Canadianness is Wilderness? Violent Love Relationships with ‘Wild’ Bodies
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This thesis reveals contradictions that Canadians experience with groups attached to western construction of wilderness namely Indigenous people and wildlife. My study analyzes how the discourse of Canadian wilderness identity is played out in Algonquin Provincial Park and Bruce Peninsula National Park in comparison to non-nature/urban spaces (Greater Toronto Area). My investigation employs a critical discourse analysis and participant observation. I undertake three main tasks: 1) I describe how violent love is a dominant discourse at the Parks, 2) I examine evidence of animals and Indigenous people being produced relationally in the Parks, and 3) I analyze how relationships are spatially organized. My research reveals that the Parks conceal practices of violence that are central to the intersections of speciesism and colonialism. I demonstrate how violent love operates across a continuum that is influenced by spatial belonging and distance. This research is a contribution to the production of non-speciesist knowledge.