Reimagining U.S. Federal Land Management through Decolonization and Indigenous Value Systems


  • Lara A. Jacobs Oregon State University, College of Forestry, Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society, 321 Richardson Hall, Corvallis, OR, 97331
  • Serina Payan Hazelwood Prescott College, Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, Prescott, AZ, 220 Grove Ave, Prescott, AZ 86301
  • Coral B. Avery Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians; Climate Change Program, Regional Headquarters, 5904 NE Sandy Blvd Portland, OR 97213
  • Christy Sangster-Biye



Decolonizing, Indigenous Value Systems, Parks and Protected Area Management, Federal Land Management


U.S. Federal Land Management Areas (FLMAs) are grounded in settler colonialism, including Indigenous land dispossessions and violations of Tribal treaties. This critical thought-piece is written by Indigenous scholars to reimagine FLMAs (especially recreation areas) through decolonization and the Indigenous value systems embedded within the “four Rs”: relationship, responsibility, reciprocity, and redistribution. We reweave conceptions about parks and protected areas, reimagine park management, and reconfigure management foci to reflect Indigenous value systems shared by Indigenous peoples. We emphasize a need for Tribal comanagement of FLMAs, the inclusion of Tribal land management practices across ecosystems, and the restoration of Indigenous land use and management rights. Land and recreation managers can use this paper to 1) decolonize park management practices, 2) understand how Indigenous value systems can inform park management foci, and 3) build a decolonized and reciprocal relationship with Tribes and their ancestral landscapes.

Author Biography

Christy Sangster-Biye

Prescott College, Departments of Environmental Studies, Prescott, AZ, 220 Grove Ave, Prescott, AZ 86301