Professor Patricia Landolt in The Conversation: "Suburban monumentalism: do we change Indigenous-settler relations when there are no statues to destroy?"

August 3, 2021 by Victoria Shi

Professor Patricia Landolt recently co-authored an article titled "Suburban monumentalism: How do we change Indigenous-settler relations when there are no statues to destroy?" on The Conversation. Professor Landolt argues that although suburbs are often overlooked as places of action, they have also played a role in the Indigenous dispossession and settler-colonial violence. She gives the example of suburban monumentalism in Scarborough where "historical plaques erase Indigenous histories and presence on the land."

Professor Patricia Landolt is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto. She studies the production and reproduction systems of social exclusion and inequality associated with global migrations. Her research focuses on specific themes such as refugee-migrant political incorporation, precarious work and income insecurity, non-citizenship and precarious legal status.

We've included an excerpt of the article below. You can read the full article here.

"Scarborough, a bustling suburban region of Toronto, has key features of suburban monumentalism. Scarborough has been a site of settlement, migration and crossing for thousands of years. It has been a disputed territory for at least 200 years as Indigenous peoples have challenged settlement on unceded land and the duplicity of the treaty process. Indigenous people continue to live and shape the area, as well as fight for return of the land.

All of this complexity and contentious political history is largely absent from Scarborough’s monuments and built environment.

Scarborough’s naming conventions weave a settler-origin story into the land. The Thomson family appears in the naming of David and Mary Thomson Collegiate, Thomson Memorial Park and in the collections of the Scarborough Historical Museum."