Revisioning ‘The Visionaries’: A Critical Pedagogy of Place, Settler Implication, and Modes of Selected Remembrance & Erasure on Papaschase Cree Land (University of Alberta campus)

  • M-A Murphy University of Alberta


This paper focuses on a critical reading of a monument on Papaschase Cree land (University of Alberta campus) entitled ‘The Visionaries’, which is of two white settler men - Rutherford, who was Alberta’s first premier and who introduced legislation for the campus, and Tory, who was the university’s first president. How does this monument work within memory making to strategically erase and forget? In this case, forget the Papaschase Cree. And how can this erasure be made visible?


After situating this research in a brief history of the Papaschase Cree and Rutherford and Tory, I will analyze the differing ways that Indigenous geographies and settler colonial geographies interpret place and relationships with the land. A critical pedagogy of place, inspired by Jay Johnson, will be used to re-read the monument and look at questions of representation, memory, settler implication and responsibility. My hope is that this analysis can encourage people to examine relationships and geographies of power, place and privilege that envelope monuments and institutions, such as universities, and ask: Who is being remembered and forgotten, and why?


Keywords: Indigenous-settler relations, settler implication, memory, decolonization