|Title||Temagami’s tangled wild: Race, gender and the making of Canadian nature|
Drawing upon and bringing together the insights of social nature scholarship and feminist and anti-racist scholarship on the nation, this thesis examines the social and historical processes and relationships of power through which Temagami, Ontario, came to exist as a site of Canadian wilderness. In it, I argue that the Temagami region is not “naturally” a national wilderness space, but rather that it has been created as such over time through a number of power-infused discourses, practices and events, including: the setting aside and regulation of the Temagami Forest Reserve in the early 1900sï¼› Temagami tourism and travel writing at approximately the same timeï¼› a controversy that unfolded in the 1930s after the provincial government demanded the payment of rent from members of the Teme-Augama Anishnabai, the Aboriginal inhabitants of the Temagami regionï¼› and a court battle over legal title to the Temagami area that took place between Ontario and the Teme-Augama Anishnabai during the 1980s. Although it appears on the surface that forest policy, travel writing, the reserve controversy and the court case merely regulated, described or contested a pre-existing place, I show how these discursive practices in fact constituted the region as a site of Canadian wilderness while at the same time rendering invisible this active construction. The making of Temagami as a wild Canadian space worked to evict the Teme-Augama Anishnabai from the territory that they have always known as n’Daki Menan rather than. Temagami, and to open the region up to resource extraction and tourism for the benefit of non-Native governments and citizens. By uncovering the cultural processes through which Temagami came to appear self-evidently natural and national, I reveal the operation of power, often racialized and gendered, in the making of Canadian wilderness. In so doing, I aim not only to demonstrate that nature is constructed alongside other social categories like race, gender and nation, but also to create space for a more just Temagami to emerge, one that includes recognition of and respect for Teme-Augama Anishnabai rights and responsibilities toward n’Daki Menan.
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