Planning the End of the World: Indigenous Urbanism and the Art of Refusal

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B117 Theatre, Glyn Davis Building (MSD), Masson Road, Parkville

About the event

In the first Dean’s Lecture of the year, Assistant Professor Heather Dorries from the University of Toronto reveals how Indigenous knowledge can revitalise our urban centres in the face of settler colonial urbanism.

Indigenous intellectual traditions have the power to transform our cities for the better, if only urban planners are willing to listen.

Drawing on critical Indigenous studies, “Indigenous urbanism” is an analytic strategy for understanding how Indigeneity is mobilised and transformed by settler colonial urbanism. It also looks at ways in which Indigenous peoples contest settler urbanization to make Indigenous urban space.

Using examples from Tkaronto (Toronto), we can unpack how contemporary Indigenous cultural and artistic practices provide a foundation for the reformulation of key planning concepts and practices to advance Indigenous justice.

Join us in the Dulux Gallery from 5:30pm for a Welcome to Country and dance performance from Djirri Djirri Dance Group. Light refreshments will be served, registrations are essential.

An introduction to the lecture will be provided by Prof Julie Willis (Dean, Faculty of Architecture Building and Planning) and reflections from Jason Eades (Director, Aboriginal Melbourne) and Dr Mandy Nicholson (Senior Lecturer, First Peoples Design).

Delivered with support from the City of Melbourne’s Aboriginal Melbourne Team. Learn more about Aboriginal Melbourne.

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About the speaker

Heather Dorries is of Anishinaabe and settler ancestry and a member of Sagkeeng First Nation in Treaty 1.

She is an Assistant Professor jointly appointed to the Department of Geography and Planning and Centre for Indigenous Studies at the University of Toronto.

Her research focuses on the relationship between urban planning and settler colonialism and examines how Indigenous intellectual traditions—including Indigenous environmental knowledge, legal orders, and cultural production—can serve as the foundation for justice-oriented approaches to planning.

Heather is currently revising her book manuscript Planning the End of the World: Indigenist Planning Theory and the Art of Refusal (University of Toronto Press), which demonstrates how Indigenous knowledge systems can inform resurgent forms of planning and urbanism.

She is also a co-editor of the collections Settler City Limits: Indigenous Resurgence and Settler Colonial Violence in the Urban Prairie West (University of Manitoba Press, 2019) and Land Back: Relational Landscapes of Indigenous Resistance Across the Americas (Dumbarton Oaks/Harvard University Press, Forthcoming).