How Can Urban Parks Support Urban Indigenous Peoples? Exploratory Cases from Saskatoon and Portland




In Anglo settler states, parks and Indigenous peoples interact in myriad ways, given the tight connection between Indigenous peoples and land and that parks are manifestations of settler control of land and heritage. Current park–Indigenous research is limited by a focus on rural locales, despite that more than half of Indigenous peoples live in urban areas. This exploratory paper draws connections between literature rooted in urban Indigenous studies and park management. I argue the literature’s current emphasis on rural locales neglects to consider how urban parks, might contribute to reconciliation if they affirmatively support urban Indigenous identities and cultural activities. I use two mini case studies—the Meewasin Valley Authority (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan) and Fort Vancouver National Historic Site (Portland, Oregon)—to highlight some of the ways in which urban parks can support urban Indigenous peoples’ responses to persistent urban settler-colonialism.