Growing [with] Muskeg: Oil Sands Reclamation and Healing
Public Talk: Anthropology in Our Backyards
Online Event – 26 November 2020 – 1:00pm-2:30pm PST
Dr. Tara Joly
Department of Anthropology, University of Northern British Columbia
Background: Oil sands companies in northern Alberta are required to reclaim land disturbed by their extractive activities. Reclaimed land is meant to resemble a naturally-occurring boreal forest, but reclamation has been criticized for ‘desertifying’ a landscape that, prior to extraction, consisted largely of muskeg (peatlands).
What is the social and cultural context for the creation of these landscapes? Of what value is muskeg, anyways? And, importantly, what does land reclamation mean for Indigenous rights and land use? This talk will consider these questions by examining ways that muskeg and its reclamation appear in Indigenous, government, and scientific discourses.
Feature Photo: ‘SquigglyCreek Pond Peace,’ Pat Earley, 2012, Alberta, Flickr Commons.