Grassroots Alliance-Building Between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Communities in Canada: Re-Envisioning Local Space and Possibility?
Diversity is not simply pluralism, inclusivity and equity, it can become a discourse about the very nature of dominant ontologies, epistemologies, regimes of truth, and counter-hegemonic lived experiences. In this sense, diversity becomes a process of possibility that is both constrained and emancipatory. In the Canadian situation, an ongoing colonial conflict between Indigenous peoples and non-indigenous peoples is socially constructed by relations of power, culture, history, collective identities, and material asymmetries. In terms of social change, how are Indigenous and non-indigenous grassroot activists and communites negotiating new relations with each other? In what ways do local processes challenged macro power relations while simultaneously negotiating and creating space for both difference and commonality? How are efforts at grassroot relationship building and alliances altering the possible? In practical and material terms, what are the process, strategies and discourses of peacebuilding and relationship building between these communities? What are the challenges, gaps, successes? What are peoples themselves saying and what is being negotiated? Using PhD research from three field case studies, we’ll set out to explore some of these dynamics, discourses and experiences.
Keywords: Indigenous Peoples, Conflict, Alliance Building, Grassroots Peacebuilding, Social Change, Lived Experience, Relations of Power, Colonialism, Resistance, Glocality, Common Ground
PhD Researcher, Department of Peace Studies, University of Bradford