GGRA02 Geographies of Global Processes Lecture 03 WEEK 03 Sept 16 2013
Lecture 3: Toronto’s Indigenous Landscape: The Global History of Toronto
“For Aboriginal people living in the Toronto area there is a long history of Native occupation
which Toronto’s modern towers of concrete and steel may obscure but cannot eradicate.”
Place is constructed out of a number of processes and relations that constitute the
meaning and physicality of a given locale
Globalization refers to the increasing interconnectedness of our world.
o However, growing disparities exist in our globalized world
o Political economic and culture forces drive globalization
1. Space: absolute space
Mathematical space, described through points, boundaries and lines.
o i.e. maps
space pre-exists human activity
o processes happen in space
despite the assumption of objectivity, absolute space can be deeply political
Notes: two different ways to define space:
1. Absolute Space
Representation of absolute space
• Maps, divided base groups/culture, political lines draw, include/excluded different
2. Space: relational space
Space is not the container of social activity, but rather is produced out of that activity
o i.e. is socially constructed
Relational space involves an appreciation of the multiple processes that contribute to
the geographical configuration and meaning of activity.
The spatiality of our lives is subject to enormous change
• Make space out of activity
• Certain identity that are mark ( Italy, Chinatown), violent, culture, or other identities,
the meaning attach to the space
• Economical geography
• Housing pattern
• Transportation (highway, subway, bus) GGRA02 Geographies of Global Processes Lecture 03 WEEK 03 Sept 16 2013
• How we move and how we live
• Subjective construction of space
• Space are subject to change, like the GTA Italy town, but the Italian doesn’t live there
anymore, is the history behind it
o Refers to the location in which social and economic activity occurs, and in turn,
how that activity produces space.
o Consider bitumen from Northern Alberta.
Representations of Space
o The invisible ways in which power is inscribed into space.
o Quebec language laws, street signs, zoning etc. (force people to be the same,
band religion symbol in public space)
o Cultural and symbolic meanings associated with distinct spaces.
o City Hall, Parliament Buildings, CN Tower.
o Building highway – economical decision, transform space into what it is
Representations of space
o How we represent things, space that carry meaning, political power
o Symbolism of space, capitalism, global advance city, representation of power,
o Place is how we define it, how our specialty
3. The Global History of Toronto: Aboriginal Settlement in the Toronto area
Aboriginal settlements for about 11’000 years
Temporary, seasonal settlements and posts for hunting, gathering, fishing, defense, and
Agricultural villages since about 1000 years ago (reaching up to 2000 inhabitants)
Haudnesaunee/5 Nations, up to the foot of the Humber River
Huron/Wendat, Georgian Bay
Mississauga, Humber River, TO Island, Credit River
4. Aboriginal Social Formations
Defined by ‘kinship mode of production’: extended families are key units of (re-
Egalitarian social structure (division of labour along gender and age and specialization
does not lead to the formation of different classes and a separate state authority; ritual
redistribution of surplus)
Communal ownership: private property and the individual are alien ideas GGRA02 Geographies of Global Processes Lecture 03 WEEK 03 Sept 16 2013
Family lineages and decision-making often defined and shaped by women, mothers
(they are matrilineal or matriarchal societies)
Absent of Private property
Antimodernist or underdeveloped
5. Trade and the Affluent Society
Abundant resources, leisure time, cultural development
Toronto a site of trade and commerce that pre-dates European contact
“Archaeological digs in Toronto have unearthed artefacts which originate on from the
Gulf of Mexico, to the arctic, to the pacific coast.”
Transfer of knowledge, culture, goods
How would we define the place of Toronto in light of this Aboriginal history?
Toronto is been long for Site of trade/exchange, and culture exchange
Answer: Flows of culture, knowledge, goods
1. How do you define colonialism and imperialism?
2. How do they differ?
3. What are the contemporary forms of imperialism and colonialism?
Colonialism 殖民主义: settlement,
any people or territory separated from but subject to a ruling power
Imperialism 帝国主义: power/control of resources,
the policy and practice of a power in extending control over weaker peoples or
Spread of Americanization: culture form of colonization
6. Starting points: Definitions
Imperialism: the extension of the power of a nation through direct or indirect control of
the economic, political, c