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Scholarship of Design
An “Othered” Land Reclamation:
Decolonization in Anticipation of Another Great Flood
Arthur Leung
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This paper is a series of tales of sea level rise on the coastal floodplain of Surrey, British Columbia. It begins with the Indigenous tales of the Great Flood that inform Coast Salish collective identity. This collective identity becomes permanently altered as illustrated in tales about how colonial tools of maps and surveys dispossessed Indigenous peoples of their lands while inflicting ecosystem damage. The paper concludes with tales that contemplate an expanded definition to “land reclamation”—one that provides a framework for flood adaptation and ecosystem restoration, while making space for a decolonized future urbanism on the floodplain.

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