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Of moose and man : collaborating to identify First Nations’ priorities for cumulative impact assessment… McGuigan, Erin Kathleen 2006

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OF MOOSE AND MAN: COLLABORATING TO IDENTIFY FIRST NATIONS' PRIORITIES FOR CUMULATIVE IMPACT ASSESSMENT IN NORTHEAST BRITISH COLUMBIA by ERIN KATHLEEN MCGUIGAN B . S c , University of British Columbia, 2003 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Forestry) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA June 2006 © Erin Kathleen McGuigan, 2006 ABSTRACT In northeast British Columbia, industrial development is proceeding at a rapid rate. While it is playing and integral role in the provincial economy, there is increasing concern that the cumulative impacts of this development may be causing environmental damage and potentially infringing on the unique rights of First Nations in the region. This project involved collaboration with the Treaty 8 Tribal Association and member First Nations to identify the concerns that should be addressed in a cumulative impact assessment. To minimize the pitfalls associated with imposing a research agenda and methods at the community-level, we took a community-based collaborative approach. Multiple interviews and archival research identified multiple concerns that extend well beyond the natural environment. For the purpose of guiding cumulative impact assessment, these concerns were broken down into six themes: land-based activities; human health; identity, culture and sense of place; access to financial benefits; power, rights and jurisdiction; and intrinsic value of nature. The inclusion of non-ecological values and the identification of concerns not assessed under regional resource management approaches emphasize the need to establish a means to include First Nations in the assessment of cumulative impacts. The diversity amongst the concerns identified by the communities and their capacity to participate in such a study highlights the need for an open and flexible approach to collaboration. Finally, the difficulties encountered during this project illustrate the need for both researchers and communities to proceed with care and caution when entering info collaborative research partnerships. TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT ii TABLE O F CONTENTS iii LIST O F TABLES ; v LIST O F FIGURES vi ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS vii 1.0 PROJECT INTRODUCTION 1 1.1 BACKGROUND 1 1.2 RESEARCH QUESTIONS 4 1.3 PROJECT OBJECTIVES 5 1.4 THESIS ORGANIZATION 5 2.0 ASSESSING THE CUMULATIVE IMPACTS O F INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT O N FOREST-DEPENDENT COMMUNITIES 6 2.1 INTRODUCTION 6 2.2 ECOLOGICAL IMPACTS OF INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT 7 2.3 THE IMPACTS OF INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT ON FOREST-DEPENDENT COMMUNITIES: BEYOND ECOLOGICAL VALUES 8 2.4 WHAT ARE CUMULATIVE IMPACTS? 9 2.5 MEANS OF ASSESSMENT 12 2.5 BEGIN AT THE BEGINNING: WHERE WE NEED TO CHANGE AND IMPROVE 19 2.6 SUMMARY 21 3.0 CONTEXT: A DESCRIPTION O F NORTHEAST BRITISH COLUMBIA 22 3.1 GEOGRAPHIC AND ECOLOGICAL DESCRIPTION 22 3.2 INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT IN NORTHEAST BRITISH COLUMBIA 26 3.3 RESOURCE MANAGEMENT IN NORTHEAST BRITISH COLUMBIA 27 3.4 FIRST NATIONS' RIGHTS 29 3.4.1 Treaty and Aboriginal Rights 29 3.4.2 Duty to Consult 31 3.4.3 Traplines 32 3.5 PROFILE OF FIRST NATIONS RESEARCH PARTNERS 33 3.5.3 Participating First Nations 35 4.0 METHODOLOGY AND RESEARCH DESIGN 38 4.1 WORLDVIEW AND RATIONALE FOR METHOD CHOICES 38 4.2 RESEARCH DESIGN AND PROCESS 40 4.2.1 Development of Methods 40 4.2.2 Sampling: Community, Study Area and Participant Selection 40 4.2.3 Communication, Collaboration and Capacity Building........ 41 4.2.4 Field Visits and Participant Observation 44 4.2.5 Archival Research 45 4.2.6 Interviews , 46 4.2.7 Analytical Methods 48 4.2.8 Research Standards , 49 4.2.9 Ethics and Consent...... '. 50 4.2.10 Critical Analysis of Methods 50 iii 5.0 CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF METHODS 52 5.1 OVERCOMING CHALLENGES AND FINDING OPPORTUNITIES 52 5.1.1 Timelines 52 5.1.2 Consent to Participate 53 5.1.3 The Risks of Sharing Information 54 5.1.4 Mutual Understanding 57 5.1.5 Bridging the Cultural Gaps 58 5.1.6 Past Projects and Archival Research 59 5.1.7 Community Researchers 60 5.1.8 Participant Reviews 60 5.1.9 Community Review of Documents 61 5.1.10 Trust and Commitments 61 5.2 MEETING RESEARCH OBJECTIVES 62 5.2.1 Increasing Community Capacity 62 5.2.2 Research Potential of Collaborative Partnerships 63 5.2.3 Diversity In and Amongst Communities 63 5.3 SUMMARY... 63 6.0 IDENTIFIED COMMUNITY CONCERNS 65 6.1 LAND-BASED ACTIVITIES 66 6.1.1 Hunting... 66 6.1.2 Trapping and Snaring 69 6.1.3 Fishing 71 6.1.4 Food Gathering 72 6.1.5 Gathering Medicines 74 6.1.6 Teaching and Cultural Sharing 75 6.1.7 Camping 76 6.2 HUMAN HEALTH 76 6.3 IDENTITY, CULTURE AND SENSE OF PLACE 77 6.5 ACCESS TO FINANCIAL BENEFITS 79 6.5 POWER, RIGHTS AND JURISDICTION 79 6.6 INTRINSIC VALUE OF NATURE 80 6.7 SIGNIFICANT THEMES AND COMPONENTS 80 6.8 NOTEWORTHY CONTRADICTIONS 81 7.0 DISCUSSION.. 82 7.1 AN EXAMINATION OF SIGNIFICANT THEMES, SIMILARITIES AND CONTRADICTIONS 82 7.2 LOOKING AT THE COMMUNITY IDENTIFIED CONCERNS 87 7.3.1 Collaboration. 90 7.3.2 The Next Steps in Cumulative Impact Assessment 91 7.3.3 Moose, Moose, Moose.. 92 7.3.4 Including Social and Cultural Values 92 7.3.5 Proprietary and Sensitive Information 92 7.3.6 Communicating Results : 93 7.4 LIMITATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH PROJECTS ... 93 8.0 CONCLUSION AND SUMMARY 95 REFERENCES.................... 98 APPENDIX I: BEHAVIOURAL RESEARCH ETHICS BOARD CERTIFICATE OF APPROVAL.... 107 APPENDIX II: GENERAL INTERVIEW OUTLINE 108 < iv LIST OF TABLES Table Page 1. Cumulative effect issues and First Nations interests identified by A X Y S Environmental Consulting Ltd. and Salmo Consulting Inc. (2003) 13 2. Ecosystem components and V E C s addressed by A X Y S Environmental Consulting Ltd. and Salmo Consulting Inc. (2003) 14 3. Overview of commonly used indicators under federal and provincial assessments of cumulative impacts.. 16-17 4. Examples of mammals, birds and fish typical of northeast British Columbia 23-25 5. Breakdown of First Nations and interviews 41 v LIST OF FIGURES Figure Page 1. Process for assessment of cumulative impacts involving Communities 19 2. Map of Treaty No. 8 (adapted from Treasury Board of Canada 2005) ...31 3. Map of British Columbian Signatories of Treaty No. 8 (adapted from Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation 2006) 34 vi ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to thank Chief and Council from Doig River First Nation, Fort Nelson First Nation, Prophet River First Nation, Saulteau First Nations and West Moberly First Nations. I feel so much gratitude to the Elders and the community members who taught me so much more than I ever anticipated learning. I would also like to thank the hard work done by the community researchers who worked directly on this project and the staff members in the lands offices. I must thank the Treaty 8 Tribal association for initiating this work and the Sustainable Forest Management Network for funding the project. I would also like to thank Dr. John Innes for giving me the opportunity to join this project and showing faith in me. For three years, he was consistently a supportive, encouraging and inspiring supervisor. I would also like to thank the contributions of my committee members, Dr. George Hoberg and Dr. Charles Menzies. I must thank Dr. Alejandro Rojas for his help and guidance Dr. Kelly Bannister for her support in the field. I would also like to thank my external examiner, Dr. Rob Kozak for his contributions and guidance. I must acknowledge both the academic guidance and the friendship of Denise Allen. Without her, I certainly would not have made it into the field or through my defence. I would also like to thank Judi Krzyzinowski for her collaboration and friendship. I learned so much from all of the members of the Sustainable Forests Management Lab, thank you Gordon Hickey, Anne Mathey, Craig Nitschke, Pamela Perrault, Garth Greskiw, Alison McHugh, Sonia Murray, Aynslie Ogden, Joleen Timko and Guangyu Wang. Thank you to all of the other graduate students who kept me inspired to continue learning. I must thank Diane McGuigan for both the emotional and financial support. I would also like to thank Peter McGuigan. Thank you to Bruce McGuigan for the ongoing encouragement. Thank you to my dear friends, Karen Duthie, Rashid Hille and Erika Petro. Finally, I must acknowledge the support, guidance and editorial services of Craig Holm. vii 1.0 PROJECT INTRODUCTION 1.1 B A C K G R O U N D Since contact, non-indigenous settlers have imposed spiritual, cultural and political values on the First Nations of Canada. As a result, many First Nations' communities are currently fighting to maintain their spiritually and culturally integral relationships with the landscape (Boyd and Williams-Davidson 2000). Their efforts are impeded by ongoing legal and legislative confusion surrounding the realization of First Nations' rights. To defend their rights legally and to participate in contemporary planning and resource management processes, First Nations require tools that demonstrate the impacts of development in their traditional use areas and on their land-use rights, interests and values. Although these tools should not be limited to scientifically informed studies, to be useful in negotiations, they must be acceptable to government, First Nations leaders and community members. Unlike most First Nations in British Columbia, in the northeast the signatories of Treaty No. 8 have the treaty-guaranteed right to "pursue their usual vocations of hunting, trapping and fishing" on unoccupied Crown land (Treaty No. 8, 1899). Furthermore, all First Nations in Canada have constitutionally protected rights to continue traditional land-use practices (Section 35, Canadian Constitution Act, 1982). As a result of the fiduciary relationship that exists between the Crown and First Nations, both government and industry have a court-defined obligation to consult with First Nations and to adequately address their concerns regarding the impacts of land and resource use decisions1. Despite First Nations' rights and the legal obligations of Government and industry, no process or policy exists that adequately ensures protection from the cumulative impacts of development. Cumulative impacts "refer to the accumulation of changes in environmental systems over time and across space in an additive or interactive manner" (Spaling 1994:232). A key element of cumulative impacts is the concept that no disturbance or event occurs in isolation and, in order to assess the outcomes, assessment must be made within the context of other past, present and future ecosystem disturbances. In northeast British Columbia, there has not been adequate assessment of cumulative impacts and more specifically, there has been no assessment of cumulative impacts framed from First Nations' perspectives (Korber 2001). This oversight has occurred despite First Nations having 1 R. v. Delgamuukw [1998] 1 C.N.L.R. 14 (S. C. C), Haida Nation v. B. C. and Weyerhaeuser [2002] B. C. CA. 147, Haida Nation v. B. C. and Weyerhaeuser [2002] B.C. CA. 462, Taku River Tlingit First Nation v. Ringstad et al. [2002] B.C.C.A. 462 1 unique rights and interests in participating in planning and resource management processes. The Environmental Assessment process addresses cumulative impacts on a project by project basis, and the impacts of forestry are not assessed under the process (Hegmann et al. 1999). This process has only limited direct involvement of First Nations and is certainly not framed from their perspective. With only modest First Nations' consultation2, the British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission and the Muskwa-Kechika Advisory Board funded the development of a framework and pilot studies for the assessment of cumulative impacts in the region (AXYS Environmental Consulting Ltd. & Salmo Consulting Inc. 2003). In addition to failing to collaboratively identify ecosystem values prioritized by the First Nations in the region, the framework employed a computer model that is not spatially explicit and therefore is unable to meet the needs of the First Nations. Treaty No. 8 includes approximately 270,000 km 2 of the northeast corner or British Columbia. Although northeast B.C. is sparsely populated3, since 1954 expansion of industrial development such as fossil fuel extraction and forestry has proceeded at a rapid rate. In 2002, the region produced 34 million cubic meters of gas (Ministry of Energy and Mines 2004a) and there are currently over 17,000 oil wells (Ministry of Energy and Mines 2004a). There is also potential for the extraction of over 2.5 million cubic meters of coalbed methane. The current provincial government intends to accelerate oil and gas development in the northeast by streamlining regulations and enhancing infrastructure (Ministry of Energy and Mines 2003; Ministry of Energy and Mines 2004b; Ministry of Energy and Mines 2004c). Between 1981 and 2003, the Annual Allowable Cut in northeast British Columbia (based on Dawson Creek Timber Supply Area, Fort Nelson Timber Supply Area, Fort St. John Timber Supply Area and Tree Farm License 48) has doubled (Ministry of Forests and Range 2005). Treaty No. 8 First Nations in British Columbia predominantly include people from the Cree, Dene Tha', Dunne-za and Saulteau cultural groups. Despite cultural historical, geographic and economic differences, there is a shared concern that the cumulative impacts of oil and gas extraction, forestry, hydroelectric generation, mining, agriculture and other industrial activities are irrevocably altering the forest ecosystem and potentially infringing on the First Nations' rights, interests and values associated with the ecosystem. 2 Prophet River First Nation was the only Treaty No. 8 community to attend a planning session ( A X Y S Environmental Consulting Ltd. & Salmo Consulting Inc. 2003) 3 In 2003 the population of the northeast was 60,800. This is less than 1.6% of the population of B.C. (BC Stats 2004) 2 In response to the rate of development, potential impacts, and lack of satisfactory assessment, the Treaty 8 Tribal Association 4 approached the Sustainable Forest Management Network5 for assistance in a cumulative impact assessment. At the Workshop on Cumulative Effects of Development in the Treaty 8 Area: Exploring a Research Program, Dr. John Innes from the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia was identified as a potential academic partner and principal investigator. In 2003, the Treaty 8 Tribal Association and Dr. Innes secured funding for a pilot project to investigate the cumulative impacts of industrial development on the forests in northeast British Columbia and the project was initiated. Partner meetings were held in the fall of 2003 to begin the process of framing of the project. The aim of the cumulative impact study is to work with First Nations, government, industry and other partners to develop a tool that will help guide future development in the forests of northeast British Columbia by assessing the cumulative impacts of industrial development on First Nations in the region. To facilitate the development of an effective tool, it is necessary to ensure that the concerns of First Nations are adequately addressed. Blueberry River, Doig River, Fort Nelson, Dene Tsaa Tse K'Nai (Prophet River), Saulteau and West Moberly First Nations expressed written support for the cumulative impact pilot project and a willingness to participate as research partners. Halfway First Nation participated in some planning meetings. Fort Nelson, Prophet River, Saulteau and West Moberly First Nations were active participants and collaborators in this stage of the project and Doig River First Nation played an extremely supportive role and helped guide the research. The initial stages of cumulative impact assessment typically involve the identification of valued ecosystem components (VECs) (Beanlands and Duinker 1983; Hegmann et al. 1999). V E C s are prioritized resources, environmental features or ecological processes used to identify appropriate indicators and to establish limits of acceptable environmental change. According to Hegmann et al. (1999), V E C s can be identified by weighing stakeholder and expert concerns, elicited from questionnaires and brief workshops. 