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