AAA/CASCA Executive Program Committee
Executive Session - Oral Presentation Session
Abstract: This session situates itself in the traditional, ancestral and unceded Indigenous territories now known as British Columbia, Canada and begins with a spirit of hospitality and a respect of difference. Recognizing the politically unstable relations of energy extraction on unceded Indigenous lands and the recent palpable frustrations with reconciliation processes post Canada’s 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Actions, this session imagines the future of museum spaces as locations for social relations, not property relations, where people can wrestle with (re)conciliation; a place of engagement and striving for social justice.
This session brings together the spirit of Dwayne Donald’s call for decolonizing pedagogies and ethical relationality between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples in Canada, Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang's cautions about metaphor and moves to innocence, with David Garneau’s forceful essay “Imaginary Spaces of Conciliation and Reconciliation” that refutes the possibility of Canadian reconciliation and affirms “irreconcilable spaces of Aboriginality,” which are not for the colonial gaze. Following Anna Tsing, can we reconfigure a future of co-existence based on neither harmony nor conquest?
Collectively, the session engages the challenge of artist Anthony Romero’s 2019 museum resolutions that call for 1. Investment in excluded communities; 2. Breaking with enduring colonial traditions of displacement, erasure and capitalist modes of action; 3. Recognizing museums are tools that can be repurposed from their historical uses; 4. Building social relations through resource allocation not property relations through resource extraction.
Taking together these ambiguities, tensions, and frictions of imagined possibilities of reconciliation, ethical relationality, and hospitable decolonizing actions with incommensurability/irreconcilability and Reconcile This!, we turn to
Garneau’s proffered possibility of “sovereign display territories” and Donald’s “ecological understanding” where extractive property relations sit in place with generative social relations.
Donald, Dwayne 2012. “Forts, Colonial Frontier Logics, and Aboriginal-Canadian Relations: Imagining Decolonizing Educational Philosophies in Canadian Contexts” In Decolonizing Philosophies of Education Ali A. Abdi (Ed.) Sense Publishers: Rotterdam: 91-111.
Garneau, David 2012. “Imaginary Spaces of Conciliation and Reconciliation” In West Coast Line #74: Reconcile This! Jonathan Dewar and Ayumi Goto (Eds) 46 (2): 27-38.
Romero, Anthony 2019. “Museum Resolution: Build Social Relations Over Property Relations” Walker Art Museum Magazine Sound Board. January 8, 2019. accessed January 31, 2019: https://walkerart.org/magazine/soundboard-museum-resolutions-anthony-romero
Tsing, Anna 2015. The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins. Princeton University Press: Princeton.
Tuck Eve and K. Wayne Yang 2012. “Decolonization is not a metaphor” Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society 1 (1):1-40.