(De)colonizing Space: Critical Reflections on Aboriginal Youth Space and Self

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Hansen, Taylor A.
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Mount Saint Vincent University
There are two central purposes for this research. The first is to explore reclaimed colonial space within the context of colonization through a reflective exploration of three public spaces deemed to be created for and/or by Aboriginal youth in the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia. The second is to situate myself, as a white body, in the research process and explore how I participate in, and am impacted by, the ongoing process of colonization.. For each space previously determined questions were used to guide my reflections. The intention of these questions is to provide insight into the complicated relationship between ongoing colonization and reclaimed colonized space. These questions also function to reveal some of the imbedded assumptions I carry. By engaging critically with myself and these spaces, and including this as part of my research, I acknowledge that much of what I have been taught, both formally and in more subversive ways, about Aboriginal identity is not neutral. These ideas come from somewhere and influence how I approach and move through this research process. I will attempt to deneutralize these spaces and my role in them by exploring these tensions. My hope is that this research comes to reflect a reclaimed space itself, as I navigate the tensions in challenging interlocking systems of oppression, and being part of them, on the page.
reclaimed space , public space , Aboriginal youth , colonization