Maybe National Park: Consultation, Conservation, and Conflict in the Okanagan-Similkameen


  • Caroline Elizabeth Grego The University of Colorado - Boulder



national park reserves, grasslands, conservation, First Nations, ranching, land use policy, parks and reserves, Okanagan Valley, Similkameen, Txasqin (Mount Kobau), Parks Canada


This article is about the process of making a national park reserve in the South Okanagan - Lower Similkameen region of British Columbia, as reflected in the perspectives of people who live within the community or who are connected to Parks Canada’s decision-making process. For all its local focus, this article rests upon extensive background research: research into the process of making national park nature in Canada; research into land and wildlife management practices; and research on indigenous epistemologies about nature, and the progression of white settler culture in the British Columbia. Still, this article makes its primary contribution through its focus on debates about the proposed national park reserve in the South Okanagan – Lower Similkameen Valley.  The article rests on both historical research into the area and interviews with current residents of the valley. Its purpose is to determine how stakeholders feel connected to the land on which they live and how they think that a national park reserve would change their relationship with the land.  Ultimately, the article sheds light on and helps to understand the attitudes and opinions towards land management held by stakeholders of those areas being targeted for federal conservation, as well as the conflicts and collusions between residents and Parks Canada policies during such processes.

Author Biography

Caroline Elizabeth Grego, The University of Colorado - Boulder

Caroline Grego is a second-year Ph.D. student at the University of Colorado – Boulder’s History Department.  Hailing from South Carolina, Caroline earned her BA in Geography from Middlebury College in Vermont in 2011, and her MA in Geography from the University of British Columbia – Vancouver in 2013.  Her previous work has been about the origins, politics, and history of national parks and conservation in North America.  Making the transition from geography to history, Caroline’s dissertation project will be about the consequences of the 1893 Sea Islands Hurricane in South Carolina.