Abstract: Food policy councils provide a forum to address food systems issues and a platform for coordinated action among multisectoral stakeholders. While diverse in structure, most councils aim to develop democratic and inclusive processes to evaluate, influence, and establish integrated policy and programs for healthy, equitable, and sustainable food systems. The Thunder Bay and Area Food Strategy (TBAFS) is one such example that pro­motes regional food self-reliance, healthy environ­ments, and thriving economies through the implementa­tion of research, planning, policy, and program development. Despite its success, the TBAFS had no formal engagement from the Indigenous com­munities that make up almost 13% of Thunder Bay’s population (the highest urban Indigenous population in Canada). Recognizing this gap, in 2016, members of the TBAFS began to develop partnerships with regional Indigenous leaders and organizations to better understand the barriers and opportunities to engagement. The result was the establishment of the Indigenous Food Circle, which aimed to reduce Indigenous food insecurity, increase food self-determination, and establish meaningful relationships with the settler population through food. In this paper, we trace the history of the Indigenous Food Circle. Drawing on theories of decolonization and Indige­nous food sover­eignty, we argue that the Indige­nous Food Circle requires more than simply good­will from TBAFS members and other allied organizations. It demands confronting our histories and engaging in action that transforms current pat­terns of relations. It means embracing the discom­fort that comes with recognizing the prevalence of settler colonial­ism and developing respectful and just relation­ships followed by action. We conclude with some suggestions for continuing this work and the opportunity to experiment with food as a tool for reconciliation and resurgence.

Abstract: This dissertation examines a series of catalogues for Inuit art exhibitions held at the Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG), spanning from 1967 to 2017. I argue that the discursive conventions of settler-Canadian art appreciation, especially those geared towards Inuit creative production, have resonances with the political strategies that Canada uses to prove effective occupation—a term from international law—of the Arctic. My work intervenes in this context by showing how art appreciation encourages modes of effective occupation that are not obviously political, insofar as these modes operate in the realm of affect. I first develop a critical framework inspired by Glen Coulthard’s concept of colonial recognition politics, to demonstrate that there is an affirmative recognition politics at work in the WAG catalogues. I then theorize that catalogues’ tendency to oscillate between an ethnographic (contextualist) analysis and an aesthetic (non-contextualist) analysis produces a tension that orients patrons towards the North accordance with Canada’s position on Arctic geopolitics. Building on the work of Eva Mackey, I argue that a mixed ethnographic-aesthetic view of Inuit art activates a particularly expedient form of belonging from afar in settler patron-readers, whereby they are encouraged to feel as if they are of the North, while never having to be there. My third chapter attends to how the WAG narrates the dramatic social transformations that Inuit experienced in the mid-20th century. The catalogues implicitly invalidate many Inuit’s experience of settler-colonial intervention by suggesting that the move to sedentary communities, often at the hands of the settler state, was inevitable and even desirable. This work provides strategies for critiquing instances of settler benevolence that are unique to the art world, and offers a template for how to approach exhibition catalogues as a genre—both of which are areas of scholarship that have been hitherto neglected.

Abstract: This project uses the framework of mobility to understand how settler colonialism functioned in a tri-racial southern borderland in the nineteenth-century. Nineteenth-century Florida constituted a borderland characterized by competition for land and resources among Seminole Indians, African Americans, and white Americans. White Americans regulated mobility, i.e. the physical movement of peoples, in order to privilege their own settlement in Florida, divest native peoples of their land, and enslave people of African descent. Beginning in 1812 and lasting through the first half of the 1860s, white Americans used legislation, the settlement of white families, the solidification of a slave system, and warfare against the Seminole Indians to Americanize the Florida peninsula by creating a white supremacist settler colony. Native and black peoples, however, used their own idiosyncratic forms of movement to resist americanization and the settler colonial system. The Civil War, itself a settler colonial war in Florida, witnessed the last gasp of the settler colonial system in Florida as slavery ended in 1865 and the Seminole Indians secured their authority in the state. White supremacy, however, would continue to reign in Florida through violence, white political control, and the rise of the tourism industry alongside Jim Crow segregation. The following project demonstrates the overriding importance of physical mobility to the process of national expansion and settlement, the persistence of borderland conflicts in the South after the colonial period, and the existence of a tri-racial South wherein native peoples wielded significant power and influence beyond the Removal Era.

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