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Indigenous Activism and City Planning

In Winnipeg, Indigenous activists are finding and/or creating new opportunities to meet in public space to discuss civic issues like safety, inclusion, and the right to land. Through physical resistance (i.e. Indigenous activists occupying public space through blockades, protest, and public demonstrations), Indigenous activists have begun to make known their varying political, economic, and social struggles — and in many cases, are rallying both public and media support to affect and create neighbourhood change. My research explores Indigenous activism, leading to lessons for planners and others. Instead of maintaining a critical distance from these demonstrations, which can often create feelings of alienation within the Indigenous community, I assert that planners and others can view these public actions as offering opportunities for feedback, dialogue, and change. Through a case study of Meet Me At The Bell Tower, I demonstrate how Indigenous activism in public spaces may represent an important bottom-up, community-based approach to public engagement. Full report here.

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