Grad Chat - Queen's School of Graduate Studies
Grad Chat - Queen's School of Graduate Studies
Camille Usher, PhD in Cultural Studies, supervised by Dr Dylan Robinson

Topic: Urban experiences of Indigenous folks, learning about who we are, away from where our ancestors are from.

Overview: It is often through a complex web that urban Indigenous peoples understand and learn about their ancestors, a further level of difficulty is added when the place in which we are learning is so far removed from where we are from. This work, tentatively titled Subtle Gestures: Sovereignty through Indigenous Stories of Public Mark Making is seeking to begin answering how Indigenous peoples are revolutionizing the stewardship of land and space by new activations of public colonial structures through their art and their bodies. Furthermore, my research questions how this spatial reactivation is publicly reclaiming what Gerald Vizenor termed as survivance, melding together survival and resistance. Survivance expresses how Indigenous peoples can use the strength of our cultures to fight colonialism and what Glen Coulthard has termed Urbs Nullius, “urban space void of Indigenous sovereign presence.”.