Colonialism and the History of Conservation

Presenters: Ava Holliday and Aparna Rajagopal-Durbin, The Avarna Group

In this webinar, we will begin with a foundational exploration of how colonialism is one form of oppression that pervades conservation history. We will discuss the history of colonialism and settler colonialism and its impacts on indigenous peoples of North America, Africans brought as slaves and their descendants, and Mexican citizens who lived in regions of Mexico currently in the southwestern U.S. prior to its colonization and ultimate annexation by the U.S. We will weave social history into conservation history to build greater awareness of the nuances of conservation and a more holistic understanding of the genesis of conservation in North America. We will discuss how colonialism still exists today, and is not just a relic of history. We will end with stories highlighting the efforts of people to decolonize this work today so that participating conservation organizations have an understanding of some ways in which they can work to decolonize their work.

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SLIDE PRESENTATION

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Background Image: Raincoast Conservation Foundation | Jamen Rhodes