Degree Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2020

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Major

Education

First Advisor

Katy Swalwell

Abstract

Anthropogenic climate change and environmental degradation are global threats that continue to have disproportionate impacts on Indigenous people. Over countless generations, Indigenous people have demonstrated the ability to sustain and care for the world’s human and non-human communities through Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK). Despite this, in the United States, the field of conservation is dominated by Western science. This erasure of Indigenous knowledge is a result of settler-colonialism; it creates epistemic injustice and threatens collective continuance. To solve this problem, conservation organizations, especially those working with youth and young adults, must to change their approach. This qualitative study compares two youth and young adult-serving, AmeriCorps-affiliated conservation organizations. Data were collected via staff participant interviews and review of organization artifacts. Framing this research in decolonial theory, and specifically in TEK, a matrix was developed which serves as an entry point for well-meaning, justice-orientated organizations who seek to decolonize their operations and practices. Findings suggest that organizations who decolonize have higher representation of Indigenous people in corps, staff and board positions.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.31274/etd-20210114-91

Copyright Owner

Elizabeth McAllister

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

File Size

78 pages

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