4 "T8TA is a service delivery organization that is funded by the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (DIAND: Tribal Council Funding) to provide advisory services and claims research." (Treaty 8 Tribal Association 2006) more information is available at http://www.treaty8.bc.ca/welcome.php 5 The S F M N is part of the non-profit Canadian Network of Centres of Excellence. Based at the University of Alberta, the S F M N was established in 1995. More information is available at http://sfm-1 .biology.ualberta.ca/english/network/en aboutus.htm. 3 According to Fischer (2000:217) "...local knowledge plays an important role in problem identification, definition, and legitimation, not to mention any solutions that may be put forward... knowledge of the local citizen's understandings of the problem is essential to effectively identifying and defining the problem". Stevenson (1996) and Usher (2000, 2003) stress that when working with First Nations, V E C s should be identified from an "aboriginal perspective". Even the concept of V E C s , as currently defined, may be in conflict with traditional First Nations' worldviews. Research involving First Nations' traditional ecological knowledge requires an approach that differs from standard Western research because traditional ecological knowledge may be holistic, contextual, dynamic, culturally significant (Berkes 1999), involved, experiential, site-specific, grounded in place and particularistic. Standard research methods such as questionnaires and structured interviews decontextualize and compartmentalize information. In many First Nations' cultures, direct questions are culturally inappropriate (Wildlife Lands and Environment Department and Autsyl K'e Dene First Nation 2002) and as result, provide a poor measure of community priorities. By collaborating with the communities and the Treaty 8 Tribal Association, we developed culturally appropriate methods that enabled us to come to a common understanding of what the current environmental priorities are and how they can be used to guide a cumulative impact assessment. Collaboration and participation provided a framework for bringing the normative together with the scientific (Fischer 2000:19) for the purposes of guiding the cumulative impact assessment pilot project. 1.2 R E S E A R C H QUESTIONS The questions that ultimately guided this research were: • What are the land-use rights, values and interests that are currently of the utmost6 concern to First Nations communities in northeast British Columbia? • What environmental7 components are necessary to maintain these rights, values and interests? 6 The word utmost is intended to indicate that this work represents a limited subset of the concerns. Included in this work are concerns that were identified at a point in time in direct relation to the discussion of cumulative impacts. Concerns that are not addressed in this project are in now way less important or of less value to the communities. They simply were not identified for this assessment of cumulative impacts. 4 • What are the current industrial land-use practices that are causing concern at the community level? 1.3 PROJECT OBJECTIVES Both the research questions and methods were influenced by the following research objectives: • To ensure that the knowledge held by the community guides the cumulative impact assessment by exploring the potential for a knowledge-integrative approach that does not place traditional ecological knowledge in a position that is subordinate to knowledge considered "scientific" in origin; • To facilitate the development of community capacity (including skills, access to information resources and ties between the communities and researchers at the University of British Columbia) to conduct projects such as this in the future; • To demonstrate that a collaborative partnership can provide an effective approach to research, and explore the implications for resource management; and • To explore an understanding of the diversity amongst and within First Nations communities, and the implications this has for resource management. 1.4 THESIS ORGANIZATION The following chapter reviews the current literature on cumulative impacts and the effects of industrial development on forest-dependent communities, setting the stage for the approach that was employed in this project. The third chapter outlines the natural, cultural and socio-economic context of this research. Chapter 4.0 describes the methods and the underlying philosophical assumptions and is followed by a critical analysis of these methods in Chapter 5.0. Chapter 6.0 addresses the research questions, outlining the land-use rights, interests and values that were identified by the participants. Chapter 7.0 discusses the significance of these results and the final chapter reviews the significant findings. The final chapter summarizes and concludes the thesis. For this project, environment is not limited to the natural environment (Innes et al. 2005). 5 2.0 ASSESSING THE CUMULATIVE IMPACTS OF INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT ON FOREST-DEPENDENT COMMUNITIES In this chapter I review the potential impacts of industrial development and explore various means of assessing cumulative impacts from a community perspective. 2.1 INTRODUCTION Industrial development results in a spectrum of ecological, social, cultural and economic changes. As a result, forestry, oil and gas, mining and other forms of industry have both positive and negative outcomes for forest-dependent communities. While governments, industry, resource managers and communities struggle over the assessment of industrial impacts and the distribution of benefits, development continues to alter ecosystems and communities incrementally. Developing a means to evaluate the combined effects these activities have on forest-dependent communities and the natural resources they depend on is of the utmost importance. Unfortunately, the dialogue surrounding the appropriate means of assessment is clouding the ultimate purpose of tackling the issue, and subsequently obfuscating the solution. In order to assess the impacts of development from the perspective of forest-dependent indigenous communities, one must employ a holistic approach and set clear, community and culturally appropriate objectives. To put it simply, the ends must determine the means. Watts (1989) points out that deforestation involves a struggle over productive resources, production strategies and property rights. Colfer (1995:5) goes one step further stating: "There is growing recognition that many people living in forests have not been treated 'fairly', that their resources have been usurped by more powerful individuals or organizations and that their well-being has been adversely affected in a variety of ways." Equitable distribution of impacts and benefits requires accurate assessment of these multiple or cumulative effects. This daunting task requires recognition that the impacts of industrial development extend beyond the natural environment, also impinging on social, economic and cultural priorities. It is these unique priorities or values that must frame the approach to assessment and present the principal hurdle when managers, researchers and communities collaborate. 6 As Mayers and Bass (2004:9) state: "...forest issues can be highly contentious, because specific groups of people understand them and value them very differently. The values which people place on forests vary greatly, depending upon the culture and social group in question, and the roles which forests play in their livelihoods and quality of life..." This concept of culture-specific forest values is of particular pertinence when examining industrial impacts on indigenous communities. While generalization is inherently perilous, indigenous communities are typically characterized by a culture and society that is uniquely bound to and defined by the natural environment Adequate assessment of the multiple impacts of industrial development on forest-dependent communities requires a holistic, inter-disciplinary perspective that is not limited by the reductionist approaches commonly associated with the scientific method. Researchers must employ methods that allow for the reality that the natural environment represents different values to different people and that it is not explicitly distinct from social, cultural and spiritual values. These differing ways of knowing the environment must frame any assessment of impacts. If, however, a clear objective is kept in mind, the enquiry need not be overly complicated. 2.2 ECOLOGICAL IMPACTS OF INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT Industrial development frequently alters the natural environment through impacts such as pollution, soil degradation and ecological change including impacts on wildlife and wildlife habitat. Researchers have found that caribou {Rangifer tarandus) avoid habitat immediately adjacent to oil and gas activity (Dyer 1999, Dyer et al. 2001, Dyer et al. 2002, Nellemann and Cameron 1996, Nelleman and Cameron 1998, Nelleman et al. 2001) or experience a significant reduction in their seasonal energy budget due to industry-related disturbance (Bradshaw et al. 1997, Bradshaw et al. 1998). New roads and roads near critical habitat are linked to moose (Alces alces) mortalities due to collisions with vehicles (Lavsund and Sandegren 1991, Bangs et al. 1999). Effects of industry however, are not always direct and activity maybe indirectly linked to ecological change. Linear infrastructure associated with industrial development, such as forestry and oil and gas, is linked to higher rates of wolf predation in caribou (James 1999, James and Stuart-Smith 2000). Clearcuts provide suitable habitat for moose and increase 7 their vulnerability to hunters (Racey et al. 2000). Grizzly bear (Ursus arctol) were found not to avoid industrial activity and as a result are more likely to come into conflicts with humans -resulting in increased mortality rates (McLellan and Shackleton 1989). Understanding both the effects of industry on ecological components and the intricate relationship that exists between the natural environment and communities is integral to assessing the cumulative impacts of development. 2.3 THE IMPACTS OF INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT ON FOREST-DEPENDENT COMMUNITIES: BEYOND ECOLOGICAL VALUES The social, cultural and economic effects of industrial development on forest-dependent communities vary both within and between communities and cultures. An increased dependence on commercial, natural-resource-based economies ultimately means that forest-dependent communities are affected by market fluctuations. Although some general links have been recognized between development and community well-being, many of the relationships are unclear. Economic downturns, for example, are associated with a decline in community well-being (Kaufman and Kaufman 1946). Industry changes and restructuring can result in increased poverty rates in forest-dependent communities (Beckley and Korber 1995:18). Alternatively, boom towns experience rapid population growth. This influx of people is often associated with increases in suicide rates, substance abuse and crime rates (Beckley 1995). Despite a burgeoning literature, the links between development and community well-being remain less clear for indigenous communities. It is likely that the cultural, spiritual and social ties to the land amplify these impacts. For example, looking at a case study from the Russian Far East, the timber industry provides local employment and plays a significant role in the economy of indigenous communities (Sasaki 2003). Simultaneously, deforestation and the associated ecological change are depriving indigenous people of the resources and territory required to sustain their traditional practices of hunting, fishing and gathering. This loss has the effect of eroding their cultural values. Sasaki (2003) suggests that the attrition of these values and the marginalization of hunting are resulting in a loss of the conservation ethics that previously limited the exploitation of wildlife. While development of the forest industry provides economic opportunity, it does so at the expense of local cultures. 8 Nygren (2000) outlines the colonization of an unidentified Costa Rican region. Until the last century, the indigenous people survived by practising small-scale swidden agriculture, mixed home gardening, hunting and gathering. With the development of transportation infrastructure in the region and state-run initiatives to encourage colonization, and a transition to agrarian livelihoods, the native forests were cleared and the area settled. This inward migration, together with the cumulative impacts of forestry and agriculture, limited indigenous peoples' access to the land base, resulting in increased state control over the population's livelihood and cultural sustainability. Overlooking the political changes would ultimately result in an inaccurate depiction of the populations' experience of cumulative impacts. As with the Russian example, the environmental impacts of development exist within a greater social, cultural, economic and political context, and extend beyond the physical environment. A clear understanding of the process requires addressing the rights and interests of indigenous, forest-dependent communities, and gaining an understanding of. how the combined or cumulative impacts of industrial land-use affect these rights and interests. While the concept of cumulative impacts is compatible with the holistic nature of many indigenous peoples' worldviews, the meaningful assessment of these interconnected impacts is mired in the confusion that surrounds both definitions and process. 2.4 WHAT A R E CUMULATIVE IMPACTS? The terms cumulative effects and cumulative impacts have become standard in the lexicon of resource management. In Canada, cumulative impacts have been addressed under the Federal Environmental Assessment process since 1995 (Hegmann et al. 1999). Provincial regulations in Alberta8 require cumulative impacts be addressed. British Columbia, they are generally only described if a Canadian Environmental Assessment is triggered (British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office 2004). Amongst practitioners and researchers, there is ongoing uncertainty regarding the definition(s) of, and the distinctions between, cumulative effects and cumulative impacts. They may be distinguished based on the presumed negative inference of impacts (Preston and Bedford 1988), or based on the approach that impacts equate to disturbances resulting in effects (Risser 1988). Furthermore, cumulative impacts and effects may be limited to the environment Alberta Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act 9 (Bain et al. 1989, Canter and Kamath 1995, Hegmann et al. 1999), or may include the social, cultural and economic impacts of activities (Stakhiv 1988). There is enduring discussion over the appropriate scale for the assessment of cumulative impacts. Under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Process, cumulative impact assessments must "assess effects over a larger (i.e., "regional") area that may include cross-jurisdictional boundaries" (Hegmann et al. 1999). Researchers also advocate a regional approach as the only means to avoid ongoing erosion of the environment (Stakhiv 1988). Regardless, cumulative impacts are generally managed on a project-by-project basis and the management of impacts is hampered by the limitations of government jurisdictions. Assessment of cumulative impacts is a relative activity. At some point, the level of change becomes unsustainable or unacceptable relative to a previous or alternate state of the environment. Defining an appropriate reference point from which to assess impacts is a key issue. Although federal guidelines suggests that cumulative effects assessments should include a discussion of historical activities and developments (Hegmann et al. 1999), the process generally refers only to the current status of the environment. This is due to a lack of quantitative information and a lack of confidence in qualitative data (Hegmann et al. 1999). With reference to the American National Environmental Policy Act, Stakhiv (1988) suggests that the practice of using current conditions as a baseline renders the effects of past actions as part of the baseline rather than a factor in the cumulative impacts. Pauly (1995) also cautions that accepting current ecosystem conditions as an ecological baseline results in the acceptance of an ever-worsening ecological state. According to McCold and Saulsbury (1996), an appropriate baseline for impact assessment is the historical point at which the resource or ecosystem component of interest was most abundant. Alternatively, Morgan etal. (1994) advocate the concept of natural range of variation, asserting that impacts are excessive when ecological cycles fluctuate outside of the natural or undisturbed range of variation. Due to the difficultly of defining natural, historic range of variation, the Montreal Process Technical Advisory Committee (2006) recently recommended the exclusion of this concept from criteria and indicators of sustainable forest management. Whether or not historical range of variation should include ecosystem management practices of indigenous populations, is unresolved. 