Grassroots Alliance-Building Between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Communities in Canada: Re-Envisioning Local Space and Possibility?

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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
Stream: First Nations, Indigenous Peoples
Presentation Type: 30 minute Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Rick Wallace

PhD Researcher, Department of Peace Studies, University of Bradford
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Currently finishing a PhD in Conflict Resolution on community-based peacebuilding and its relevance for re-questioning current conflict resolution and social change processes, materially and discursively. I'm a bit like a migrating whale swimming between community activism and academia with a background in environmental and social justice work, adult education and gender, international human rights law and refugees, community-based mediation and union politics. My experiences living in Sri Lank and later in Rwanda (1993-1995), working at the community level, watching and participating in globalisation keep leading me to question and ruminate on how I and we can create a world that fundamentally endeavours to honour, love and trust rather than ignore, subordinate and destroy.

Ref: D08P0197