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Indigenous Online Mapping in Canada - Decolonizing or Recolonizing Forms of Spatial Expressions?

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Indigenous Online Mapping in Canada - Decolonizing or Recolonizing Forms of Spatial Expressions?

McGurk, Thomas (2018) Indigenous Online Mapping in Canada - Decolonizing or Recolonizing Forms of Spatial Expressions? Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Digital cartography technologies have expanded the tool base for Indigenous communities in Canada as a means of representing their lands and the contestation of space. However, critiques of digital technologies question if these tools are a new system of technological colonialism. This study addresses the question of how this technology is being used today and what impact it is having on Indigenous mapping content. Additionally, I ask if the web as cyberspace can be conceptualized as “a third space,” a decolonialized space of communication, recognition, and reconciliation (Soja, 1996; Bhabha, 2004). I theorize that Indigenous ways of knowing and constructions of space align with Lefebvre’s idea of first space, while Western ways of knowing and mapping practices align more closely with his concept of second space. A mix of quantitative and qualitative methods is used to investigate this theory. The former involves content analysis of 26 Canadian Indigenous web mapping sites using a decolonialized methodologies perspective. The qualitative dimension consists of 10 semi-directed interviews with Indigenous and non-Indigenous cartographers, technicians, scholars, and the producers and consumers of online mapping websites. Triangulation of these data sets identified narrative as an emergent theme, including its strong links to Indigenous cultures and processes of decolonialization. I conclude that while online mapping is a potential medium of
decolonization, it has not yet fulfilled this possibility. It currently offers a hybrid space for the examination and reclamation of knowledge production but falls short of being a primary location for discussion, communication, and nexus due to a lack of feedback mechanisms.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Geography, Planning and Environment
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:McGurk, Thomas
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M. Sc.
Program:Geography, Urban & Environmental Studies
Date:8 January 2018
Thesis Supervisor(s):Caquard, Sébastien
ID Code:983798
Deposited By: THOMAS MCGURK
Deposited On:11 Jun 2018 03:56
Last Modified:11 Jun 2018 03:56
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