THEORIZING CO-PRODUCTION AND COEXISTENCE: A CASE STUDY OF MUNICIPAL-INDIGENOUS PLANNING IN THOMPSON, MANITOBA
Given the growing presence of urban-based Indigenous peoples in Canadian cities, the increasing responsibilities of cities with respect to shaping policy, and the shift towards recognizing cities as playing an important role in addressing settler-colonialism, municipalities are well positioned to respond to the current discourses of reconciliation, Indigenous self-determination, and the honouring of treaty relationships. However, the urban planning approaches and mechanisms employed to-date have varied due to the lack of formal responsibilities encoded through policy to guide municipalities, and the diversity of settler and Indigenous geo-political realities. The purpose of this thesis is to better understand the municipal-Indigenous planning approaches that have been undertaken in the community of Thompson, Manitoba, located within Treaty 5 territory and the traditional territory of the Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation, while also contributing to current theorizations of co-production and coexistence. Two planning approaches, the Thompson Indigenous Accord and the Thompson Economic Development Working Group (TEDWG), were analyzed using a framework developed from a synthesis of the literature pertaining to the concepts of co-production and coexistence. Data for this analysis was collected through semi-structured interviews with municipal government and Indigenous governance actors, as well as a document review. While these planning approaches are evidenced as going beyond traditional mainstream settler planning practices, it is also argued that these initiatives were highly subject to the waxing and waning of political will, in addition to other factors which influenced local configurations of power. Furthermore, the meaningfulness and progression of these planning initiatives has been a non-linear process, one that has been associated with the quality of the underpinning relationships and the degree of Indigenous decision-making power. These findings contribute to the development of more equitable and mutual planning paradigms by illustrating the importance of designing municipal-Indigenous planning approaches in ways that account for these factors, such as by facilitating the continuity of interpersonal and organizational relationships in the face of dynamic urban governance processes.
Urban Planning, Indigenous People, Political Science, Social Sciences, Canadian Studies, Geography, Urban Policy, Governance, Settler Colonialism
Master of Arts (M.A.)
Geography and Planning