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Co-management under the Inuvialuit Final Agreement: Bridging the gap between indigenous self-regulation and state-based resource management in the Western Arctic?

Winn, Stephen Nicholas





Renewable resources management in the Canadian North is characterized by duality. Indigenous self-regulatory institutions and scientific, state-based resource management exist side-by-side, although not without conflict. This thesis asserts that neither system alone can effectively manage Northern ecosystems for sustainability. Co-management, an administrative concept that provides native people with a role in renewable resource management decision-making, is defined. The potential for co-management to bridge the gap between the two systems is framed in a model and subsequently examined with reference to the wildlife and fisheries co-management bodies implemented under the Inuvialuit Final Agreement (a comprehensive land claim settlement signed in 1984) in the Western Arctic region of the NWT. While research results demonstrate that there has been some amelioration of the historical exclusion of Inuvialuit harvesters from decision-making, it is concluded that the regime has not facilitated a full integration of the state-based system and Inuvialuit knowledge of the environment and traditional conservation practices. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)

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