Urbs Concrescence: nehiyaw Dreams on a Convoluted City

  • Author / Creator
    Ground, Mackenzie
  • This thesis examines narratives associated with the city and Indigenous people, knowledge, and culture and it then imagines the creative possibilities of new ways of being in the city. This thesis conceptualizes the beginnings of a culturally grounded Indigenous identity that flourishes in the city. I critique narratives that associate Indigenous identity as deficient and inauthentic in the city and the colonial narrative that imposes a binary of civil and the uncivil and that denies Indigenous people a sense of belonging in the city.From my research, I argue that there are Indigenous-led ways to conceptualize the city by seeing the city as animate and from the cosmological view point inherent in Indigenous spiritual practices. My primary argument on the city’s animacy centres on rocks, a living and animate being from a nehiyaw understanding, and to see these rocks as teachers to guide our relationships between other each other: human and the non-human or the more-than-human. I look at nehiyaw laws and what I understand as an ethically grounded Indigenous citizenry. I do this not to impose a spiritual viewpoint, but to see the city from an Indigenous-centred way of being in the world. In particular, I look to the round dance as a means of connecting different voices and views of the world that is also celebratory and a mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually grounding practice of moving through the world.This thesis is an experimental creative research study. There are poets who already critique the city as a space that excludes Indigenous people, but there is limited current research on the city and Indigeneity that coexists and flourishes in the city. I use my own poetry and stories to work alongside poets who struggle with urban space, support Indigenous presence in the city, and advance Indigenous resurgence; and I also use my academic research skills to explore the work of canonical urban theorists. I bridge poetry and academic writing together to create a form wherein both writing practices can be in conversation.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2018
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
  • License
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