10 Another approach to ecological baselines advocates the maintenance of undisturbed reference sites of similar ecological type to determine baseline conditions (Arcese and Sinclair 1997). Arcese and Sinclair (1997) argue that there should be no attempts made to maintain current ecological conditions in these reserves, and that human interference should be monitored and restricted. Quibbling over baselines, scale and definitions is ultimately fruitless. When assessing impacts within the context of specific communities, clarity regarding the community-appropriate and purpose-specific conceptual, geographic and temporal boundaries is integral to a successful project. Ultimately, these boundaries will provide a working definition of cumulative impacts. The imposition of inappropriate boundaries will hinder the project and result in an inaccurate portrayal of the impacts of industry-caused change. The appropriate scale and baseline for addressing the cumulative impacts of industrial development on forest-dependent communities should be defined by the perspectives and objectives of those communities. Battiste and Henderson (2000:44) assert that "(indigenous) ecological knowledge is conceptualized as a way of understanding the web of social relationships between a specific group of people...and a place where they have lived since their beginning". With this concept in mind, limiting cumulative impacts to environmental changes may be inappropriate. In order to allow for cultural and contextual distinctions, cumulative impacts may be defined as the accumulation of changes resulting from multiple past, present and future land-uses (modified from Spaling 1994, Hegmann et al. 1999), and may be additive, multiplicative, synergistic or antagonistic (Boyle et al. 1997). Finally, cumulative impact assessment may or may not involve the management and planning process (Smit and Spaling 1995). Through community/researcher collaboration, the definition, scope.and project objectives should be refined on a community and culturally-specific basis. These objectives will result in a project-specific determination of scale, baseline and scope. In short, to achieve a meaningful assessment of the impacts of industrial development on a given community, the questions of what, where, when and why must be clearly defined. Preconceived notions of the limits of cumulative impacts must be discarded. 11 2.5 MEANS O F A S S E S S M E N T Moving beyond semantics, what are the logistical means of assessing the effects of multiple industrial land-uses on forest-dependent communities? In 1995, Smit and Spaling identified ten types of cumulative impact evaluation methods: spatial analysis, network analysis, biogeographic analysis, interactive analysis, ecological modeling, expert opinion, multi-criteria evaluation, programming models, and land suitability evaluation and process guidelines such as the process required as part of an Environmental Assessment. The methods differ based on process, scale, technology and objectives. While Smit and Spaling's summary fails to discuss how prevalent and/or promising each of the methods is, it does illustrate the point that there are multiple approaches to assessing cumulative impacts and that none are predominantly accepted. In northeast British Columbia, the Oil and Gas Commission and Muskwa-Kechika Advisory Board funded the development of a framework for the assessment and management of cumulative impacts (AXYS Environmental Consulting Ltd. & Salmo Consulting Inc. 2003). The framework describes a process that will monitor and manage cumulative impacts at both the project and the regional level. Incorporating process guidelines, the framework is based on the computer model A L C E S (A Landscape Cumulative Effects Simulator). A L C E S aspatially quantifies the landscape changes resulting from human and/or natural disturbances. The confusion surrounding cumulative impacts and their assessment extends to the concept of V E C s and the whether assessment should be limited to ecosystem components or broadened to include social, cultural and economic impacts. According to AXYS Environmental Consulting Ltd. and Salmo Consulting Inc. (2003:31), V E C s are "potentially affected environmental components that are of value to people or which have intrinsic value". In their proposed framework for northeast British Columbia, AXYS Environmental Consulting Ltd. and Salmo Consulting Inc. address five ecosystem components and multiple industrial and non-industrial "cumulative effect issues" and First Nations issues (Table 1) that were identified with very limited First Nations involvement. 12 Tablel Cumulative effect issues and First Nations interests identified by AXYS Environmental Consulting Ltd. and Salmo Consulting Inc. (2003) Cumulative Effect Issues First Nations Interests • Oil and gas • Hunting • Forestry • Trapping • Mining • Fishing • Agriculture • Berry picking • Hydro electric • Spiritual and ceremonial practices • Communications and utilities • Public access • Outdoor recreation (including hunting and fishing) • Tourism The ecosystem components, cumulative effects issues and First Nations concerns led to the identification of the V E C s outlined in Table 2. 13 Table 2 Ecosystem components and VECs addressed by AXYS Environmental Consulting Ltd. and Salmo Consulting Inc. (2003) Ecosystem Component Type Valued Ecosystem Component Air Quality • Air quality in local and regional air sheds Soils and Terrain • Reduction in soil quality • Soil loss Aquatic • Water quality/quantity for human consumption • Habitat quality for all Indigenous fish species • Bull trout (Salvelinus co/7f7i/enfi/s)distribution and abundance • Arctic grayling (Thymallus arcticus) distribution and abundance • Critical habitat areas • intact riparian areas Wildlife • Woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus) • Moose (Alces alces) • Grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) • Black bear (Ursus americanus) • Marten (Martes Americana) • Warbler spp. Vegetation • Old-growth forests • Wetlands • Rare broad ecosystem units The Northwest Territories Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program (NWT CIMP) inventories all regionally relevant data currently that could contribute to the assessment of cumulative impacts. The NWT CIMP employed the term valued components (VCs), defined as "aspects of the environment which have particular importance, based on economic, social, cultural, community, ecological, legal or political concern, in a given geographical area." (DIAND 2002:2) Environment is defined as "including physical, biological, social, economic, and 14 cultural elements" (DIAND 2002:2). Consequently, V C s are not limited to the ecosystem components. There is a wide range of potential indicators of cumulative impacts that can include measures of change resulting from industrial activity (i.e. species abundance) and measures of land-use (i.e. road density). NWT CIMP suggests that "Indicators are used to determine measures or trends of effects on specific environmental components. When indicators are tracked over time effects on particular VCs can be observed." (DIAND 2002: 2). The NWT CIMP employed the following criteria in the selection of appropriate indicators: • relevant and meaningful (both ecologically and socially) • measurable • reliable and objective • sensitive • cost-effective • supported by historical data • non-destructive • non-redundant • of appropriate scale • interpretable • anticipatory • practical and timely Under both the federal and provincial Environmental Assessment processes, cumulative impacts are addressed on a project-by-project basis. This approach employs process guidelines and relies on indicators that are intended to measure impacts on V E C s identified by experts and stakeholders (Hegmann et al. 1999). Ultimately, the range of potential indicators is huge. Table 3 (based on a review of federal and provincial Environmental Assessments from northern British Columbia and Alberta) outlines ecological and land-use indicators commonly employed in the assessment of cumulative impacts. 15 Table 3 Overview of commonly used indicators under federal and provincial assessments of cumulative impacts 1 Ecological Component Indicators j Air Quality Airshed modeling of pollutants from the proposed activity and other known sources of the following: • Nitrogen oxides • Sulphur compounds • Volatile organic compounds • Other activity specific air pollutants Soils Physical disturbance and acidification of specific soils types based on capability/suitability and uniqueness Vegetation and Ecosystems Areas of disturbed: • Wetlands • Rare/endangered ecosystem • Ecological vulnerable ecosystems • Uncommon ecosite phases And disturbance of/or damage to: • Traditional and edible plants • Economically significant vegetation • Potential introduction of non-native species Wildlife The following measures of impacts to wildlife are assessed: • Suitable habitat availability • Core secure habitat • Habitat effectiveness due to sensory disturbance • Availability of habitat of high suitability • Blockages to wildlife movement (connectivity/fragmentation) • Potential direct wildlife mortality. Indicator wildlife are selected based on their ecological role, status as endangered or threatened, and cultural significance. Ground Water Surface Water Fish and Fish Habitat Hydrological drawdown/hydrological head Acidification, sedimentation, pollution and temperature changes The following indicators of impacts to fish and fish habitat are employed: • Effects on benthic invertebrate communities including biodiversity • Fish abundance and quality 16 • Changes in fishing pressure • Stream flow • Water quality • Fish habitat • Fish health • Aquatic biodiversity (habitat diversity, indicators/indices for fish species level aquatic biodiversity assessment, benthic biodiversity) 1 • Pressures assessed based on increased access, increased human population, changes to structural habitat and water quality (Based on a review of B.C. Hydro 1998, Canadian Natural Resources Limited 2002, Colt Engineering Corporation 2001, Conor Pacific Environmental Technologies Inc. 1997, Husky Oil Operations Limited 2003, Lorax Consulting 2001, Salmo Consulting 1999a, Salmo Consulting 1999b, Slocan-LP OSB 2001, TrueNorth Energy L.P. 2001, WestCoast Gas Services Inc. 1996) Since the 1977 Berger Report, the practice of employing local/indigenous knowledge to assess and monitor environmental impacts is becoming increasingly common (Sallenave 1994). Researchers are recognizing the importance of acknowledging local knowledge (Fischer 2000). The Traditional Knowledge in the Kache Tue Study Region Project (Wildlife, Lands and Environment Department Autsyl K'e Dene First Nation 2002) and the NWT CIMP (DIAND 2002) employ different assessment and monitoring processes, each based on the incorporation of traditional knowledge and monitoring approaches. The Kache Tue Study collects and manages traditional ecological knowledge spatially using Geographic Information Systems while the NWT CIMP plans to incorporate the locally-held knowledge with scientific knowledge. The Kache Tue study was based on a systematic community collaboration process with the objective of determining "the significance, in relation to the natural world and Dene way of life, of the observed changes (in the natural environment)" (Wildlife, Lands and Environment Department Autsyl K'e Dene First Nation 2002:8). The project differs from other projects in that the objectives, methods, scope and scale were all defined within the context of the community objective of interpreting impacts on the Dene people, Like the Kache Tue Study, the NWT CIMP employed community-based research methods in the assessment and monitoring of cumulative impacts over a much larger area. Initiated as part of the Gwich'in, Sahtu, and Tlicho land claim agreements, the project is a collaboration between the territorial, federal and local First Nations leadership (DIAND 2002). The study 17 involves the regional identification of priorities and the collection of all related local and scientific knowledge. The use of modeling, expert local knowledge, criteria assessment or any other means of cumulative impact assessment depends entirely on the objectives of the exercise. The methods employed under the Environmental Assessment process may be ineffective from a community perspective because they do not sufficiently address the complex social, cultural and economic impacts, and are unlikely to capture the extent of the interconnectedness between community and ecology. The project-by-project approach is unlikely to capture large-scale changes and a lack of faith in qualitative information (Hegmann et al. 1999) limits the potential for the incorporation of local knowledge. Alternatively, approaches based exclusively on local knowledge may fail to capture changes occurring at scales too small to be observed. These projects may also face the monumental challenge of reconciling holistic traditional indigenous knowledge systems with a reductionist, science-based way of knowing. Regardless of the approach and tools employed, a staged framework may be applied to cumulative impact assessment. Beanlands and Duinker (1983) identify the following four stages of cumulative impact assessment: scoping, analysis, evaluation of significance and follow-up. The scoping phase requires the definition of the project scope, and the identification of stakeholders and V E C s (Beanlands and Duinker 1983). The analysis phase employs the tools or means of measurement and the collection of data. The evaluation phase is based on the assessment of the changes and impacts. Finally, the follow-up phase includes mitigation and monitoring. In The Cumulative Impact Practitioner's Guide, Hegmann et al. (1999) identify five similar stages: scoping, analysis of effects, identification of mitigation, evaluation of significance and follow-up. Three similar stages are also outlined by Stevenson (1996) in his discussion of the use of indigenous knowledge in Environmental Assessment. Like the preceding systems, Stevenson's initial phase includes the identification of the project scope. These systematic approaches to cumulative impact assessment offer the key to assessing the impacts of industrial development on forest-dependent communities. 18 2.5 BEGIN AT THE BEGINNING: WHERE WE NEED TO CHANGE AND IMPROVE The solution to the meaningful assessment of the impacts of industrial development on forest-dependent communities lies in the framework of stages. An accurate, inclusive and meaningful scoping phase is the key to clearly assessing the impacts of industrial development on forest-dependent communities. During the scoping phase, the appropriate definition of cumulative impacts should be identified, the temporal and geographic reach of the project established, community values and priorities identified and the appropriate means of assessing the impacts of industrial development determined. Figure 1 proposes an approach to cumulative impact assessment. Definition of Appropriate Definition and Scope Assessment Community Identified Environmental Priorities Political and Legal Environmental Priorities Expert Identified Environmental Priorities Identify Indicators Identify Indicators Analysis & Assessment Identify Indicators Figure 1. Process for assessment of cumulative impacts involving communities. Project goals and rationale must be clearly stated and understood by all collaborators during the initial stages of any assessment project. Without a clear understanding of "why" a project is being undertaken, it is unlikely that meaningful results will be produced. As projects advance, frequently referring to the decisions made during the scoping phase will ensure that the results are meaningful. Community values and priorities must also be clearly articulated: "Even if scientists were able to provide perfectly accurate information about the ecological consequences of human actions, exclusionary choices would still have to be made among competing social, economic, and environmental objectives." (Stakhiv 1988:726) 19 An understanding of community values and interests is necessary if appropriate "exclusionary choices" are to be made. The exclusion of significant values can result in massive oversights, the inappropriate inclusion of irrelevant indicators" or misinterpretation of impacts and benefits. To understand these values and interests, make appropriate choices, and accomplish a meaningful and useful assessment, the communities in question must guide the scoping phase of the project. Furthermore, this process must be accomplished in a culturally (Stevenson 1996, Usher 2000) and community-appropriate manner. To achieve this, researchers and practitioners must form meaningful partnerships with forest-dependent communities. The key to success lies in collaboration, shared power and collective responsibility. A holistic, inclusive approach must be emphasized during the scoping phase if not throughout the project. Researchers must be prepared to challenge conceptual limitations. For example, the abandonment of a priori cultural categorization is integral to culturally appropriate scoping. There is also a great deal of potential in qualitative, locally held information. Outside of local communities, the validity of locally held knowledge has been more widely recognized since the Berger Report (Sallenave 1994). While the incorporation of traditional knowledge into scientific assessment processes is wrought with risks, including decontextualization and commodification (Cruikshank 1998), community direction and control present opportunities to overcome these problems. The divergence from preconceived limitations is demonstrated in the contrast between the government Environmental Assessment guidelines, Beanlands and Duinker's (1983) framework, and the methods employed by the NWT CIMP (DIAND 2002). Initially, the NWT CIMP identified Valued Components, not limiting priorities to Valued Ecosystem Components as the other methods do. This inclusive approach incorporates the regional indigenous way of knowing that does not separate ecological values from social, cultural, and spiritual values. Ultimately, assessing the impacts of industrial development on communities must begin at the community level. While collaboration and relationship-building are time consuming and challenging, without giving a voice and power to local forest-dependent communities, it will 20 be impossible to achieve meaningful assessments: If the primary objectives are clearly defined and understood, issues regarding definition, scope and methods will fall into place. 