This project examines the social ramifications of recent policy shifts among international NGOs that bifurcate notions of "local people" into two categories: "peasants" and "indigenous people." In studying the creation and implementation of a nature reserve in Southwest China, I will compare two villages, one labeled as indigenous and the other labeled as peasantry. How do these groups engage with these categories, and the subsequently differing policies? Using methods such as cohort analysis and oral histories, this project will explore how these policy shifts have affected ideas of identity, the representations of community, and land use practices. I will show how these two groups interact and debate the meanings of people and place with reserve's planners (the World Wildlife Fund) and managers (Chinese foresters).