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Herring (Wanai) and Well-being: Accounting for Heiltsuk values to inform future resource management and economic development opportunities

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Title: Herring (Wanai) and Well-being: Accounting for Heiltsuk values to inform future resource management and economic development opportunities
Author: Shallard, Maria
Department: Department of Geography
Program: Geography
Advisor: Silver, Jennifer
Abstract: This thesis explores relationships between human well-being and herring in Bella Bella, British Columbia. Building from literature that argues that Western thought and contemporary approaches to coastal economic development and resource management neglect to acknowledge let alone understand other ways of knowing and interacting with the sea, the research gathers and presents interpretations, meanings, and values that members of the Heiltsuk First Nation give to the ocean and herring. Interviews and ethnographic investigations reveal how the harvest, management, and trade of herring roe, which herring spawn on blades of kelp, are integral to individual and collective well-being. These findings highlight that community practices are externally influenced by contested fishery management options between industry and Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and influence efforts to put Aboriginal fishing rights into practice. Findings highlight a range of benefits accrued through community harvest of commercial herring spawn-on-kelp licenses and demonstrate that the Heiltsuk local management system reflects Heiltsuk perspectives on well-being and sovereignty in territorial ocean space. Drawing upon these findings, a case is made for stakeholders invested in the fishery to think about, and manage, the commercial fishery as an opportunity to improve collective/community well-being, rather than just accumulating wealth.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/9253
Date: 2015-09
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