Two sets of rivers in what is now known as Canada are vital actors in urban landscapes. The McIntyre and Kaministiquia Rivers in Thunder Bay, Ontario and the Assiniboine and Red Rivers in Winnipeg, Manitoba are sites of colonial violence and disappearance: in both cities, dead Indigenous people have been pulled from their depths.
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Historically, Coast Salish female identity depended upon water. Waterways provided women with countless economic opportunities, fostered family ties, created plentiful food sources, and encouraged female autonomy. Even as female maritime practices changed drastically throughout the pre-colonial and colonial periods, Coast Salish women imagined new ways to maintain connections to water.
One meaning of the word Tlingit is “people of the tides.” Immediately, this identification with tides introduces a palpable experience of the aquatic as well as a keen sense of place. It is a universal truth that the human animal has co-evolved over millennia with water or the lack of it, developing nuanced, sophisticated and intimate water knowledges. However, there is little in the anthropological or geographical record that showcases contemporary Indigenous societies upholding customary laws concerning their relationship with water, and more precisely how this dictates their philosophy of place…
Explore North America through this contemporary hand-drawn map and this video, that follows the Mississippi River and explores more than just the banks of the river, including Chicago, the Ozarks, and Acadiana.
In spring 2020, two faculty members from the University of Minnesota Morris each incorporated a book called The Relentless Business of Treaties: How Indigenous Land Became U.S. Property by Martin Case into their course curricula. The book focuses on demystifying the stories and interconnectedness of the white, male treaty-signers responsible for dispossessing Indigenous peoples of their land. The following article shares their perspectives and reflections on teaching this text.