Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Environmental Analysis

Reader 1

Zayn Kassam

Reader 2

Nina Karnovsky

Reader 3

Dan Hikuroa

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Rights Information

© 2016 Kyle W. Jensen


Western value systems and ways of knowing the world are in need of serious critique, especially in terms of colonialism and capitalism. These systems, many argue are fundamentally unjust and unsustainable while also working toinvalidate and erase alternative, indigenous ways of knowing. We need to work towards decolonization by both challenging these dominant Western systems, and exploring and supporting alternatives. That the primary intent of this thesis, which aims to engage and compare indigenous and Western worldviews using two specific case studies of land management. The first, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, represents an indigenous Māori approach in a New Zealand context, while the East Bay Regional Park District represents a ‘conventional’ Western approach in a US context. The analysis of these groups was based primarily on management plans and other assorted documents, as well as personal experience working with Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei in particular. The structure and practice of each group were explored separately, and connected with the systems and values of their respective cultural contexts. Comparisons were then made exploring differences in community participation, ways of knowing, and systems of values and belief. The District, while showing significant concern for the environment, was still engaged in limiting and harmful colonial practice. In contrast the practice of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, with its local focus, community engagement, and deep relation with the land, is a worthy source of inspiration in moving towards a world that is more safe, just, and sustainable.