Confronting Hegemony: Architectural Dialogues in Northern Ontario
Plaxton, Fraser W.
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The aim of this thesis is to assert the role of architecture as an active mediator in shaping the social, physical and economic space of the indigenous reserve of northern Ontario. This contested region, bounded by the end of all-season roads and the northern tree line, is populated by remote indigenous communities whose lived counter-hegemony cannot be reconciled with the existing capitalist agenda of resource development in their traditional territory. This thesis challenges a cultural/colonial relationship that remains at odds with both nature itself and a people whose historical existence and culture is based on a respect of nature. The project speaks to notions that lie between map and territory, understood both in a fixed geographic and material sense and as a transitory condition, based in cycles of memory and seasonal change. In this way the dialectic creates a dialogue which aims to reconcile this reading of the territory with both the everyday needs of community and the invisible boundaries of the much broader political space of mining and extraction.