Daniel Iwama

Term Lecturer
Indigenous Studies


  • PhD, Urban Planning, University of California, Los Angeles
  • MA, Urban and Regional Planning (Indigenous Community Planning), University of British Columbia
  • BA, Philosophy, University of British Columbia


Dr. Daniel Iwama is an Uchinānchu, with Red River Métis and Mennonite settler ancestry. In 2023 he received his PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles, in Urban Planning. Daniel’s dissertation, “‘War by other means’; Military base return and the local politics of realignment on Okinawa Island 1995-present” examined processes of land repossession in what is known today as Okinawa Prefecture. He was an international fieldwork fellow of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and held a doctoral fellowship from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Daniel is most interested in planning, and how forces of militarism interrupt and are interrupted by Indigenous relations with land and sea in the Pacific. His research interests attend to planning history and theory, empire, social movements and jurisdiction, and extend to matters of diaspora and community development.

Peer-Reviewed Research

  • Iwama, Daniel. Tides of dispossession: Property in militarized land and the coloniality of military base conversion in Okinawa. International Journal of Okinawan Studies 2, (2021): 93-114.
  • Iwama, Daniel, Karen Umemoto, and Kanako Masuda. "Calling Nikkei to empire: Diaspora and trans/nationalism in the redevelopment of historic Little Tokyo." Journal of Historical Geography 74 (2021): 44-54.

Popular Scholarship

  • Iwama, Daniel. “'The Islands Where People Live’.” [re-titled by editors as “The Battle for Okinawa”] Boston Review (2021).
  • Iwama, Daniel. "On the Road to the New Reserve: Considering Canada’s Preferred Path to Land Restitution." Yellowhead Institute (2018).