Proposal Title

SESSION 1.2: Remembering Forward

Presentation Type

Individual paper

Location

IB 1015

Start Date

3-5-2019 10:45 AM

End Date

3-4-2019 12:15 PM

Disciplines

Arts and Humanities

Abstract

Development in British Columbia has and continues to operate within an extractivist, colonial framework with little regard to environmental or community impacts. In 1952, the Cheslatta T’En were forcibly removed from their homelands for Alcan’s Kenney Dam. Because of the frequent flooding of Nechako Reservoir, the Cheslatta live in constant tension with a permanently changed landscape as the bones of their ancestors and memories of their way of life continues to wash ashore. The coordinated and intentional efforts of Alcan and the Department of Indian Affairs to remove all material traces of the Cheslatta from their lands had devastating impacts that reach into their ancestral past, continue in the present, and shape Cheslatta’s collective action for a more just future. The Cheslatta’s memories of their lands and forced displacement are the traces that Alcan and the settler state could not erase. Today, with approximately 140 band members resettled onto 8 different reserves, scattered across over 170 miles, the Cheslatta struggle to reclaim their heritage in a land and space disconnected from what had been their homelands for thousands of years. Through an ethnohistorical and ethnographic analysis, I investigate the following: How are acts of resistance to displacement and dispossession informed by cultural meanings and memories of the land? What does resilience and agency look like on the ground, 66 years after dispossession and displacement? How do people come to grips with altered landscapes?

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May 3rd, 10:45 AM Apr 3rd, 12:15 PM

SESSION 1.2: Remembering Forward

IB 1015

Development in British Columbia has and continues to operate within an extractivist, colonial framework with little regard to environmental or community impacts. In 1952, the Cheslatta T’En were forcibly removed from their homelands for Alcan’s Kenney Dam. Because of the frequent flooding of Nechako Reservoir, the Cheslatta live in constant tension with a permanently changed landscape as the bones of their ancestors and memories of their way of life continues to wash ashore. The coordinated and intentional efforts of Alcan and the Department of Indian Affairs to remove all material traces of the Cheslatta from their lands had devastating impacts that reach into their ancestral past, continue in the present, and shape Cheslatta’s collective action for a more just future. The Cheslatta’s memories of their lands and forced displacement are the traces that Alcan and the settler state could not erase. Today, with approximately 140 band members resettled onto 8 different reserves, scattered across over 170 miles, the Cheslatta struggle to reclaim their heritage in a land and space disconnected from what had been their homelands for thousands of years. Through an ethnohistorical and ethnographic analysis, I investigate the following: How are acts of resistance to displacement and dispossession informed by cultural meanings and memories of the land? What does resilience and agency look like on the ground, 66 years after dispossession and displacement? How do people come to grips with altered landscapes?