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Cultural importance of white pine (Pinus strobus L.) to the Kitcisakik Algonquin community of western Quebec, Canada

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Abstract:

Trees and forests have always played a significant role in the cultural and spiritual lives of societies. Understanding the cultural importance of tree species is necessary to develop socially acceptable forest management and restoration strategies. White pine (Pinus strobus L.) used to be abundant in northeastern North America, including on the ancestral territory of the Kitcisakik Algonquin community (western Quebec, Canada). The community is calling for restoration and sustainable management of white pine on their ancestral territory. As a first step towards this goal, key informant interviews were used to document the cultural importance of white pine to the Kitcisakik community. White pine was perceived as an important component of traditional life, providing several goods and services. White pine is featured in legends, is used as a medicine, provides habitat for flagship wildlife species, and is a prominent part of cultural landscapes. White pine is a cultural keystone species for the Kitcisakik Algonquin community. Local people point to extensive logging as the reason behind white pine decline on the ancestral territory. They suggest that mixed plantations should be used in a culturally adapted restoration strategy.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/cjfr-2012-0514

Affiliations: 1: Canada Research Chair in Aboriginal Forestry, NSERC-UQAT-UQAM Industrial Chair in Sustainable Forest Management, Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, 445 boulevard de l'Université, Rouyn-Noranda, QC J9X 5E4, Canada. 2: Canada Research Chair in Aboriginal Forestry, NSERC-UQAT-UQAM Industrial Chair in Sustainable Forest Management, Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, 445 boulevard de l'Université, Rouyn-Noranda, QC J9X 5E4, Canada. 3: NSERC-UQAT-UQAM Industrial Chair in Sustainable Forest Management, Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, 445 boulevard de l'Université, Rouyn-Noranda, QC J9X 5E4, Canada.

Publication date: January 1, 2013

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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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