2.6 SUMMARY There is an ever-increasing need to understand the cumulative impacts of industrial development on communities and the environments they depend upon. Despite the pressing nature of this issue, there is no widely- accepted means of assessment of cumulative impacts of industrial development on forest dependent communities. There are multiple definitions of cumulative impacts, ranging from those that include social and cultural impacts and potential management solutions, to the more limited assessment of ecological changes alone. Means of assessment are also extremely varied, including expert opinion, modelling and mathematical assessment. However, assessing these impacts from a community perspective requires a flexible, holistic approach that forgoes preconceived definitions and conceptual boundaries. Focussing on the objective of the assessment and allowing community goals to guide the project will ultimately resolve confusion over definitions, methods and scope. This practice will also ensure an assessment that meets the needs of communities. 21 3.0 CONTEXT: A DESCRIPTION OF NORTHEAST BRITISH COLUMBIA The purpose of the following chapter is to describe the unique context for the assessment of the cumulative impacts of industrial development from the perspective of First Nations in northeast British Columbia. In the following sections I describe the geology, ecology, industry, government, legal, historical and cultural factors that influence cumulative impact assessment. 3.1 GEOGRAPHIC AND ECOLOGICAL DESCRIPTION Brody (1981:18) describes northeast British Columbia as "three worlds - foothills, muskeg and prairie". Where the Great Plains (Alberta Plateau) meet the eastern reaches of the Northern and Central Plateaus and Mountains, one finds foothills and the Peace River Country. This region quickly gives way to prairie. In the north, the landscape is dominated by a mosaic of muskeg and forest. The Boreal White and Black Spruce (BWBS) biogeoclimatic zone comprises most of the northeast (DeLong et al. 1991). In the south and west, the BWBS is bordered by both the Spruce Willow Birch and Englemann Spruce Subalpine Fir zones at higher elevations (Coupe al. 1991). Very long cold winters and short growing seasons are representative in the region. Forest fires are common and drive succession. The region also provides habitat for many mammals, birds and fish. Table 4 lists some of these species. 22 Table 4 Examples of mammals, birds and fish typical of northeast British Columbia Ungulates • Elk (Cervus canadensis) • Mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) • White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) • Stone sheep (Ovis dalli) • Caribou (Rangifer tarandus) • Moose (Alces alces) • Mountain goat (Oreamnos americanus) Large Predators ; • Mountain lion (Puma concolor) • Bobcat (Lynx rufus). • Grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) • Grey wolf (Canis lupus) • Wolverine (Gulo gulo) • Black bear (Ursus americanus) • Canada lynx (Lynx Canadensis) • Coyote (Canis latrans) Small Mammals • Fisher (Maries pennant!) • Marten (Martes Americana) • Red fox (Vulpes vulpes) • Red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) • Northern river otter (Lontra canadensis) • Beaver (Castor Canadensis). Birds Geese and Swans • Trumpeter swan (Cygnus buccinator) • Common goldeneye (Bucephala clangula) • Barrow's goldeneye (Bucephala islandica) • Common merganser (Mergus merganser) Hawks • Sharp-shinned hawk (Accipter striatus) • Northern goshawk (Accipter gentiles) \ 2 3 • Bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) Grouse and Ptarmigan • Blue grouse (Dendragapus obscurusl) • Willow ptarmigan (Lagopus lagopus) Owl • Great horned owl (Bubo virginianus) • Barred owl (Strixvaria) • Boreal owl (Aegolius funereus) Woodpeckers • Northern flicker (Colaptes auratus) • Three-toed woodpecker (Picoides tridactylus) • Black-backed woodpecker (Picoides arcticus) • Pileated woodpecker (Drycopus pileatus) Tyrant Flycatchers • Olive-sided flycatcher (Contopus cooperi) • Alder flycatcher (Empidonax alnorum) Chickadees • Black-capped chickadee (Poecile atricapilla) • Boreal chickadee (Poecile hudsonica) Nuthatches and Creepers • Red-breasted nuthatch (Sitta Canadensis) • Winter men (Troglodytes troglodytes) Kinglets • Golden-crowned kinglet (Regulus satrapa) • Ruby-crowned kinglet (Regulus calendula) • Swainson's thrush (Catharus ustulatus) • Hermit thrush (Catharus guttatus) • Blackpoll warbler (Dendroica striata) • Northern waterthrush (Seiurus noveboracensis) • Fox sparrow (Passerella iliaca) Blackbirds • Rusty blackbird (Euphagus carolinus) 24 Finches • White-winged crossbill (Lox/a leucoptera) • Pine gosbeak (Pinicola enucleator) Fish • Bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) • Rainbow trout {Oncorhynchus mykiss) • Lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) • Mountain whitefish (Prosopium williamsoni) • Npoksack dace (Rhinichthys sp.) • Leopard dace (Rhinichthys falcatus) • Longnose dace (Rhinichthys cataractae) • Pearl dace (Margariscus margarita) • Finescale dace (Phoxinus neogaeus) • Arctic grayling (Thymallus arcticus) • Northern pike (Esox lucius) • Lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis) • Sucker species (Cafosfomus spp.) • Shiner species (Notropis spp.) (Ministry of Environment 2005, Kelly Squires 2006 personal communication, February 20, 2006, May 15, 2006) The most common forest-cover found in the northeast includes mixed trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides) forests in the foothills, cordilleran and better-drained plateau areas (DeLong ei* al. 1991). On the driest sites, relatively open lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) -lichen forests occur, pine - black spruce (Picea mariana) stands are found on some north facing slopes and black spruce - moss communities typify more poorly drained sites and the occasional pure tamarack stand occurs in rich swamps and fens. Wetlands and small black spruce and tamarack (Larix laricina) stands are found in the northern part of the region. Agricultural lands predominate in the region around Dawson Creek and Fort St. John. 25 3.2 INDUSTRIAL D E V E L O P M E N T IN N O R T H E A S T BRITISH COLUMBIA The European appetite for natural resources began to impact the northeast of British Columbia in the 18 t h century. European economic systems and artifacts were introduced by the westward expansion of the Cree people (Ridington 1979). As a representative of the North West Company, Alexander MacKenzie traveled through the region in 1793 and by 1798 a fort was established near present day Fort St. John (Fladmark 1985). By 1823, the Hudson's Bay Company (amalgamated with the North West Company) had posts from the Peace River to the Liard River (Brody;1981; Fladmark 1985). According to Ridington (1979), it took less than 30 years for the economy of the First Nations in the northeast to shift from communal self-sufficient hunters to European-dependent trappers. The 1896 discovery of gold in the Klondike resulted in many gold seekers passing through the northeast to reach the Klondike. The presence of these travellers on the waterways of the region and the pressure they placed on local game species ultimately resulted in tensions between First Nations (Madill 1986). By the 1870s, the northeast was also opening up to agriculture. The 1884 transfer of the 3.5 million hectare Peace River Block from the province to the federal government accelerated the rate of agricultural development (Brody 1981). This land transfer included some of the most productive agricultural lands in the area. Between 1911 and 1920 the non-First Nations population in the region increased from 2000 to approximately 20,000. Land continued to be cleared for agriculture for the next 50 years. Oil and gas development in northeast British Columbia exploded after the 1948 Leduc discovery in Alberta. This resulted in the reversal of a 1938 restriction on oil and gas development in the Peace River area, and in 1951 the first productive oil well was sunk in British Columbia. This led the development of oil and gas wells, processing plants, pipelines and the development and infrastructure associated with exploration and extraction. Today, oil and gas is a driving force in the British Columbia economy. In the early 1970's the rate of clearing slowed, and forestry replaced agriculture in the economy. In the 1930's the sale of timber from northeast British Columbia had begun to extend beyond the local market. When the Pacific Great Eastern Railway was extended to Fort St. John in 1958, timber became a significant export from the region (Brody 1981). Logging led to the establishment of sawmills, pulp and paper mills and other processing capacity such as the production of oriented strand board. 26 The 50m Peace Canyon Dam at the outlet of the Peace River Canyon was completed in 1980. The 2km W.A.C. Bennett Dam, located 23km up stream at the head of the canyon was completed in 1967. The resulting Williston Reservoir is the largest reservoir in British Columbia. The creation of the reservoir resulted in the unceremonious displacement of the Tsay Keh Dene Band (formerly Ingenika) and impacted hunting, fishing and trapping rights. For years, B.C. Hydro has revisited the possibility of a third dam known as Site C. Site C is located down stream, closer to Taylor and Fort St. John. The Alaska highway was completed in mid-1942 (Dawson Creek LRMP Working Group 1999). Both the construction process and the increased access greatly disrupted traditional life in northern British Columbia (Kathlean Fitzpatrick Research Services 1997). The highway increased accessibility for both development and settlement. In 1792, Alexander Mackenzie noted the presence of what appeared to be coal in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains (Brody 1981:125). There is an estimated 1 billion tones of medium-volatile bituminous coal in the Peace River coal field (Ryan 2002). Limited regional infrastructure limited extraction prior to 1970, since then however mining has increased and reached a high of 27.8 million tones in 1997. The region also has considerable potential for coalbed methane extraction, wind power generation and other resources. 3.3 RESOURCE MANAGEMENT IN NORTHEAST BRITISH COLUMBIA The many natural resources and industries in the region fall under the jurisdiction of multiple levels of government and planning processes. In general, the provincial government has jurisdiction over land and resource management. The Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum resources is "the catalyst and facilitator for developing sustainable and competitive energy and mineral resource sectors for British Columbians". The Ministry of Forests and Range is responsible for "Building a strong and diverse forest sector through revitalization, while maintaining high environmental standards, (that) will help ensure long-term jobs and economic benefits". The Ministry of Agriculture and Lands "is committed to providing the business climate for a competitive and profitable industry providing safe, high quality food for consumers and export markets" (Province of British Columbia 2006 digital reference). The Oil and Gas Commission is responsible for the regulation of British Columbia oil and gas sector (BC O G C 2006). 27 The federal Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (DIAND) is responsible for dealings with First Nations: "The department fulfils the lawful obligations of the federal government to Aboriginal peoples arising from treaties, the Indian Act and other legislation" (DIAND 2005 digital reference). DIAND is also responsible for administering land on Native reserves. The Land and Resource Management Planning (LRMP) process is a regional, consensus-based, multi-stakeholder planning process based on zoning multiple uses. Throughout British Columbia, 26 LRMPs have been developed. While these plans deal with multiple land uses and address past activities, thorough analysis of the impacts of past, present and future industrial activities was not within the scope of the process. Nor do the plans directly address cumulative impacts. The process, however, of setting priorities for the LRMPs bears some similarity to the initial scoping phases of cumulative impact assessment and AXYS Environmental Consulting Ltd. & Salmo Consulting Inc (2003) suggest that indicators employed in the assessment of cumulative impacts should also address the management objectives in the LRMPs. The Dawson Creek, Fort Nelson and Fort St. John LRMPs address most of northeast British Columbia 9 . Known First Nations values were incorporated into the planning process and impacted First Nations were kept informed of progress; however, the Fort Nelson and Fort St. John LRMPs had little or no formal participation by Treaty 8 First Nations (Fort Nelson LRMP Working Group 1997, Fort St. John LRMP Working Group 1997). The Dawson Creek LRMP had the highest level of First Nations involvement as the Saulteau First Nations participated informally on a regular basis during 1995. They were not, however, willing to participate on an official level (Dawson Creek LRMP Working Group 1999). Despite multiple statements that the planning process was to proceed without prejudice (Dawson Creek LRMP Working Group 1999, Fort Nelson LRMP Working Group 1997, Fort St. John LRMP Working Group 1997), the government was unable to establish the necessary trust with First Nations. During the initial stages, First Nations were told to "check their rights at the door" (pers. com West Moberly First Nation). As a result, West Moberly First Nation declined to participate in the Dawson Creek LRMP, stating that 9 Both the Mackenzie L R M P and the Prince George L R M P include very small areas in Treaty No. 8. Neither L R M P had participation from Treaty No. 8 First Nations (Mackenzie L R M P Working Group 2001, Prince George L R M P Working Group 1999) 28 there was "no statutory protection within the LRMP's that expressly recognized the need to act 'without prejudice' to First Nations". (Dawson Creek LRMP Working Group 1999:7). During the development of the Fort St. John LRMP, First Nations expressed-dissatisfaction with the disregard for their treaty and Aboriginal rights (Korber 2001). Sustainable Resource Management Plans (SRMPs) are a relatively new, consolidated, landscape-level planning process that occurs at a scale between 1:10 000 and 1:100 000 (MSRM 2002). With similar goals to the LRMP process, SRMP planning is intended to address most natural resource values, support a sustainable environment and incorporate previous planning processes and directions. SRMPs will replace an array of other plans and are intended to streamline the planning process. The new plans are intended to be compatible with Regional Land-use Plans and LRMPs and consistent with the Provincial Government's direction in strategic land-use planning. In the northeast, no plans have been established under the S R M P process (MSRM 2004). There are two existing plans in the region that bear a resemblance to SRMPs, The Graham River Integrated Resource Management Plan and the Dunlevy Creek Management Plan; however, neither of these plans were developed with a great deal of direct involvement with Treaty 8 First Nations. In 2003, the SRMP planning process was initiated in the Saulteau/West Moberly Region. Saulteau First Nations and West Moberly First Nations are exploring the possibility of participating in this planning process and the provincial government is attempting to establish links between the multiple interests, research projects and planning initiatives in the area. While there has been discussion of incorporating cumulative impact assessment with the planning process, representatives of the Treaty 8 Tribal Association expressed concern that the planning process would supersede the issue of cumulative impacts (Korber 2001). 