Settler Colonial and Indigenous Geographies

What is planning without property? Relational practices of being and belonging

What is planning without property? This question was recently posed to me following a conference presentation. In this paper, I argue that taking this question seriously reveals unchallenged assumptions about the relationship between planning and property. Focusing on Canada as a settler colonial liberal democracy, I respond to this question by looking at the Indian Act which has supported colonial dispossession and assimilation in Canada for almost 200 years and rely on Brenna Bhandar’s conceptualization of “racial regimes of property” as a means of examining how racial subjects and private property are co-produced. I then look to the practices reflected in the creation of Nadia Myre's artwork Indian Act to show how Indigenous epistemologies can aid in the conceptualization of planning without property. I argue that planning without property would be an approach to planning that would be focused on identifying, making, and strengthening the human and more-than-human relationships the flourishing of life requires. Thus, planning without property would support practices of being and belonging rather than practices of exclusion and domination.

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Volume 40 Issue 2

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