Article Title

Reflection, Acknowledgement, and Justice: A Framework for Indigenous-Protected Area Reconciliation


Protected areas have been both tools and beneficiaries of settler colonialism in places such as Canada, Australia, and the United States, to the detriment of Indigenous nations. While some agencies, such as Parks Canada, increasingly partner with Indigenous nations through co-management agreements or on Indigenous knowledge use in protected area management, I believe such efforts fall short of reconciliation. For protected areas to reconcile with Indigenous Peoples, they must not incorporate Indigeneity into existing settler-colonial structures. Instead, agencies must commit to an Indigenous-centered project of truth telling, acknowledging harm, and providing for justice. I begin this article by outlining what is meant by reconciliation. I then argue for protected area-Indigenous reconciliation. I conclude with a framework for Indigenous–settler reconciliation within protected areas.


Thank you to the two anonymous reviewers for your time and comments. Ravi de Costa, Deborah McGregor, and Paul Wilkinson have my gratitude for your guidance and support. I live on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe Nation, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, the Huron-Wendat, and Métis peoples. I acknowledge the myriad ways I benefit from settler colonialism. Toronto continues to be home to many Indigenous Peoples, including the current treaty holders, the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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