3.4 FIRST NATIONS' RIGHTS 3.4.1 Treaty and Aboriginal Rights First Nations in Canada have constitutionally protected Treaty and Aboriginal rights (Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms Section 35) based on the long-term occupancy of and use of the land by their ancestors. Aboriginal rights have been defined by the courts as being those rights that are "integral to a distinctive culture" (R. v. Van Der Peet, 29 unreported, 21 August 1996, file no. 23803, Supreme Court of Canada). Treaty rights are outlined in the various treaties that exist between First Nations and the Crown. Treaty No. 8 is one of a limited number of historical treaties in British Columbia. The terms of Treaty No. 8 were negotiated in 1899 and most adhesions occurred between 1900 and 1914. The treaty includes 841, 491 km 2 of northern Alberta, northwest Saskatchewan, the southern Northwest Territories and northeast corner of British Columbia, and approximately 30% of this area is located in British Columbia (Figure 2). The decision to extend the treaty into British Columbia was based on the growing conflict between passing Klondike gold seekers and First Nations (Madill 1986). The government's intention was to ensure safe passage through the region. The terms of the treaty state that signatories and future generations "cede, release and surrender and yield up... all their rights, titles, and privileges whatsoever to the lands" included in the area of the treaty and elsewhere in what was the Dominion of Canada. In exchange, signatories were allotted reserve lands, guaranteed right to "pursue their usual vocations of hunting, trapping and fishing" on unoccupied Crown land and some financial payment. Whether or not adhering to Treaty No. 8 resulted in cessation of Aboriginal Rights is an ongoing debate (pers. com. West Moberly First Nation). While the treaty explicitly guarantees the continued land-use practices of signatory First Nations, like Aboriginal rights, Treaty rights are guaranteed by the constitution yet are continually being redefined by the courts 1 0. Apsassin et al (Salteau FN) v. BC Oil and Gas Com. et al /January 2004] BCSC 92, Apsassin et al (Salteau FN) v. BC Oil and Gas Com. et al [April 2004] B C C A 240, Apsassin et al (Salteau FN) v. BC Oil and Gas Com. et al [May 2004] B C C A 286 30 Figure 2. Map of Treaty No. 8 (adapted from Treasury Board of Canada 2005). 3.4.2 Duty to Consult The Crown's fiduciary responsibility to First Nations was constitutionally entrenched in Section 35(1) of the Constitution Act, 1982. A fiduciary relationship exists when one party requires special protection from another party in a position of power. As a result of this relationship, government has an obligation to consult with First Nations and adequately address their concerns regarding the impacts of land and resource-use decisions on First Nations' rights (R. v. Sparrow, [1990] 1 S.C.R. 1075 Saxe 1992). Although this duty was previously extended to industry (Saxe 1992), this finding was reversed in Haida Nation v. British Columbia Ministry of Forests et al., [2004] B . C . S . C . 1243. There is currently a great deal of dispute regarding the terms of adequate consultation. Although the duty to consult has been addressed by the courts on multiple occasions 1 1 , 1 1 Including but not limited to: R. v. Delgamuukw [1998] 1 C.N.L.R. 14 (S.C.C.;, Haida Nation v. B.C. and Weyerhaeuser [2002] B .C .C.A. 147, Haida Nation v. B.C. and Weyerhaeuser [2002] B.C.C.A. 462, Taku River 31 there remains room for divergence and the issue continues to be the focus of court cases. What has been established is that "there is always a duty to consult" (Delgamuukw v. British Columbia, [1997] 3 S C R 1113). Consultation is a two-way exchange, requiring First Nations to exchange information with government. Finally, the extent of consultation varies with the strength of the First Nations claim, ranging from requiring the Crown to engage only in meaningful dialogue to requiring much deeper consultation (Macklem and Lawrence 2000:254). Some Treaty 8 First Nations have defined their interpretation of consultation. For example, West Moberly First Nation describes an interactive two-way exchange of information that is similar to a collaborative relationship (West Moberly First Nation 2004). Despite the significant amount of time and energy that has been spent exploring and defining meaningful and effective consultation, there remains considerable doubt and confusion (Flahr 2002). If First Nations are going to participate meaningfully in resource management processes, a common understanding must be defined (Bull 2000; Smith et al. 2000; Parsons and Prest 2003). The duty to consult ultimately led to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Oil and Gas Commission (OGC) and West Moberly First Nations, Fort Nelson First Nation, Halfway River First Nation, Prophet River First Nations, Blueberry River First Nations, Saulteau First Nations and Doig River First Nation in 1999. The MOU outlines a consultation process regarding the impacts of proposed oil and gas activities on Treaty rights (OGC 1999). 3.4.3 Traplines In the 1926, the British Columbia government began the process of mapping and registering trapping areas (Madill 1986). Registered traplines were intended to guarantee and restrict trapping to certain areas and reduce conflict between First Nations and non-First Nations trappers (Madill 1986). It is worth noting that trapline registration is seemingly in direct conflict with the rights guaranteed under Treaty No.8, which was signed less than ten years prior (Brody 1981). The apparent conflicts between Treaty rights and rights of registered trapline holders remain unresolved. Tlingit First Nation v. Ringstad et al. [2002] B.C.C.A. 462, Haida Nation v. British Columbia Ministry of Forests et al., [2004] B . C . S . C . 1243 32 Today, traplines are registered with the Ministry of Environment and managed under the British Columbia Wildlife Act. According to the Wildlife Act traplines guarantee the holder exclusive rights to trap in the designated area and, to maintain trapline registration, areas must be actively trapped. Although traplines must be registered to an individual, West Moberly and Fort Nelson First Nations hold traplines on behalf of their members to ensure access to the rights and resources associated with trapline ownership. 3.5 PROFILE OF FIRST NATIONS RESEARCH PARTNERS Today, there are eight Treaty No. 8 First Nations in British Columbia (Figure 3): Blueberry River First Nations, Doig River First Nation, Fort Nelson First Nation, Halfway River First Nation, Prophet River First Nation, Saulteau First Nations, Tsekani First Nation 1 2 (formerly McLeod Lake First Nation), West Moberly First Nation. In total, these First Nations have over 3000 registered members (DIAND 2004). Each of these communities has a distinct cultural, historical and socio-economic make-up. First Nations in northeast British Columbia are comprised of Dene Tha', Dunne-za, Siccanni, Cree, Iroquois and Saulteau people. Dene Tha', Dunne-za and Siccanni are included in the Athabascan cultural group. While the Saulteau, Cree and Iroquois are relative new-comers, the Dunne-za people know that their ancestors have inhabited the area "since time immemorial" (Kathlean Fitzpatrick Research Services 1997, George Desjarlais, personal communication, April 24, 2006). The archaeological record has established the presence of Athabascan cultural groups in the region for at least ten thousand years (Driver et al. 1996). Tsekani First Nation adhered to Treaty No. 8 in 2000 33 Muncho Lake., • tort Nelsolf Fort Nelson F , r s t N a t i o n ( S n a k e R , v e r ) % Fort Nelson First Nation Fort Nelson First Nation (Fontas)B • Prophet River / First Nation ' Fort Nelson First Nation (Kahntah) LEGEND • Towns and Villages • First Nations Willi Germansen Landing f \ V Doig River First Nation Blueberry River First Nations • Halfway River • First Natron Hudson's Hope#, alie'au First Nations (Taylor Dawson West Moberly /•cfielwynd First Naligrfs } , 7 • Granisle • Mackenzie McLeod Lake it "First Nation Tumbler Ridge • 20 40 EO 80 100 I ' I ' l l Kilometres Figure 3. Map of British Columbian Signatories of Treaty No. 8 (adapted from Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation 2006) B y the end of the 18 t h century, the demand for furs had brought new cultural g roups into the area and rearranged the cultural patterns of occupancy (Brody 1981). C ree and Iroquois guided fur-traders and settlers into the region. In addition to introducing European tools and economic pressures to the region, the C r e e drove the Dunne-za west into the foothills, subsequent ly displacing the Tsekan i . By the end of the next century, several C ree famil ies had settled in the region in and near the communit ies of northeast British Co lumbia (Brody 1981). The Sau l teau are descendan ts of eastern Oj ibways who moved westward during the mid 1 9 t h century to e s c a p e the v io lence assoc ia ted with the Riel upr is ings. Fol lowing a dreamer 's v is ion of two mounta ins during the first half of the 1 9 t h Century, they settled on the east end of Mober ly Lake . T h e lake sits in the s h a d o w s of the Twin S is ters Mounta ins, cons idered to be the mounta ins in the v is ion. T h e s e mountains now have cons iderab le cultural, historical and spiritual s igni f icance for the Sau l teau people. Interestingly, the two mounta ins a lso play 34 an integral role in the Dunne-za oral traditions, representing protection and shelter (Maas and Armstrong 2001). The importance of the natural environment to indigenous communities is often noted (LaDuke 1994, Berkes 1999, Boyd and Williams-Davidson 2000, NAFA 2000). In the northeast, the Dunne-za, the Dene Tha' and the Saulteau were historically dependent on the land for subsistence. They predominantly ate moose, caribou, beaver and fish. However, their relationships with the land transcend the utilitarian. As an example of the ties between the Dunne-za and the land, Ridington (1979) describes the exchange of life between humans and animals. As children, individual Dunne-za members gave away their life to an animal during vision quests. This exchange of life was repeated when as an adult, the individual hunts and kills an animal, sharing it with the rest of the camp. Life was ultimately exchanged between the animal, the hunter and the entire community, binding humans with the environment, and differing from Eurocentric worldviews that clearly separate humans from the natural world. The historical culture of the Dene Tha' of northeast B.C. is not as well documented (Asch 1981). Based on his time spent with the Dene Tha' of northern Alberta, Goulet (1998) described a cyclical relationship between animals and humans. Humans cannot take or demand anything that animals do not give up freely and, as a result, animals have the upper hand. Animals are "seen not only as game but as powerful, sentient beings who freely go out other their way to contact humans to give them power or information." (Goulet 1998:62) 3.5.3 Participating First Nations Of the eight British Columbia signatories of Treaty No. 8, four participated directly in this study. Each of these communities is culturally, historically and economically distinct. Fort Nelson First Nation Fort Nelson First Nation is the most northern of the participating communities. The First Nation has three reservations (Fontas, Kanta and the most populated site near the town of Fort Nelson). In 1973, Fort Nelson First Nation separated from Prophet River First Nation. Since the separation, the community is predominantly comprised of Dene Tha' and Cree 35 people. Fort Nelson joined Treaty No. 8 in 1910 and started the process of shifting from a migratory life to settlement in semi-permanent homes at the Old Fort, Fontas and Kanta (Kathlean Fitzpatrick Research Services 1997). In the 1950's, community members began to move away from the old site at Old Fort and settle near the town of Fort Nelson. Today the First Nation has 732 members, 319 of whom live off of the reservation (DIAND 2006). Prophet River First Nation Prophet River First Nation is located at Mile 232 on the Alaska Highway, 132 km south of the town of Fort Nelson. The people of Prophet River First Nation are of mixed Siccanni, Dunne-za and Cree lineage (Kathlean Fitzpatrick Research Services 1997). In 1911, the Siccanni people of northern British Columbia adhered to Treaty No. 8. In the 1950's, under pressure from the Department of Indian Affairs and despite resistance from the people of Prophet River, the Siccanni of Prophet River were amalgamated with the band at Fort Nelson. Over the next 20 years, Dunne-za people from Fort St. John joined the First Nation and in 1966, the community was assigned reserve lands. In 1973, the Dunne-za and Siccanni people of Prophet River separated from the Fort Nelson First Nation. Today Prophet River has 200 members, 79 of whom live off of the reservation (DIAND 2006). Saulteau First Nations Saulteau First Nations is located at the east end of Moberly Lake approximately 100km southwest of Fort St. John. The single reservation is 3028.5 hectares in area. In 1914, the families at the east end of Moberly Lake joined Treaty No. 8 (Madill 1986). The community includes descendants of Saulteau, Cree and Iroquois people who arrived during the 18 t h and 19 t h century, intermarrying with the Dunne-za. Saulteau has 810 members, 383 of whom do not live on the reservation (DIAND 2006). West Moberly First Nations Located at the west end Moberly Lake between Chetwynd and Hudson Hope, West Moberly First Nations joined Treaty No. 8 in 1914 (Madill 1986). West Moberly First Nation was part of the Hudson Hope Band until 1977 when West Moberly First Nations and Halfway River First Nation separated. The community is comprised of descendants of Dunne-za, Cree and 36 Saulteau families although Dunne-za cultural identity, beliefs and practices are predominate (George Desjarlais, personal communication, April 24, 2006). In February 2006, the total registered population was 189; 79 live on the 2033.6 ha reserve. (DIAND 2006). 37 4.0 METHODOLOGY AND RESEARCH DESIGN Linda Smith has stressed the importance of achieving "a more critical understanding of the underlying assumptions, motivations and values which inform research practices" (1999:20). In addition to outlining the methods of data collection, the following section explores these underlying assumptions, motivations and values. 4.1 WORLDVIEW AND RATIONALE FOR METHOD CHOICES Qualitative research produces findings by a variety of means other than statistical analytical procedures and quantification (Strauss & Corbin 1990). The research methods employed in this project were based on the values and techniques embodied in Action Research (Stringer 1999), ethnography, Participatory Rural Appraisal (Chambers 1997) and the Dene Institute's guidelines for conducting participatory community research (Dene Cultural Institute 1994). In addition, I was guided by projects that have been conducted by and with indigenous communities elsewhere in Canada (Schramm & Krogmann 2001; Natcher & Hickey 2002; Wildlife Lands and Environment Department & Autsyl K'e Dene First Nation 2002). The philosophical platforms underlying these research methods are integral to the project. While it is important not to underestimate the capacity of local people to comprehend standard research methods, standard approaches have limitations when exploring information rooted in entirely differing worldyiews. Conventional social science methodologies such as surveys and questionnaires come from a positivist, reductionist, philosophical position (Kvale 1996:61; Le Compte & Schensul 1999:42). The compartmentalized, decontextualized nature of this approach to enquiry is in direct conflict with the holistic traditional worldviews of many indigenous cultures (Smith 1999). The requisite objectivity, integral to a positivist approach, also perpetuates the subordination of indigenous communities that is historically associated with social research. Alternatively, a constructive-interpretive approach assumes "that all constructs are equally valid" and highly contextual (Le Compte & Schensul 1999:49). The view that meaning is created through interaction necessitates the blurring of distinctions between the researcher and the subject, ideally bringing all participants onto equal ground (Le Compte & Schensul 1999:50). In approaching the project from this perspective, my goal was to collaborate on a qualitative participatory research methodology that was culturally appropriate, flexible and life-38 enhancing in addition to producing meaningful and defensible answers to the research questions. Participatory research is based on a phenomenological perspective, accepting of both experiential knowledge and cooperative enquiry (Fischer 2000:178) and having the potential to decentralize power and diffuse the hierarchies typically associated with research (McDonald 2004). Rooted in a practitioner-based exploration of "what works and what will work better" (Chambers 1997:146), participatory research includes a transition from measurement to comparison and the closed or confined to the open and inclusive. This makes possible the inclusion of locally-held knowledge and makes allowances for multiple, differing world-views. This shift to a more flexible research approach is necessary in collaborative projects that include non-academic research partners and differing cultural contexts. There is an ongoing debate regarding the validity of information gathered through participatory methods. This debate is, in part, founded on the perceived superiority of scientifically measured data and an unwillingness to accept the accuracy of information held by local people (Gill 1991). There is, however, increasing academic recognition of the value of locally-held knowledge (Nazarea 1998) and the argument against the validity of participatory research is continually weakening. Advancing the recognition of locally-held knowledge, while simultaneously avoiding the pitfall of subjecting indigenous knowledge to scientific validation, is integral to this project. Ethnographic research generally employs multiple techniques of gathering data (Babbie and Benaquisto 2002). In this case, direct observation, interviews and archival research were employed. Using multiple means to collect data facilitated the objective of employing a participatory process by enabling flexibility. Ethnographic methods are also useful "to provide personal accounts or testimony that would reveal the multiple perspectives needed to elucidate the problem" (Le Compte & Schensul 1999:32). Archival material provided an opportunity to validate and clarify information and interpretations resulting from interviews and participant observation. 