For generations, the worldviews of Indigenous peoples have been pushed aside in discourses of nature preservation and conservation. In creating protected spaces of nature, nation-states have built their management strategies on Western notions of wilderness preservation and thus “the way of being” is based on Euro-American worldviews. While national parks serve as important sites of cultural heritage and nature protection, they are also colonial constructs and can represent loss of traditional homelands and cultural heritage to the many Indigenous peoples who previously inhabited these now bordered spaces of nature. Despite ongoing problems, during the past decade there have been efforts to develop more inclusive policies and practices through collaboration between Indigenous peoples and non-native administrators. This shift in Indigenous engagement provides scholars a new opportunity to investigate their role within nation-states and conservation.
Andersson’s presentation will approach the topic from a cultural standpoint, using current methodologies that highlight indigenous agency and decolonization methods. It is part of a larger project that investigates examples of successful collaborations between indigenous peoples and non-native stakeholders of protected spaces of nature as forms of re-indigenization.