This thesis critically examines Vancouver's planning discourses in the context of settler colonialism. Drawing on theories of decolonization and grounded normativity, I consider the political context of reconciliation in Vancouver, and the implications of settler colonialism, settler colonial violence, and Canadian exceptionalism on the city's planning practice. I argue that the planning ethos of Vancouverism supersedes respectful engagement with Indigenous Nations. The thesis is based on a document analysis and conversational interviews with three Indigenous planners and four non-Indigenous planners to examine their conceptualizations of Vancouverism, reconciliation, decolonization, and planning in Vancouver. Findings show damage-centered conceptions of Indigeneity and implications in settler colonialism are present in planning discourse, and reveal that Vancouverism's values are incompatible with Vancouver as a 'City of Reconciliation.' Grounded in Indigenous planners' assertions, I offer ways forward for new systems to uplift the xʷməθkwəyəm̓, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, and Səlílwətaɬ First Nations, urban Indigenous peoples, and Indigenous planning in the city of Vancouver.
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Thesis advisor: Willmott, Kyle
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