39 4.2 RESEARCH DESIGN AND PROCESS 4.2.1 Development of Methods Ultimately the methods employed in this project, and the answers found, were required to meet the needs and expectations of the participating communities. In an attempt to meet this objective, I spent a greater portion of time on introduction, trust-building, observation and collaboration with the communities, and methodological flexibility was therefore inherent to my research. My research in the communities was preceded by several visits to the region during which I had the opportunity to meet staff from the participating communities. In total, I spent six months in 2004 and two weeks in 2005 in the participating communities. During my initial time in the communities, my research questions evolved based on available information, community perceptions of the problem and direct input from research partners. This evolution reflects the collaborative nature of the research project. In keeping with participatory research, the methods employed also evolved in each of the communities, thus reflecting the cultural, historical, economic and demographic differences amongst the communities and the opportunities that were presented to me. The steps outlined below provide an overview of the research design and process that was employed in all of the communities. 4.2.2 Sampling: Community, Study Area and Participant Selection The four participating communities were self-selected. This had both positive and negative implications for the project. Working with communities that are geographically, culturally and historically linked potentially limits the possibility of generalization to other regions. By working with self-selected communities, however, the risk of imposing a purely academic research agenda was reduced. When considered within the context of the research objectives outlined earlier, the minimization of this risk was of considerable significance. Sampling within the communities was purposive (Lincoln and Guba 1985) and participants were not clearly defined in advance. Ethnographic methods are particularly appropriate when participants are not clearly defined (Le Compte & Schensul 1999:29). This enabled participants with the most insight into the research questions (land-use experts) to identify the land-use rights and interests currently of the utmost concern and ultimately help guide the 40 impact assessment. In general, the community leadership confirmed that it was appropriate to begin by listening to land-use experts. Initially, potential participants were identified by the land-use offices and community leadership. Based on a growing understanding of the communities, the initial sample was expanded using a networking approach, whereby participants or informants were asked to identify other potential participants (Knight 2002). When using a networking approach to sampling, the appropriate sample size is reached when new participants and new information are no longer being presented. With purposive networking sampling there is a risk of a biased sample. Kinship, community social networks and researcher age and gender have the potential to result in a biased sample. An understanding of community networks helped ensure that other appropriate participants are not overlooked (Trotter 1999). An effort was made to ensure that participants represented the spectrum of land-use experts, including men and women, young and old, practitioners of both traditional and contemporary land uses in addition to representation from different families and social groups. Introductory time spent getting to know the communities was integral to this understanding. In total, 29 formal interviews were conducted with 57 participants (Table 5). The sharing done in these interviews was complimented by notes from over 20 days on the land with various community members and many informal conversations. Table 5 Breakdown of First Nations and interviews First Nation Number of Interviews Total Number of Participants Fort Nelson First Nation 5 10 Prophet River First Nation 9 26 Saulteau First Nation 5 12 West Moberly First Nation 10 10 4.2.3 Communication, Collaboration and Capacity Building Inadequate consultation in resource management was one of the motivating rationales for the initiation of the cumulative impact assessment pilot project (Korber 2001). Adequate consultation is also integral to minimizing potential ethical risks that may be associated with 41 community research. Establishing meaningful consultation is an ongoing challenge in resource management; achieving collaboration is an even greater challenge. Some of the key elements of successful consultation and collaboration discussed in the current literature include: • a proactive and creative process that focuses on the problem from different, possibly more holistic, perspectives (Wondolleck and Yaffee 1999); • inclusive, open and flexible processes (Wondolleck and Yaffee 2000); • a spirit of enquiry (Fischer 2000); • frequent outreach to involve the community (Smith et al. 1999; Cesteros 1999); • keeping all potentially interested people informed (Cesteros 1999); • a sense of responsibility, ownership and commitment (Wondolleck and Yaffee 1999); and • a two-way interactive flow of information (Wondolleck and Yaffee 1999). To meet these objectives, we established both formal and informal communication processes with each of the communities. A research ethics protocol was developed with Chief and Council from each community. A protocol of respect and reciprocity that identifies "the rights, responsibilities, and obligations of research partner and researcher" (Menzies 2001:21) is integral to forming a trusting relationship, reducing the risk of unfulfilled expectations. In one of the communities, this took the form of a written agreement between myself and the Council. In the remaining communities, the protocol was outlined in a letter of commitment from me to Chief and Council. The letters were based on preliminary meetings with Chief and Council and discussions with land-use personnel. University regulations restrict students from entering into any agreement or contract that requires outside consent prior to the release of data. Due to this, a commitment was made to provide every participating community an opportunity to review any documents based on knowledge shared during this project, before they are released to the public. In keeping with the commitments made at the outset of the project, a draft of the complete thesis was submitted to the participating First Nations. Two communities responded with comments requesting some linguistic clarification and suggestions regarding the discussion of rights and interests. Although they expressed intent, the other communities did not comment on the thesis. 42 The land-use offices in each of the four communities provided an official communication mechanism between myself, Chief and Council and ultimately the communities. Initial community meetings or field visits were organized with each of the communities. The intention of these gatherings was to discuss appropriate research methods and introduce me and the project to the community. In each of the communities, I hoped to work collaboratively with a member of the community employed by the project as a community researcher or liaison. As expected, the role of the community researcher varied amongst the communities. In general, the community researchers guided me in culturally appropriate conduct, provided introductions to community members and translated between English and traditional languages. In some cases, the community researchers were also involved in developing interview guides, conducting interviews, and assisting in the verification of interview transcripts with participants. The presence of a community member was also intended to increase the comfort level of the participants. There is a possibility that in some cases, the presence of the community researcher inhibited the person being interviewed. This problem was discussed openly, and in several cases, community researchers chose not to participate in specific interviews, feeling that their presence would not be beneficial. These partnerships were integral to a two-way exchange of information between U B C and the community. Community researchers received training and experience in interview and focus group techniques, thus building on community skills that may have been initiated during past projects such as traditional land-use mapping. The community researchers were hired following standard community hiring procedures (these differed amongst the communities). Selection was based on their position in the community, an interest in and understanding of the project and, if necessary, fluency in both English and the community's traditional language and, ultimately, their willingness to work on the project. As I developed my relationships with the general community members, unofficial means of communication also developed. Casual conversations that resulted from chance meetings provided many opportunities to increase my understanding of the communities and the research. It also provided an opportunity for me to inform people about the project. These unofficial conversations were also integral to developing trust and provided community members with opportunities to assess whether or not I and ultimately the project was trustworthy and a useful use of participants' time. 43 Strategies have been developed to share the gained knowledge with the communities in general. Two communities have their Annual General Meetings approaching and lands personnel will include a small presentation outlining the current state of the project. Posters will be sent to all of the communities. Both presentations and posters will include pictures of both the researchers and the respective communities to help participants contextualize the interviews and research which too k place two years ago. Plans are also being made for me to return to the communities. Enhancing access to information is also integral to capacity-building. When final drafts of the thesis are returned to the First Nations, they will be accompanied by supporting literature which may be of use to the communities. 4.2.4 Field Visits and Participant Observation Prior to the initiation of the interview process, I spent between three and five weeks in the communities focusing on my entry into the community and establishing a good working rapport with community members. I was given the opportunity to participate in hunting trips, other research projects (with Dr. Kelly Bannister, University of Victoria), cultural events, community gatherings and camping trips. In total, I spent 21 days on the land with community members. Although these activities provided an opportunity to learn through observation, they also provided a mechanism to build a relationship of trust with community members, participants and the community leadership. This time afforded an informal opportunity for community members to get to know me and to learn about the project and my objectives, ultimately enabling them to make an informed choice regarding their participation. Developing these relationships also created a mechanism for informal feedback on the project. Participant observations helped facilitate my growing understanding of the cultural links to the land. While some understanding of these concepts is integral to the project, this is something that will never be completely understood by non-community members and the limited amount of time I had to spend with each community did not afford a complex understanding. Ultimately, I attempted to approach the cultural interpretations of land and values with an open mind (Schensul & LeCompte 1999). While I was a guest in the communities, I focused on listening to the concerns and stories that people wished to share with me and let the community teach me about their ties to the land. 44 A conspicuous habit such as note-taking could potentially impede the development of a trusting relationship with the community. Note-taking can be perceived as condescending and intrusive. Because trust-building is the primary objective of this period, field notes were made subtly, post hoc or by using a digital recorder to discreetly record my own reflections and perceptions. Although this method did risk the potential loss of direct quotes, it honored the primary objective of building trust. At no time, however, did I misrepresent my motivation for being in the community, my involvement in a specific activity, or my intention to record experiences and information at a later time. Based on Schensul (1999:119), the following note-taking procedures were followed: • Ensuring confidentiality by using unique identities (pseudonyms/numbers/letters) throughout the notes; • Describing activities in real time sequence; • Whenever possible, including exact quotes from conversations or informal meetings with research participants; • Distinguishing between direct quotes, my summaries of the events, and conversation. 4.2.5 Archival Research The communities have participated in past projects, including traditional use studies, traditional knowledge studies and wildlife studies. During my initial time in the communities, I enquired about past research conducted in, with and by the communities. Each community had participated in different projects and some communities had the information much more readily available than others. In the communities that had conducted extensive traditional knowledge and traditional land-use studies, I found that it was redundant to ask participants for detailed information pertaining to their land use. Redundant lines of questioning were perceived as disrespectful, as a waste of participants' time and ultimately resulted in open displeasure. The information collected previously contributed greatly to the understanding of specific land uses. Care was taken when analyzing this information to ensure that it was collected in a defensible and reliable way. These extensive studies also provide valuable triangulation for the interviews conducted for this project 45 and provided time to focus on the more complicated issues of land-use values and concerns. The community perceptions of these past projects helped guide my role as a research facilitator. Information that was previously collected provided an extremely valuable resource for this project. 4.2.6 Interviews While archival research and participant observation contributed greatly to my cultural understanding, the majority of the data relating directly to the research questions was gathered through interviews. A combination of individual and group interviews with expert land users was appropriate to address the research questions within the limited time frame. Initially, I had hoped to do a combination of in-depth individual interviews with key informants, and fewer in-depth focus groups with general participants. While both individual and group-interviews were conducted, I found that this structured approach was not feasible in all communities. More in-depth cultural information also came from field days with key informants and negated the need for formal interviews. In some cases, group interviews were not feasible and general participants were interviewed in a one-on-one setting; because this may have been the only time I met with these individual participants, they were not considered as key informants. In some cases, the community members were unable or unwilling to attend focus groups. As the project evolved, it became clear that for the purposes of analysis, the interviews should be divided into shorter interviews (either individual or group) with general participants and longer, in-depth interviews with key informants. It is worth noting, however, that even these distinctions were flexible. Group interviews are suitable for obtaining opinions and thoughts about a specific phenomenon (Morse and Field 1995) and also produce insight and information that is only possible with group interactions (Chambers 1997; Schensul 1999:53). In group situations, participants will also tend to verify information with others (Chambers 1997). Group interviews or focus groups provided an opportunity to generate a greater quantity of information with a wider scope than was possible through individual interviews. In some communities, group interviews were also seen as a social event and provided an opportunity for people to have fun, thus fostering community investment in the project. Although, typically, group interviews should involve between five and twelve participants (Schensul 1999), in this study, the number of participants in each group was low, ranging from 46 two to seven. There were several reasons for this: a smaller group provides more time to hear from each of the participants, the logistics of bringing more people together at the same time and place tend to favour smaller groups, and a large group situation often leads to difficulties in hearing and understanding some participants. In general, to increase comfort levels and productivity, group interviews were segregated loosely based on age, gender, kinship or land-use patterns (Schensul 1999; Natcher and Hickey 2002). With both groups and individuals, I conducted semi-structured, open-ended interviews and group interviews based on an interview guide that outlined important themes. In most cases, I was accompanied by a community researcher or liaison person. Semi-structured interviews provide participants the opportunity to share information in a narrative form that is representative of oral cultures. The interview guide evolved during my first few months in the communities and reflected the information already gathered by the specific First Nation. Because each participant or set of participants has a unique background and knowledge set, semi-structured guide-based interviews ensured that my questions were contextually appropriate to the participants. This approach also ensured that questions were clear and not redundant, as many of these people had previously shared information with me. The location, duration and means of recording interviews were decided by Chief and Council, land-use offices, participants and me. Interviews were conducted in participant's homes, band offices and occasionally in the field. This type of flexibility was integral to generating participation and facilitating participant comfort. It was important to find locations that were both culturally appropriate and comfortable for the participant, while being safe and quiet enough to have a meaningful conversation. Locations varied depending on the community and the individual participant's opinion and daily schedule. Many elders had the time to come to the band offices while community members that were working during the day preferred to conduct interviews in their homes. Most interviews were recorded using a digital recorder. In some cases, participants preferred to have notes taken. Whenever possible, both the community researcher and I took notes. This provided an opportunity to validate the notes and minimize bias. Generally, interviews should not exceed two hours (Kvale 1999) and ideally should be shorter (one hour). One to two hours can be a long time for someone in poor health. Alternatively, some individuals required a longer period to share stories and information. Interviews ranged from 30 minutes to two and a half hours. The longer interviews were those that involved multiple participants. 