Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

History: M.A.




College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

Robert Galler

Second Advisor

Jason Eden

Third Advisor

Robbie Mann

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

Ojibwe History, Minnesota Conservation, Absent Narratives


A discursive analysis of Minnesota conservation history, with particular emphasis on the establishment of national forests, follows a recognizable pattern of the benign development of federal and state initiatives to ameliorate environmental despoliation around the turn of the twentieth century. Tensions over the creation of bureaucratic institutions to solve these problems are also generally described in terms of binary struggles between local special interests and conservationists who argued over proper management the land and its resources. Absent from these narratives are the indigenous populations who continued to use these lands and resources and resisted federal and state efforts to impede further loss of their homelands. This thesis is a study in the development of worldviews that informed both Euro-American and Ojibwe use of lands and resources in Minnesota before the era of conservation around the turn of the twentieth century. In addition, this work considers how early twentieth century conservation discourse about the establishment of the United States’ first national “forest parks” in Minnesota obscures the agency of Ojibwes in maintaining traditional occupation and use of these contentious lands. This thesis also seeks to fill the gap with Ojibwe absent narratives of persistence and adaptation of traditional ways into the first few decades of the 1900s, as well as continued resistance to the formation of the nation’s first national forests in Minnesota.

Included in

History Commons



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