25 Unsettling Transitions: Investigating Opportunities to Co-Create Spaces for Decolonization in Decarbonization Processes on the Grand River Watershed (Canada)

Scott Morton Ninomiya


This paper maps out the research journey that I am taking in my PhD research project at University of Waterloo. The purpose of this research project is to explore opportunities to co-create opportunities for decolonization on the land that I belong to – the Grand River Watershed in southern Ontario, Canada – within the ongoing process of the decarbonization of local energy systems. This paper outlines my current comprehension of the ‘lay of the land’, where I stand on it, and how I want to move forward. I expect (and hope) to be surprised and changed by this journey.

I will begin with a brief outline of this paper. First, I lay out the complex Context, spanning global phenomena like climate change and colonialism, how they are interconnected, and how they play out at the local level in my community. I then develop my own Positionality within this complex context. Next, I explain why and how I am pursuing an Applied Research project in the context, and my proposed process for Decolonizing my Methods. Finally, I offer some thoughts on co-creation, transformation and courage in the Conclusion.