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Aboriginal forestry: development of a socioecologically relevant moose habitat management process using local Cree and scientific knowledge in Eeyou Istchee

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Abstract:

Sustainable management of natural ecosystems requires adequate participation of Aboriginal people. This especially includes the joint use of local ecological and scientific knowledge to document natural processes and develop management guidelines. Despite increasing recognition of this principle, endorsed by the international community and several Aboriginal nations, there are very few genuine cases that show significant progress in this discipline. This case is similar in North American forestry where several initiatives have documented Aboriginal land use without ever significantly recognizing local knowledge in the development of forest management guidelines. In the search for innovative solutions on this topic, the Waswanipi Cree Model Forest developed a governance tool that allows Cree land users to translate their needs into management plans. We collaborated on this initiative by developing and testing a participatory approach, allowing the development of moose (Alces alces L.) habitat management guidelines, better adapted to the socioecological context of the Cree. This innovative approach increases mutual understanding between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal managers and favours the social acceptability of the guidelines while contributing to a more sustainable management of this northern and fragile ecosystem. This study will influence stakeholders striving to improve collaborative ecosystem management with Aboriginal people.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1139/x2012-020

Affiliations: 1: Département des sciences du bois et de la forêt, Faculté de foresterie et de géomatique, Université Laval, Québec, QC G1K 7P4, Canada. 2: Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune du Québec, Direction de l’expertise sur la faune et ses habitats, 880 Chemin Sainte-Foy, 2e étage, Québec, QC G1S 4X4, Canada. 3: Faculty of Forestry and Environmental Management, University of New Brunswick, P.O. Box 44555, Fredericton, NB E3B 6C2, Canada. 4: Cree-Québec Forestry Board, 2875 Blvd. Laurier, Local 1180, Québec, QC G1V 2M2, Canada. 5: Waswanipi Cree First Nation, Waswanipi, QC J0Y 3C0, Canada.

Publication date: 2012-04-12

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  • Published since 1971, this monthly journal features articles, reviews, notes and commentaries on all aspects of forest science, including biometrics and mensuration, conservation, disturbance, ecology, economics, entomology, fire, genetics, management, operations, pathology, physiology, policy, remote sensing, social science, soil, silviculture, wildlife and wood science, contributed by internationally respected scientists. It also publishes special issues dedicated to a topic of current interest.
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