Reclaiming Nature? Indigenous Homeland and Oil Sands Territory

I recently wrote a piece for the Anthropology and Environment Society Engagement Blog based on some of my doctoral research:

“Settler colonial relations construct the Athabasca region as extractive oil sands territory, yet the region remains homeland for Indigenous peoples, including Métis individuals. In my doctoral research, I argue that oil sands reclamation – the process of cleaning up extractive spaces by returning the land to a “productive” or useful state – is a historically contingent product of settler colonial struggles over land and natural resources (Joly 2017; Wolfe 2006). Embedded in conflicts between Indigenous communities, industrial developers, and the state, reclamation is attributed multiple and contradictory meanings. While industry representatives and the state depict the Athabasca region as an extractive territory, Indigenous communities continue to assert their sovereignty in the region by adapting to and refusing (post-)extractive landscapes, including reclamation areas. Like the settler colonial process itself, reclamation is an ongoing affective and political process, as tensions proliferate between Indigenous and settler space…”

Read the full post here: Reclaiming Nature? Indigenous Homeland and Oil Sands Territory


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