Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Urban Studies


Planning and Urban Studies

Major Professor

Ehrenreich, Jeffrey

Second Advisor

Beriss, David

Third Advisor

Striffler, Steven


The Isleños of St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana trace their ancestry to eighteenth century settlers from the Canary Islands. Currently, St. Bernard Parish is home to two separate Canarian heritage organizations: Los Isleños Heritage and Cultural Society and the Canary Islands Descendents Association. This thesis examines how the Isleños are currently renegotiating their cultural identity through the use of heritage via the structure of heritage organizations. I argue that under mounting economic, environmental, and political pressure, people of Canarian descent in St. Bernard Parish have begun to adjust Isleño cultural identity in order to make it more widely inclusive. This is a creative means by which the Isleños attempt to maneuver around the increasingly rapid pace of change and deal with threats to the survival of their culture.


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