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Theorising indigenous planning.

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In Jojola, T.S., Walker, R.C., & Natcher, D.C. (Eds.). Reclaiming indigenous planning. MQUP, , 3-34

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Matunga explores the evolving concept of Indigenous planning, a field he acknowledges as both nascent and ancient.

He emphasises the necessity of framing Indigenous planning as a response to colonial violence and exploitation, while avoiding being consumed by the ongoing racist discourse. Matunga begins by outlining a conceptual framework for Indigenous planning, identifying its characteristics and potential forms. He then places this concept within a historical context, outlining its evolution through various phases as Indigenous communities worldwide have negotiated their present and future in diverse cultural and temporal landscapes. Key to Matunga’s discussion is the idea that Indigenous planning must be firmly rooted in the communities it serves, representing a form of planning by and for these communities, rather than an imposition from external forces. This approach inherently involves a commitment to political change and the improvement of life conditions for Indigenous peoples. Matunga argues that while Indigenous planning has always existed, it has taken on new forms in response to colonialist aggression, ranging from physical violence to more insidious forms of cultural and territorial erasure. Matunga asserts that Indigenous planning is a political strategy as much as a set of methods or scholarly discipline. It is an approach deeply interwoven with community kinship and place-based traditions, focusing on the lives and environments of Indigenous peoples rather than merely spatial planning. The chapter further explores the challenges Indigenous planning faces, including the need to maintain its distinct identity in the face of colonial state mechanisms that continually seek to redefine and control Indigenous spaces. Concluding the chapter, Matunga discusses the future opportunities and challenges for Indigenous planning. He emphasises the importance of creativity, innovation, and reflexivity in developing Indigenous planning approaches that are effective in improving the lives of Indigenous people while retaining their cultural integrity and resisting ongoing exploitation.

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