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Julie Tomiak

Tomiak, Julie


Assistant Professor


M.A. (Freie Universität Berlin), Ph.D (Carleton, Canadian Studies, specialization in Political Economy)




416-979-5000 ext 6637

Email Address:



Research Interests:

Indigeneity in the city, decolonization, Indigenous resistance and resurgence, Indigenous-settler relations in Canada, settler state power, policies and governmentality, settler colonialism, racialization and racism, cities and urban governance, political economy, feminisms, intersectionality, and qualitative and Indigenous research methodologies

Working at the intersections of critical Indigenous Studies, Political Economy, Sociology, Geography, and Urban Studies, Dr. Tomiak’s current research projects focus on the material and discursive dimensions of urban Indigeneity and ongoing struggles against the dispossession and erasure of Indigenous people, communities, and nations in and from urban space. With the support of a SSHRC Insight Development grant, Dr. Tomiak and her team of student researchers are looking at the role of knowledge production as central to Indigenous community-building and the reclaiming of Gichi Kiiwenging/ Tkaronto/ Toronto. Based on an analysis of grey literature and interviews with Indigenous leaders and community workers, this project highlights the role of research in resisting the settler-colonial frames of invisibility (of trans/local Indigenous communities and connections to land and nationhood) and hyper-visibility (of Indigenous people as problems and out of place) through which urban Indigeneity is seen. In one of her other projects, she analyzes media discourses in response to the possibility of an urban reserve at the site of a former Canadian army base in Winnipeg. Dr. Tomiak is also working on two book projects, a manuscript based on her dissertation research and, as part of an interdisciplinary editorial collective, a edited collection on settler colonial urbanism and Indigenous resurgence. Dr. Tomiak’s recent publications focus on Indigenous resistance to settler colonial urbanism and scale politics in Ottawa, shadow state formation and the Assembly of First Nations, and urban reserve creation and the neoliberalization of settler colonialism.


Current Courses:

SOC 427 Indigenous Perspectives on Canada

SOC 108 Indigenous Peoples and Decolonization

SOC 507 Race and Ethnicity in Canadian Society

SSH 301 Research Design and Qualitative Methods    

Selected Publications & Presentations:

2017 Contesting the settler city: Indigenous self-determination, new urban reserves, and the neoliberalization of colonialism. Antipode. A radical journal of geography. doi: 10.1111/anti.12308.
2016 Navigating the contradictions of the shadow state: The Assembly of First Nations, state funding, and scales of Indigenous resistance. Studies in Political Economy 97 (3): 217-233.
2016 Unsettling Ottawa: Settler colonialism, Indigenous resistance, and the politics of scale. Canadian Journal of Urban Research. 25 (1): 8-21.
2011 Indigeneity and the city: Representations, resistance, and the right to the city. In Lumpen-City: Discourses of marginality | marginalizing discourses, ed. Alan Bourke, Tia Dafnos and Markus Kip, 163-192. Ottawa: Red Quill Books.
2011 With Patrick, Donna, Lynda Brown, Heidi Langille, and Mihaela Vieru. ‘Regaining the childhood I should have had’: The transformation of Inuit identities, institutions, and community in Ottawa. In Aboriginal peoples in Canadian cities: Transformations and continuities, ed. Heather A. Howard and Craig Proulx, 69-85. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press.
2010 Indigenous governance in Winnipeg and Ottawa: Making space for self-determination. In Aboriginal policy research. Exploring the urban landscape, ed. Jerry P. White and Jodi Bruhn, 31-54. Toronto: Thompson Educational Publishing.