Smudging and Concrete: Indigenous Traditional Ways in the City of Halifax
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In spite of the increasing importance of urban-Indigenous (urban-Aboriginal) issues in Canada, very little is known about these topics in relation to Atlantic Canadian urban centers. Urban-Indigenous peoples are the fastest growing, youngest demographic in Canada, and are of vital importance to the future of this country. This research was conducted in the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM), which is part of Mi’kma’ki, the traditional territory of the Mi’kmaq people. In this thesis, I am looking to gain a better understanding of Indigenous traditional ways in the city of Halifax. Interviews with 17 self-identifying Indigenous people living in the HRM help show the importance of Indigenous traditional (cultural) ways in the urban context. Diverse forms of engagement with these traditions, ceremonies, and cultural practices help urban-Indigenous residents of the HRM find a sense of belonging, and so much more. There is a real sense of hope amongst Indigenous people in cities such as Halifax. Indigenous traditional ways contribute greatly to this growing sense of optimism, and to a better future for First Peoples.