The White Mountain Recreational Enterprise: Bio-Political Foundations for White Mountain Apache Natural Resource Control, 1945–1960
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Among American Indian nations, the White Mountain Apache Tribe has been at the forefront of a struggle to control natural resource management within reservation boundaries. In 1952, they developed the first comprehensive tribal natural resource management program, the White Mountain Recreational Enterprise (WMRE), which became a cornerstone for fighting legal battles over the tribe’s right to manage cultural and natural resources on the reservation for the benefit of the tribal community rather than outside interests. This article examines how White Mountain Apaches used the WMRE, while embracing both Euro-American and Apache traditions, as an institutional foundation for resistance and exchange with Euro-American society so as to reassert control over tribal eco-cultural resources in east-central Arizona.