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Thurs May 6 detailed schedule

May 6, 2021 | Presentation 1

“How Do You Conduct Yourself in the Presence of Some Place So Sacred?”: Transforming Our Relationships with BC Parks


This presentation will communicate teachings received from Snuneymuxw First Nation during my Masters project, which investigated the Saysutshun co-management relationship between the Nation, BC parks, and the Regional District of Nanaimo. Though there are benefits to co-management relationships, this collaborative project ultimately found that heart of this relationship is colonial ideology of parks and management, which is expressed in on-the-ground practices that limit Snuneymuxw First Nation’s self-determination. What is required to shift this is for Snuneymuxw-specific institutions and ideologies to be the centre of this relationship. Though there are many, this project focused on the theme of transformation, which encompasses the ideas of:

  • self transformation, as in always working to better oneself or self determination;
  • transformation as is appears in histories of  X’eels the Transformer;
  • transforming settler conceptions of the land
  • my own transformation as a researcher.

Though this presentation will relate basic findings of this project, what I would like to focus on are the research methods I chose as a woman of Mi’kmaq and Jewish ancestry working on Snuneymuxw territory. These methods included a variety of Coast Salish-specific practices of learning that have been gifts to me in my academic career and personal life. These include concepts of humbling yourself in your learning, Sit-Watch-Listen, and working with a good heart and mind. These are practices that are beneficial to being and knowing that extend far beyond this project and challenge western forms of learning.



Chantelle Spicer, Simon Fraser University

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