Managing Boundaries

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Category: Theses and Dissertations

Title: Managing Boundaries, Healing the Homeland: Ecological Restoration and the Revitalization of the White Mountain Apache Tribe, 1933 – 2000

Author: Tomblin, D.C.

Subject: White Mountains, Ecological Restoration

Abstract: The main argument of this dissertation is that the White Mountain Apache Tribe‟s appropriation of ecological restoration played a vital role in reinstituting control over knowledge production and ecocultural resources on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation in the second half of the twentieth century. As a corollary, I argue that the shift in knowledge production practices from a paternalistic foundation to a community-based approach resulted in positive consequences for the ecological health of the Apachean landscape and Apache culture. The democratization of science and technology on the reservation, therefore, proved paramount to the reestablishment of a relatively sustainable Apache society. Beginning with the Indian New Deal, the White Mountain Apache slowly developed the capacity to employ ecological restoration as an eco-political tool to free themselves from a long history of Euro- American cultural oppression and natural resource exploitation. Tribal restoration projects embodied the dual political function of cultural resistance to and cultural exchange with Western-based land management organizations. Apache resistance challenged Euro-American notions of restoration, nature, and sustainability while maintaining cultural identity, reasserting cultural autonomy, and protecting tribal sovereignty. But at the same time, the Apache depended on cultural exchange with federal and state land management agencies to successfully manage their natural resources and build an ecologically knowledgeable tribal workforce.

Date: 2009

Type: Dissertation

Source: Department of Science and Technology Studies

Identifier: 430p.

Publisher: Virginia Polytechnic Institute

Format: PDF

Language: English