47 Participant reviews are an integral aspect of the collaborative process. Menzies (2001) recommends that transcribed copies of the interview be returned to the participant to provide them with an opportunity to clarify or comment on the contents of the interview. In general, participant reviews may be equated to the peer review process, and should not be perceived as censorship (Menzies 2001). Following the initial transcribing of the interviews, participants were given copies of the transcript and provided with an opportunity to offer feedback. The transcripts were reviewed with participants that were unable to read or where there were specific issues requiring clarification. Participant reviews were conducted to ensure that participants were comfortable with how their thoughts were expressed. This also provided an opportunity for further feedback and contributed to the development of trust. 4.2.7 Analytical Methods To analyse the information collected in interview transcripts, field notes and archival research, I employed the iterative methods of constant comparison described by Lincoln and Guba (1985). Although their process is similar to the procedure originally developed by Glaser and Strauss for the development of grounded theory1 3, Lincoln and Guba's methods differ in that the intention is not to develop theory but rather is "simply a means of processing data" (Lincoln and Guba 1985:340). After both transcribing and thoroughly reviewing the archival information, field notes and transcripts14, I identified and coded "natural meaning" units or cohesive passages of text (Kvale 1999:194). Throughout the process I continually revisited, condensed and refined these codes. Because the interviews were semi-structured, it was also necessary to identify which of the research questions the participant was addressing (in some cases both) prior to assigning themes to the passage. I then assigned the individual units to a theme or multiple themes. The assigned themes were not identified in advance. The themes emerged throughout the data collection process (Lincoln and Guba 1985). Prior to initiating the research, I also did not limit potential themes to specific conceptual categories. This was an important 1 3 A grounded theory is "one that is inductively derived from the study of phenomenon: fit, understanding, generality, and control" (Strauss and Corbin 1990). This entire project is not grounded theory because the goal was not to develop theory and the problems were approached with pre-conceived questions. 1 4 The individual First Nations will retain copies of all interviews. During the analysis phase, and for a five-after the completion of the project period (as required by U.B.C.), we will keep copies of the data. While in our care, the information will be stored in a secure and locked, or password-protected location. At the end of this five-year period the copies of the information retained at the University, will be destroyed. 48 characteristic of the analysis and reflects the interpretivist approach taken in this project. This allowed themes or issues to emerge rather than approaching the communities with prescribed potential issues. In addition to activities and organisms, potential themes could have included resources, activities, experiences, relationships, ecosystems, places, personal values and any other concept prioritized by the participants. Resulting codes included both concepts identified directly by the participants and those which I developed myself based on interpretation and inferences made to explain and contextualize comments (Lincoln and Guba 1985). The themes were then arranged in family trees or hierarchies of questions, themes and sub-themes. Once the transcripts were coded and arranged, it was possible to approach the information with specific questions in mind and essentially re-assemble it in specific categories. During this process, some noteworthy trends also emerged such as consistently reoccurring priorities and concerns. To manage the large volume of information and large number of themes, I utilized the qualitative data analysis software Q S R N6 (QSR International Pty Ltd 2002). Q S R N6 is based on grounded theory. The shared theoretical foundation of both the software and the analysis approach made Q S R N6 an appropriate and extremely useful tool. While I still had to manually assign themes to individual passages, the software tracked all of the themes and simplified the process of consolidating the themes to a manageable number and reducing redundancy. The software simplified the process of arranging the themes hierarchically and also made it possible to query the results for specific themes that overlap and intersected. I was then able to approach the data with specific questions in mind. For example, 'What are the land uses and values that are of concern?' and to search the data for passages that related to multiple themes. 4.2.8 Research Standards Denzin and Lincoln (2003) suggest that the standard criteria of reliability, objectivity, and internal and external validity are replaced with credibility, transferability, dependability and confirmability when working outside of a positivist framework. Regardless of the appropriate terms, there must be a means to ensure the quality of research. 49 Reliability, or the ability to reproduce results, is problematic in social science research approached from an interpretivist worldview (Lincoln and Guba 1985). The interpretivist worldview assumes that all realities are created, therefore different participants and researchers repeating the process at a different time could potentially produce differing results. By using multiple sources of information, participant observation, interviews and archival research, I increased the validity and thoroughness of the research. This triangulation can also be used to demonstrate consistency (Lincoln and Guba 1985). Working collaboratively with community researchers and allowing participant and community reviews also contributes to an accurate representation. 4.2.9 Ethics and Consent Because this project was initiated by the Treaty 8 Tribal Association, consent was already granted by the participating First Nations. Approximately two months prior to entering a community, I sent a letter of contact to the land-use offices and Chief and Council. The intent of this letter was to ensure that there was a written record that I would be coming to the community, what the community could expect from me and my expectations of the communities as research partners. Upon arrival in the communities, my presence and methods were discussed with Chief and Council. In most of the communities, I also required written permission from Chief and Council (Band Council Resolution) to review previous projects and interviews. This consent was contingent upon community leadership being given the opportunity to review the analysis of this information prior to it being made public. The University of British Columbia Ethical Review Board has acknowledged the need for culturally appropriate research methods. Due to this shift towards more culturally sensitive practices, I was able gain approval to use either written or oral consent processes with interview participants. Prior to each interview, participants were informed about the project, the uses of the data and the potential risks. They were informed that they could end the interview at anytime. They were asked separately, if they consented to having the interview recorded. 4.2.10 Critical Analysis of Methods The final step in the research process involved a critical analysis of the methods. This included assessing how effective the methods were at achieving the research objectives 50 1 outlined in Chapter One, comparing this research project to other similar projects and making recommendations for future research projects and resource managers. 51 5.0 CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF METHODS Flexibility and collaboration were integral to the research design of this project and meeting the research objectives; therefore, the data collection methods evolved during the fieldwork. This flexibility and evolution resulted in some unforeseen problems but also created opportunities. In the following section, I discuss the evolution of the research methods and the unforeseen challenges and opportunities. This chapter is intended to highlight the lessons learned from this project and benefit both the research partners and those embarking on similar projects in the future. 5.1 OVERCOMING CHALLENGES AND FINDING OPPORTUNITIES 5.1.1 Timelines Unexpected delays occurred when there were events and deaths in the community, scheduling confusion, holidays, and logistical problems. These delays resulted in a field season that lasted six months rather than four. Increased costs ultimately resulted in a reduction in the number of communities that were involved in the study. The longest unforeseen delays occurred following my arrival in the northeast. In three of the communities, I required written Band Council Resolutions (BCR) to review archived material. These processes exist to protect the rights and interests of the First Nations. I waited eight weeks to have the BCRs in place and begin the archival research. The delay can be attributed to the lack of an established relationship between the communities and myself, changes in administrative staff, and to the official mechanisms already in place within the communities. Having initiated the project with the Treaty 8 Tribal Association, the Chiefs and Councillors of the participating communities were extremely supportive. While staff members were also very supportive and generous with their time, it is important to make a distinction between staff members and leadership. While this project and my time management were at the top of my agenda and leadership had expressed strong support, staff members had extremely busy schedules and could not always prioritize my work. It took time for information to travel from staff to leadership and this contributed to the slow start. 52 During the summer months there were many community events, including one-day community celebrations, weekend rodeos and culture camps lasting up to two weeks. Although community events caused delays in the interviewing schedule, they also provided an opportunity for me to meet more community members, share information about the project and participate in the community. Whenever possible, I attempted to attend and participate in these activities, seizing the opportunity to further develop relationships and learn about the communities. At the other end of the spectrum, during the 2004 field season, there were two deaths in one of the communities. The effects of these deaths were felt throughout the small community. The community entered into a process of mourning that certainly precluded involvement in research projects. At these times I had to evaluate the appropriateness of my presence in the communities and in both cases, I chose to leave and return later. This meant that my scheduled interviews had to be cancelled and conducted at a later date. In one case, the delay meant that the community researcher was unable to help me complete the interviews and had to be replaced. While I found research delays frustrating and expensive, our First Nations' research partners have also expressed frustration at the time taken to produce tangible research results. There is often an issue of incompatibility when academics are working with communities. Greenwood and Levin point out that "Significance tests, fat research resumes, and prestige in the eyes of other academics are not central to their interests - results are" (2003:138). The First Nations research partners were and still are seeking a tool that will be immediately useful in an applied context and it is the urgency of these needs that originally prompted the Treaty 8 Tribal Association to initiate this project. However, the delays apparent to the First Nations' partners actually represent the standard research process associated with research. The fracture occurred in the initial management of expectations and the ongoing communication. 5.1.2 Consent to Participate "The consent form sits at the contradictory base of the institutionalization of research. Although the aim of informed consent is presumably to protect respondents, informing them of the possibility of harm in advance and inviting them to withdraw if they so desire, it also effectively releases the institution or funding agency from any liability and gives control of the research process to the researcher" (Fine et al. 2003:177). When one considers that one of 53 the primary objectives of action research is to balance the scales of power between the researcher and participants (Le Compte & Schensul 1999), the imposition of power associated with the standard consent form is a significant concern. Fine et al. (2003) suggested that the consent process ultimately stripped their participants and researchers of their "illusions of friendship and reciprocity" (Fine et al. 2003:178). In this project, the process of gaining official consent also served as a reminder of the historical imposition of Eurocentric values on indigenous cultures and in some cases, appeared to challenge an individual's indication of consent by showing up at the interview. This was noted on more than one occasion by participants and was best summarized by the participant who noted: "Well I am here aren't I?" The flexibility to use an oral consent process was invaluable and certainly served to minimize some of the interpersonal impacts of the consent process, showed regard for the cultural traditions and conveyed respect to those participants that were not literate. The institutional objectives of the oral consent process are however the same as the intentions of the written process and it is this in essence that ultimately creates a power imbalance and undermines the creation of a trusting relationship. While the tension created by the consent process did not directly alter the research design, in some ways it limited the development of a trusting relationship and a true collaboration. 5.1.3 The Risks of Sharing Information For First Nations, there are risks associated with entering into research partnerships with universities. These risks include threats to intellectual property rights and the potential for publication of confidential information. Integral to protecting these rights is a clear understanding of the value of this information and the potential threats. "When people give informed consent, does this mean their stories no longer belong to them.... "(Fine et al. 2003:180)? To ensure that the personal stories of individuals did not become the property of the University, I committed not to reproduce any personal stories that were shared by participants. Participants were repeatedly asked if stories were not intended for the purposes of this research and should be excluded from transcripts. If this was the case, the stories were left out of the transcripts and notes and contributed only to my greater understanding. 