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City of reconciliation? Planning, settler colonialism, and Canadian exceptionalism in Vancouver

Resource type
Thesis type
(Thesis) M.A.
Date created
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.
78 pages.
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Copyright is held by the author(s).
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes.
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Willmott, Kyle
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