Native enclosures: Tribal national parks and the progressive politics of environmental stewardship in Indian Country

Clint Carroll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations


This article discusses the recent proliferation of North American Indigenous conservation efforts in the form of tribal national parks. To varying degrees, tribal parks offer alternative perspectives to conservation studies by accounting for land-based epistemologies and practices. They also raise pressing questions: To what extent are tribal natural resource managers in North America assuming the role of state authorities in their ability to restrict citizen access to tribal lands? How do tribal conservation areas differ from state-sanctioned enclosures throughout the globe that often disenfranchise customary use by local peoples? In dialog with political-ecological studies of conservation enclosures, I argue that Indigenous nations are transforming the concept of enclosure in their systemic reclamations of Indigenous sovereignty and territory through environmental stewardship. The analysis is based on a survey of tribal parks in the United States and Canada.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-40
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2014



  • Conservation
  • Enclosure
  • Indigenous
  • Native American
  • Park
  • Territoriality

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