Cultural politics and transboundary resource governance in the Salish sea

Emma S. Norman
Native Environmental Science Program, Northwest Indian College, Bellingham, WA, USA; enorman@nwic.edu

ABSTRACT: This paper explores the cultural politics of water governance through the analysis of a new governing body created by indigenous leaders in the Pacific Northwest of North America: The Coast Salish Aboriginal Council. This paper investigates how the administrative structures and physical boundaries of water governance are both socially constructed and politically mobilised. The key moments explored in this article are closely linked to the power dynamics constituted through postcolonial constructions of space. Inclusion of cultural politics of scale will, arguably, provide a more nuanced approach to the study of transboundary environmental governance. This has important implications for the study of natural resource management for indigenous communities, whose traditional homelands are often bifurcated by contemporary border constructions.