Exploring Co-Reclamation: Gesturing Towards Intercultural Collaboration and the Renewal of Indigenous Cultural Landscapes
This doctoral dissertation examined the interconnected cultural-ecological aspects of mine closure in service of a movement towards a participatory and inclusive process that empowers affected Indigenous communities with an equitable role in mine closure and reclamation decision-making. Working in partnership with a First Nation in Northeast Alberta, Treaty 8, the study conducted a systematic review of 7 oil sands mine closure plans to understand current traditional use planning practices and intended outcomes. Next, we co-produced tools using traditional cultural activities to support intercultural understanding and the meaningful participation of Fort McKay First Nation in reclamation and closure of their traditional territory. These tools included an indigenous code of conduct, a shared First-Nation-industry aspirational story, and a Two-Roads Reconciliation & Reclamation Framework. Overall, the study illuminated gaps, opportunities, and tools towards the renewal of cultural landscapes and the re-establishment of traditional land use capability on oil sands reclaimed lands for a First Nation community to exercise their Aboriginal and Treaty Rights within their traditional territory.