UBC Graduate Research

Temporal Movements as Agency in an Arctic Landscape : Vuntut Gwitchin traditional territory MacDaniel, Jessica


The praxis of people who work with land and physical spaces that can be inhabited should carry a growing weight in an age that requires sustainable design that is responsive to place and inclusive to values of reconciliation. I cannot and would not want to tell anyone what reconciliation is, but I believe it is a continuous working process that involves cross-cultural understanding, perspective and sensitivity. This involves comprehensive, meaningful and long-term engagement with people indigenous to the land. Being a white settler and landscape architecture candidate I wanted to become more cognizant of implications of how I consider working with the land. A large reason that I took this project on was to learn about landscape from people whom have deep ancestral connections to the land, of which cannot be replicated. Research leading up to this project underwent three ethics reviews, one that was from the Heritage Committee in Old Crow. I chose this location due to having spend a portion of my early adult life working a community engagement role in the Yukon and wanted to understand what landscape architecture could be in a remote, arctic community. Members of the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation warmly welcomed me into their community and homes on separate occasions in the summer and winter season leading up to the end of this process. I hope that this project is a starting point for me to continue doing work in the north.

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