This article out of the Journal of Urban Design speaks to the heart of ‘why we do what we do’ as urban designers. The abstract (below) provides some solid footing but this full paper is worth the read. Follow the link in the first line for access to the full .pdf paper.
This paper examines how the design and programming of the built environment of settler cities have contributed to the invisibility of Indigenous peoples and minimizing their cultural influence. It seeks to address gaps in the academic literature on Indigenous placemaking and urban design. Indigenous placemaking has the capacity to create positive symbolic capital associated with Indigenous peoples, empowering urban inhabitants in their cultural representation, and advancing the project of truth and reconciliation. To transcend beyond tokenism, Indigenous cultures projected in built form should not be subordinated by settler mainstream decision-making frameworks.