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The connection between wildlife co-management and indigenous well-being: What does the academic literature reveal?

Snook, Jamie; Cunsolo, Ashlee; Ford, James; Furgal, Chris; Jones-Bitton, Andria; Harper, Sherilee L.



Wellbeing, Space and Society



Globally, co-management systems have emerged as negotiated agreements designed to share responsibilities among Indigenous Peoples and State governments for the management of fish and wildlife. Co-management practitioners and policies regularly make decisions that influence the ways in which Indigenous Peoples interact with the lands, waters, and natural resources. The goal of this systematic critical review was to characterize the ways in which published research on co-management governance systems in Canada did or did not explicitly engage with Indigenous Peoples’ health and well-being as a key focus. ProQuest®, Web of Science™, and JSTOR® databases were searched to identify literature published from 1973 to 2020 about co-management systems in Canada. The citations and articles were screened for relevance by two independent reviewers, using inclusion criteria developed a priori. Relevant articles were analyzed descriptively and qualitatively, using a health and well-being framework developed as an analytical framework for this study by integrating key attributes from three Indigenous social determinants of health models in Canada. The search resulted in 9,905 citations; 74 publications met the inclusion criteria and were analyzed. None of the included publications explicitly analyzed co-management from a public health or well-being lens; however, social determinants of health topics were implicit, prevalent, and connected to co-management throughout the literature. Social determinants of Indigenous Peoples’ health, such as land and ecosystems, food systems and security, Indigenous knowledge systems, culture, self-determination, and colonialism, were frequently represented in the co-management literature, even if not directly framed by the authors from a health perspective.

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