Kamala Todd

Vancouver, British Colombia
Métis and Cree

Raised away from her home territories, Kamala has always understood the importance of acknowledging and honouring the lands she lives on. Seeing that Indigenous peoples were often left out of conversations about place-making and city building, she made that the focus of her studies and career as a filmmaker and planner.

“Looking critically at the city really excited me, especially thinking about whose story is being told and who gets to write themselves onto the land. The city is Indigenous land, every Canadian city is what I call an Indigenous city because they’re all on Indigenous territories.”

As a social planner at the City of Vancouver, Kamala helped build relationships with the Indigenous communities through her Storyscapes project. She was honoured to be part of the historic Vancouver UNDRIP Strategy. Through her work as a professor, community planner and filmmaker, she strives to help others understand their relationship and responsibility to the land and the First Peoples.

“This is the only home I’ve ever known and it’s the only home my children have known. We have roots here and we love this land and we’re grateful to live here, but it’s not our land. I just try to live by my teachings of Wahkohtowin, my own ancestral teachings, in a good way here.”

Working with students, Kamala asks them to reflect on their own identities, where they are and how they came here, who they’re accountable to and how they can make a positive impact. She hopes that Indigenous peoples will step into the role of place-makers as they continue to tell their stories of connection to the land.

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