Rethinking the Colonial Mentality of Our National Parks
December 4, 2019 12:29 PM   Subscribe

The parks were created by removing Indigenous people from the land. Thaidene Nëné begins to repair the damage.

With me onboard is a group of conservationists from Nature United making their way to Łutsel K’e to celebrate Canada’s newest national park: Thaidene Nëné (pronounced “thigh-den-nay nen-ay”), which translates to “the Land of the Ancestors.” The park—part wildlife-conservation area, part territorial park, and part national park reserve—is composed of 26,525 square kilometres of lakes, old-growth spruce forests, rivers, and wildlife. It straddles the tree line, a fuzzy border between the boreal forest and the barren lands to the north. In that way, it can act as a buffer against climate change, providing a refuge for the species that live on the edge, such as caribou, relieving those animals of the stress development brings.

posted by poffin boffin (4 comments total) 36 users marked this as a favorite
Here in New Zealand some National Parks have been created as part of the Treaty settlement process - the State has been going through a process of negotiating and paying reparations to Iwi for land stolen and past injustices that the state had visited upon Māori.

One of the things that have happened is that land has been returned and then regifted into National Parks, one National Park has been disestablished and is now run by Iwi
posted by mbo at 2:16 PM on December 4, 2019 [11 favorites]

One of my friends visited Yosemite National Park for the first time this year. As we were discussing which kinds of animals he might see (coyotes, black bears, etc...), I mentioned that he wouldn't see any California grizzlies (the bear on the California state flag) because they'd all been killed. My friend said that this bummed him out. I replied, "man, if that bums you out, I've got some much, much worse news for you."
posted by mhum at 2:31 PM on December 4, 2019 [14 favorites]

It’s a start....
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:57 PM on December 4, 2019 [3 favorites]

I actually didn't know that about the California grizzlies, and I've been living here 20 years. How did I miss this?

*reads wikipedia*

So the last one was killed in 1922. That's depressing.
posted by suburbanbeatnik at 8:31 PM on December 4, 2019

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