Research on Indigenous issues rarely focuses on life in major metropolitan centres. Instead, there is a tendency to frame rural and remote locations as emblematic of authentic or “real” Indigeneity and, as such, central to the survival of Indigenous cultures and societies. While such a perspective may support Indigenous struggles for territory and recognition as distinct peoples, it fails to account for large swaths of contemporary Indigenous realities, not the least of which is the increased presence of Indigenous people and communities in cities.
The chapters in this volume explore the implications of urbanization on the production of distinctive Indigenous identities in Canada, the United States, New Zealand, and Australia. The volume editors, both lead researchers in their fields, have called upon key figures to explore the experiences of urban Indigenous modernity, utilizing an interdisciplinary mix of methods, including ethnography, statistical analysis, archival research, and discourse analysis.
Throughout the twentieth century, urban locales have been too often regarded as places were Indigenous culture goes to die. This book argues otherwise in its demonstration of the resilience, creativity, and complexity of the urban Indigenous presence, both in Canada and internationally.
This book is an important and timely resource for students, scholars, and policy makers interested in understanding Indigenous identity in urban areas worldwide.
As leaders and researchers all over the world begin to engage more fully with the question of Indigenous urbanization, this book creates an international frame of reference that will galvanize our community, contributing greatly to the advancement of knowledge in this field.
Evelyn Peters is a professor and Canada Research Chair in Urban and Inner City Studies at the University of Winnipeg.
Chris Andersen is an associate professor and director of the Rupertsland Centre for Métis Research in the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta.
Introduction / Evelyn Peters and Chris Andersen
Part 1: Aboriginal Urbanization in Canada
1 The Urbanization of Aboriginal Populations in Canada: A Half Century in Review / Mary Jane Norris, Stewart Clatworthy, and Evelyn Peters
2 Urban Aboriginality as a Distinctive Identity, in Twelve Parts / Chris Andersen
3 Breaching Reserve Boundaries: Canada v. Misquadis and the Legal Creation of the Urban Aboriginal Community / Yale D. Belanger
4 “I Basically Mostly Stick with My Own Kind”: First Nations Appropriation of Urban Space in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan / Evelyn Peters and Carol Lafond
5 Being Métis: Exploring the Construction, Retention, and Maintenance of Urban Métis Identity / Ronald F. Laliberte
6 Laying the Groundwork for Co-Production: The Saskatoon Indian and Métis Friendship Centre, 1968-82 / Pamela Ouart and the Saskatoon Indian and Métis Friendship Centre
7 Increasing the Depth of Our Civic Identity: Future Seeking and Place Making with Aboriginal Communities / Ryan Walker
Part 2: American Indian Urbanization in the United States
8 American Indians and Alaska Natives in Urban Environments / C. Matthew Snipp
9 “Being Indian in the City”: Generational Differences in the Negotiation of Native Identity among Urban-Based American Indians / Nancy Lucero
10 Dancing into Place: The Role of the Powwow within Urban Indigenous Communities / Jay T. Johnson
Part 3: Aboriginal Urbanization in Australia
11 Indigenous Urbanization in Australia: Patterns and Processes of Ethnogenesis / John Taylor
12 Aboriginal Identity and Place in the Intercultural Settings of Metropolitan Australia / Kelly Greenop and Paul Memmott
13 Aboriginal Youth, Work, and Aspiration in Sydney’s Redfern-Waterloo Region / George Morgan
Part 4: Maori Urbanization in New Zealand
14 The Structure of Urban Maori Identities / Tahu Kukutai
15 Maori and Environmental Justice: The Case of “Lake” Otara / Brad Coombes
16 Producing Indigeneity / Brendan Hokowhitu
Conclusion: Indigenizing Modernity or Modernizing Indigeneity? / Chris Andersen and Evelyn Peters
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