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January 25, 2023
Indigenous Peoples all over the world have endured a common history. And, as Uahikea Maile notes, the experience of “colonial dispossession, territorial enclosure and the subsequent creation of nation states” is not unique to North America.
Global political resistance against the effects of this shared history – which continues to this day – is at the heart of Maile’s recently established research laboratory at the University of Toronto. Known as the Ziibiing Lab, the new Indigenous politics “collaboratory” takes its name from the Anishinaabemowin word for Taddle Creek, a stream that flowed through the land on which U of T sits until the 19th century, when it was buried to create sewage infrastructure for the city.
“The name is an important reference to that waterway, which still exists and resurfaces from time to time,” says Maile, an assistant professor of Indigenous politics in the department of political science in the Faculty of Arts & Science and a noted Kanaka Maoli scholar, activist and practitioner from the Hawaiian island of Oʻahu. “This responds to the Answering the Call report – produced five years ago by U of T in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission – which contains a recommendation as part of the Call to Action to create significant dedicated Indigenous space, including a greater recognition of these particular underground waterways here at U of T.”
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