Portland State University. Department of Anthropology
Date of Award
Master of Arts (M.A.) in Anthropology
Protected areas -- Government policy, Protected areas -- Political aspects, Paiute Indians -- Social conditions
Within the Nuwuvi (Southern Paiute) ancestral territory, an area that spans four states including Nevada, Utah, California and Arizona, there are abundant protected areas that are managed by both federal and state agencies. These agencies utilize interpretation as a means to educate the public about natural and cultural resources on the landscape, in situ. In this paper, I argue that protected area interpretation in the Nuwuvi ancestral territory follows a hegemonic model, in that it reflects cultural hegemony that places western science discourses over other discourses, including Nuwuvi ways of knowing. As a result, natural science themes dominate interpretation over cultural themes. Additionally, when native culture is interpreted, it is done so primarily by non-natives. This has resulted in a lack of interpretation sovereignty in the Nuwuvi ancestral territory. I argue that interpretation sovereignty, as one tool of sovereignty, can reinforce Nuwuvi strategies of self-determination; therefore, the lack of Nuwuvi voice in protected area interpretation contributes to hegemonic suppression of native communities in the region.
Lahoff, Rachel E., "The Search for Interpretation Sovereignty: Accommodating Nuwuvi (Southern Paiute) Voice in Protected Area Interpretation" (2013). Anthropology Theses. 4.