BCPARF 2022

Day 3: Concurrent Session 13

Conservation Planning in IPCAs

Session Moderator: Tim Burkhart

Session recordings coming soon

Presenter: Norm MacLean – LGL Limited

Abstract:

Long before land borders were drawn, the Kaska Dena lived in the 240,000 square kilometers of our traditional territory. Today, our communities are being put in a position to discuss the lines being drawn that fracture Dena Kayeh. It is the simultaneous desire for exploration and preservation of the land that has become a major narrative in our Country. That ideological clash has created a value-laden and political landscape within Dena Kayeh. In order to repair this disjuncture, we are providing a new narrative and approach that asks us to reframe the way we look at land as if our children’s material and spiritual lives depended on it. Dene K’éh Kusān is how we can redefine this relationship to land stewardship in the Province of BC. Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas allow for our history to move in a circle and bring us back to our traditions but also to a new way of understanding our ancestors’ land and water-based connections. At the end of the day, we know that the Kaska Dene will always be here, and we want to honour this sacred connection that can allow us all to better appreciate and understand areas of key ecological and cultural integrity.

Contributors:

  • Gillian Stavely, Dena Kayeh Institute
  • Corrine Porter, Dena Kayeh Institute
  • Dave Crampton, Arborecos

Acknowledgements:

Long before land borders were drawn, the Kaska Dena lived in the 240,000 square kilometers of our traditional territory. Today, our communities are being put in a position to discuss the lines being drawn that fracture Dena Kayeh. It is the simultaneous desire for exploration and preservation of the land that has become a major narrative in our Country. That ideological clash has created a value-laden and political landscape within Dena Kayeh. In order to repair this disjuncture, we are providing a new narrative and approach that asks us to reframe the way we look at land as if our children’s material and spiritual lives depended on it. Dene K’éh Kusān is how we can redefine this relationship to land stewardship in the Province of BC. Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas allow for our history to move in a circle and bring us back to our traditions but also to a new way of understanding our ancestors’ land and water-based connections. At the end of the day, we know that the Kaska Dene will always be here, and we want to honour this sacred connection that can allow us all to better appreciate and understand areas of key ecological and cultural integrity.

Presenter: Sophia Graham – University of Northern British Columbia

Abstract:

This study examines historical and current socio-political factors that influence the uptake of Indigenous knowledges and perspectives in park planning and management. My methods include a discourse analysis of government documents and qualitative interviews with BC Parks staff, and Gitxsan First Nation Chiefs and Elders. The data I collect will be used to develop a practical, reconciliatory framework for the inclusion of First Nations and their knowledge in BC Parks management plan development. This framework will address relations of power, problematic policies and socio-political factors that limit the inclusion of Indigenous knowledge, and it will promote reconciliation and self-determination as a strategy for social change. This research will contribute empirical evidence to ongoing academic discussions regarding reconciliation, traditional ecological knowledge and Indigenous involvement in park management, in an effort to help address the legacies and current realities of settler colonialism in government institutions. This work responds to our federal government’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action and British Columbia’s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act. Data collection is currently underway and preliminary findings will be presented.

Acknowledgements:

This work is performed on Wet’suwet’en Territory and funding is greatly appreciated from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), BC Recreation and Parks Association and Parks Canada.

Presenter: Christopher Morgan – University of Northern British Columbia

Abstract:

Systematic conservation planning is a holistic way of assessing a landscape to identify which portions hold the greatest ecological value. This research project is an application of SCP principles and tools for a specific geography –Tsay Keh Dene Nation Territory in north-central British Columbia, Canada. Working with the Tsay Keh Dene community, we articulated conservation goals and gathered a set of conservation features in order to identify locations of key ecological and cultural value within the Territory. These included umbrella species, significant ecosystem characteristics, and landscape diversity, among others, for inclusion in a geospatial analysis. In turn, we determined targets for each feature based on ecological and cultural best practices for use in a conservation planning tool that uses the prioritizr R package. This effort also examined climate change and connectivity impacts on conservation, comparing which lands are most worth conserving today versus 30 and 60 years from now. Finally, this work explored the interweaving of Traditional Ecological Knowledge with the Western science-based SCP framework to ensure a more holistic and inclusive outcome.

Contributors:

  • Dr. Pamela Wright, University of Northern British Columbia

Acknowledgements:

Work performed on the unceded Territory of the Lheidli T’enneh with a visit to Tsay Keh Dene Territory. Funding provided by Tsay Keh Dene Nation, Mitacs, Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative; in-kind expertise from Chu Cho Environmental.

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