.

Objectives: To examine and learn from published studies on provision of culturally safe palliative care service delivery to Indigenous people in Australia, New Zealand (NZ), Canada and the United States of America (USA); and to compare Indigenous peoples’ preferences, needs, opportunities and barriers to palliative care.

Methods: A comprehensive search of multiple databases was undertaken. Articles were included if they were published in English from 2000 onwards and related to palliative care service delivery for Indigenous populations; papers could use quantitative or qualitative approaches. Common themes were identified using thematic synthesis. Studies were evaluated using Daly’s hierarchy of evidence-for-practice in qualitative research.

Results: Of 522 articles screened, 39 were eligible for inclusion. Despite diversity in Indigenous peoples’ experiences across countries, some commonalities were noted in the preferences for palliative care of Indigenous people: to die close to or at home; involvement of family; and the integration of cultural practices. Barriers identified included inaccessibility, affordability, lack of awareness of services, perceptions of palliative care, and inappropriate services. Identified models attempted to address these gaps by adopting the following strategies: community engagement and ownership; flexibility in approach; continuing education and training; a whole-of-service approach; and local partnerships among multiple agencies. Better engagement with Indigenous clients, an increase in number of palliative care patients, improved outcomes, and understanding about palliative care by patients and their families were identified as positive achievements.

Conclusions: The results provide a comprehensive overview of identified effective practices with regards to palliative care delivered to Indigenous populations to guide future program developments in this field. Further research is required to explore the palliative care needs and experiences of Indigenous people living in urban areas.

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