Gathering place: Urban indigeneity and the production of space in Edmonton, Canada | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 3, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 2050-9790
  • E-ISSN: 2050-9804



Most major Canadian cities have displaced existing indigenous settlements and gathering places. The city of Edmonton, Canada today includes what will soon be the nation’s largest urban Aboriginal population. Though urban space and planning reflect colonial relationships, it has launched progressive initiatives preceding and following the work of the national Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). This article examines material and intangible traces of Aboriginal history and cultural presence in a theoretical context concerned with public spaces promoting transformative, dialogic, cross-cultural encounters. Case studies consider urban spaces as gathering places in terms of their relevance to indigenous practices of metissage. What is at stake for settler colonial cities in the recognition and inclusion of indigenous presence and historical relationships? Aboriginal cultures can and must play a critical role in the development of a mature civic identity rooted in a complex mutual history, with implications for urban social and ecological sustainability in the future.


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