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Survivance and Indigenous street lifestyles

D. Robert Henry, University of Saskatchewan

January 21, 2021 11:00am PT / 12:00pm MT / 1:00pm CT / 2:00pm ET / 3:00pm AT / 3:30pm NT

Register Now This presentation builds upon Gerald Vizenor’s concept of survivance as an applied theory to examine how Indigenous peoples engaged in street lifestyles find creative ways to survive within violent urban street spaces. It explores how survivance is an ever active presence that challenges settler colonialism, where Indigenous peoples are constantly negotiating strategies of survival and resistance to their erasure. Through specific actions of taking up space, which at a specific time and context may be violent or destructive and in this case engaged in local street gang cultures, can be understood as a way to challenge colonial victimry of Indigenous existence. Focusing on a life history and photovoice research project that spans across three different research sites on the Canadian Prairies, this presentation illustrates how survivance needs to be used to challenge Eurocentric positivistic criminological perspectives of crime, that reduces Indigenous experiences to pathologies that focus on Indigenous as lacking or immoral.

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