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Examining the reintroduction of Indigenous cultivation and management practices in state-led parks and protected areas in BC

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Title: Examining the reintroduction of Indigenous cultivation and management practices in state-led parks and protected areas in BC
Author: McGee, Samantha
Department: Department of Geography
Program: Geography
Advisor: Silver, Jennifer
Abstract: In British Columbia, like many places in Canada and beyond, environmental agencies, organizations, and conservation practitioners are grappling with how to address Indigenous dispossession and decolonize conservation. One approach gaining traction is to initiate projects that partner with Indigenous communities to reintroduce cultivation and management practices within the boundaries of parks and protected areas. This research assesses if and how such initiatives may help state-led conservation to move beyond ‘fortress conservation’ in the province. Specifically, it examines the institutional and budgetary structures of Parks Canada and BC Parks and explores how they shape the planning, implementation, and outcomes of actual projects that reintroduce Indigenous cultivation and management practices inside state-led protected areas. Data includes key informant interviews with Parks Canada and BC Parks staff, participant observation notes, and relevant legislation, policy, and public documents. Results show that several projects are underway in BC, most occurring within newer types of protected areas designations. Interviewees stated that these projects help their agencies meet ecological and social mandates and catalyze opportunities for Indigenous communities to utilize lands, waters, and resources within park boundaries. However, data and analysis also suggest that institutional policy, legislative, and budgetary structures are limiting the ongoing potential of projects. Structural changes at the highest level should be considered to institutionalize and adequately resource these practices as a formal mandate of state-led conservation.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/12124
Date: 2017-12


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