"Red Waters": Contesting marine space as Indian place in the United States Pacific Northwest
AuthorBarton, Karen Samantha
AdvisorYoung, Emily H.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis study investigates the social construction of race, marine space, and resource conflict in one U.S. Native American community: the Makah Reservation, Neah Bay, Washington. A combination of archival records, news media coverage, and semistructured interviews is employed in order to expose the historic roots of the Makah Tribe's recent movement to reclaim control over traditional marine spaces. In particular, this research focuses on the gray whale controversy period between 1995-2000, when, to the consternation of conservation non-governmental organizations (NGOs), Makahs organized to resume a limited, cultural based harvest of the California gray whale in Pacific waters. This paper suggests that extant conflicts which developed between the Makah people, on one hand, and anti-whaling NGOs on another, were as much a struggle over marine space as they were a struggle over gray whale resources. Three central conclusions are drawn from the study. First, it is shown that Pacific marine "space" serves as a distinct, historical territory upon which many of the Makahs' political, cultural, and economic processes take form. Second, this research argues that NGO efforts to arrest the Makahs' contemporary whale harvest in offshore Pacific waters have been interpreted by tribal members as a neocolonialist invasion into what was once customarily managed marine space. Third, these results show how, despite the dominance of anti-whaling NGOs, Makahs have effectively mobilized global media technologies in order to empower themselves politically, transcend the territorial boundaries of the reservation, and reclaim control over the marine environment.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Geography and Regional Development