54 ] Intellectual property rights and the threat of bioprospecting limited what information could be collected and published. Bioprospecting is the practice of seeking and collecting biological samples and information for potential commercial purposes. Increasingly, international companies are seeking access to Canada (Dalton 2002) and T E K is recognized as a useful source of potentially valuable information. The mismanagement of T E K on a project such as this could potentially result in indigenous communities losing the legal rights to their own culture. While medicinal plants are an integral part of the culture in each of the participating communities, in most of the communities, the specific use of individual medicinal plants is proprietary knowledge and is not widely known or shared. While some communities willingly share this information, others closely guard it. To avoid the risks associated with intellectual property rights and to simultaneously protect the interests and values of all the participant communities, no information on the specific use of plants was sought in any of the communities. Information that was offered freely was not recorded and has been excluded from this thesis. An attempt was made, however, to understand the concepts associated with the impacts of industry on traditional medicines as whole. To do this, I discussed links between types and level of activity and the quality and abundance of medicines in general. The risks associated with commodifying T E K are not limited to bioprospecting. Projects that entrain T E K into scientific frameworks increase the potential for its commodification. In response to the potential commodification of Inuit TEK, Cruikshank cautioned that "fragmentation, objectification, and standardization of knowledge by encroaching bureaucracy carries unanticipated costs" (1998:68). Because T E K has momentous cultural value, the potential risk of commodification should be carefully considered. The First Nations of Treaty No. 8 are currently consulted for traditional use information pertaining to potential oil and gas developments. Expert knowledge holders are paid for their time. This has set a precedent of paying people for their knowledge. In some communities, no distinction was made between research projects and development projects. While the honoraria that we paid were significantly lower than the rates offered by industry, the expense involved limited this project and will inhibit the communities' abilities to pursue future research projects. To say, however, that participants should not be given honoraria implies that their time and knowledge does not have value in the current economic system. This dilemma highlights the reality that T E K knowledge exists in a current context and illustrates the complicated realities of trying to incorporate T E K into resource management and research. 55 The protection of the locations of spiritually significant sites and preferred hunting, trapping and gathering locations was also an issue during this project. The public nature of this thesis restricted the specificity of information that can be reported. This type of information has therefore been excluded from the thesis. In 1998, Treaty 8 First Nations entered into a memorandum of understanding with the British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission. At the time, several land-use issues, including the assessment of cumulative impacts, were "set aside". These issues are now under negotiation. In 2003, Saulteau First Nation launched a legal challenge to the approval of Vintage Energy Canada Ltd.'s application to begin exploratory drilling in area traditionally used by community members. If the participating First Nations find themselves before the courts again, there is the risk that we could be summoned to court and required to give evidence under oath. This would result in the dilemma of being in contempt of court or breaching confidentiality agreements and, most importantly, violating personal commitments that were made to the communities and community members. The legal council representing the University of British Columbia was unable to provide any advice on how to resolve this dilemma (Mark Crosbie, personal communication, June 25, 2004). When entering into research relationships with communities potentially facing court cases, researchers operating within the current University guidelines must recognize the immense risk they are asking communities to take by sharing confidential information. Based on an understanding of the risks and both the written and un-written commitments they are making, community researchers working in indigenous communities would do well to prepare themselves for this decision prior to entering into research partnerships. First Nations face another potential risk when entering into collaborative research projects such as this. With the ongoing challenges of government and industry negotiations, there is potential for knowledge shared in research projects to be decontextualized and misrepresented. As a result of this risk, research partners were very concerned about the specific language used in research questions and in the representation of results. The fear, is that by identifying concerns today, they are potential negating other concerns or unintentionally prioritizing concerns. 56 5.1.4 Mutual Understanding Clarity in communication was a huge challenge. In general, I found it very difficult to explain the project to community members, staff and leadership, despite the project having being initiated by the Treaty 8 Tribal Association. This is, in part, because of the rapid turnover of administrative personnel within some of the First Nations' offices and a lack of continuity between staff. The participants' diverse range of expertise, life experience, formal education and language skills required that I employ a variety of means to explain the project. In many cases, I found that I could not clearly explain the project until I had an opportunity to use images. In some cases this was a presentation of photographs while in other cases it was simply a quick sketch. During the planning phase, long after I believed that leadership had a clear understanding of the project, one council member expressed confusion regarding cumulative impacts. This confusion is shared by many of the non-aboriginal partners involed in the project. One possible explanation for the confusion amongst the First Nations' partners is cultural differences. As previously indicated, Goulet (1998) and others have noted that direct questioning is considered inappropriate in many northern indigenous cultures. While people may have tolerated my incessant questioning as part of the research process, they may have restrained themselves from asking questions. Aside from cultural differences, simply admitting that one does not understand something can be a daunting step. The confusion of the nature of cumulative impact analyses was widespread, and extended to the government officials involved in negotiations with the Treaty 8 Tribal Association. The confusion may also be attributed to the overall uncertainty surrounding the concept as discussed in Chapter Two of this thesis. This potential for miscommunication is a huge ethical issue and regardless of the means used, the onus lies with the researcher to ensure that the participants fully understand the project. Eliciting informed consent requires that participants have a clear understanding of the project and clearly, the only way to move beyond the hierarchical power structure historically associated with ethnographic work is to ensure that participants have a clear understanding of the intentions of research. Furthermore, if the community members were struggling to understanding the project, I can only imagine the incorrect assumptions that I have made about information that has been shared with me. Working with community researchers and conducting participant reviews were intended to reduce the possibility of cultural misunderstandings. 57 To facilitate communication between the researchers, communities and other partners, the original research proposal included the intention to employ a community member to work as a part-time extension specialist in partnership with F O R R E X (Forest Research Extension Specialists). Despite posting the position during the summer and fall of 2004, we were unable to find anyone to fill this role. The geographic distance between the communities and the high wages paid by industry in northern British Columbia (in comparison to researcher salaries), severely limited the availability of qualified personnel. As a result, maintaining consistent ongoing communication with the communities (and other research partners) has been challenging. 5.1.5 Bridging the Cultural Gaps Many of the diverse participants did not distinguish between ecological effects and social problems. 'Indeed, most aboriginal people are quite explicit about the uncompartmentalized nature of the lifestyle that is referred to as "traditional knowledge". To survive on the land one must "know about" not only certain animals, but how they fit into a complex web or practices, values and social relations that encompass not only all animals, plants, and land forms but humans as well' (Nadasdy 1999:6). While my original research question was to identify ecosystem components that could be assessed in the cumulative impact assessment, it was clear that the ecological impacts of industry development were inseparable from the cultural and social impacts. Nadasdy (1999) sums it up well when he reports that native elders "... when asked to share their knowledge about the "environment", are just as likely to talk about "non-environmental" topics like kinship or respect as they are to talk about animals and landscapes. Every time researchers or bureaucrats dismiss or ignore these parts of an elder's testimony as irrelevant, they are actually imposing their own culturally derived standards of relevance" (Nadasdy 1999:4). The concept of setting priorities may also be in direct conflict with a holistic cultural perspective. While necessary to facilitate the other stages of the cumulative impact assessment, the reductionist approach of compartmentalizing and prioritizing results is somewhat problematic. 58 5.1.6 Past Projects and Archival Research Communities in the northeast have participated in multiple research projects and consultation processes including traditional use studies, traditional knowledge studies and oral history projects. As a result of these projects, there is a vast resource of documented information and knowledge. While knowledge collected for these earlier projects contributed to this project, inter-community variations presented complications for the research design. Furthermore, community members have now formed opinions regarding the utility of participating in research projects. In three of the four communities, multiple participants openly expressed frustration with the number of interviews that have been conducted in the past and the perception that little has been accomplished. ".. .the interviews have been done with industries, with government, different government funders to the point where a majority of the people here get frustrated because there is no follow up - nothing is done about it." These sentiments often extended to the overall sentiment of powerlessness reflected in this comment: "They won that case, within another week government made another law to overturn that other law. And then the oil companies won that case after that law was turned .... So what are going to do? The oil companies are running the government." This sense of powerlessness, stemming in part from the shortcomings of official consultation processes and the lack of effective follow-up from previous research projects has affected the willingness of individuals to participate in this and future projects. To not worsen the problem and to convey respect for the previous efforts made by the communities, it was important that previously documented knowledge be utilized. Furthermore, community members were not interested in participating in the project if they felt they had already given the same interview at an earlier date. Utilizing previously documented information presented multiple logistical challenges (format, location, quality). In some cases, information relevant to this project had been collected and stored in such a way that it contributed directly and represented an unforeseen depth and 59 scope of insight that would not have been otherwise available. In other communities, little information has been collected or what there is has been misplaced. 5.1.7 Community Researchers Community researchers are an integral part of the collaborative research process and working with community researchers provided the most directly tangible learning experiences. They contributed greatly to the objective of capacity building. Working with community researchers also presented some complications. Each of the community researchers brought different strengths to the project and certainly the project would not have been possible without these contributions. In some cases, the community researchers were gifted at organizational and administrative tasks while in other communities, the researchers' skills lay in their ability to communicate with people. I strived to compensate for the differences amongst the community researchers. Working together ahead of time, and discussing our mutual objectives, strengths and weaknesses prepared us to move forward together. Triangulating the data with information collected for other projects minimized variation resulting from multiple community researchers. Simply finding community researchers also proved to be unexpectedly difficult. In some communities, people were initially uncomfortable working on the project, due to the cultural and political problems involved with visiting and interviewing a wide range of people, because the wages offered were not competitive with wages associated with industry in the region, or because the short timeframe of the opportunity was not appealing. 5.1.8 Participant Reviews Participant reviews were intended to ensure the validity of the data and their interpretation. Although the potential time required to do reviews seemed daunting, this step was of particular importance. The individual reviews provided participants with a chance to clarify and provide further comment. Unexpectedly, the reviews also provided an opportunity to express recognition and gratitude for the participant's contributions. Returning transcript copies provided an initial opportunity to give participants tangible evidence of their contributions. Participants clearly expressed appreciation of this step, and it was the first step in ensuring that this project does not further entrench the feelings of powerlessness. 60 5.1.9 Community Review of Documents Soliciting comments on the final thesis proved to be another challenging step in the collaboration. Regrettably, money, time and a lack of foresight led to a situation where the First Nations were asked to participate in a process somewhat similar to standard review and comment consultation. In retrospect, this step should not have been done from a distance and would have best been done in person. Ultimately, two of the communities commented directly on the thesis. It should be noted that the choice to comment or not is not necessarily indicative of a good or bad, weak or strong relationship. The two communities that commented represent the community in which I spent the most time and know the most people, and the community in which I spent the least time and know the fewest community and staff members. Very regrettably, two communities chose not to comment. In addition to an inappropriate process, other reasons for not commenting on the final thesis may include a lack of capacity or time, a sense of trust and lack of concern, underdeveloped relationships or an overall lack of interest in the project. 5.1.10 Trust and Commitments Building trust was the single most daunting and rewarding aspect of the project. Building trust takes time and ultimately there is no way around this step. We required trusting relationships at all different levels of the project. While the Treaty 8 Tribal Association had to trust the Faculty of Forestry at UBC, I strove to gain the trust of every Chief and Council, staff member, participant and community member. My commitments and ties to the communities extend beyond the duration of this project. The development of trusting relationships is a significant investment, and worth maintaining. When an elder who does not read or write asks you to ensure that he receives a copy of everything that is written based on his contributions so that he may give it to his grandchildren, you listen. You listen and you remember. These are not the kind of commitments that can be made and forgotten, especially when someone has overcome their initial scepticism and chosen to trust you. Building the requisite trust requires a willingness to make and honour personal commitments. The trust that my work engendered is genuine. Despite many of the difficulties associated with meeting the expectations of some research partners for immediate results, and our inability to 61 meet these expectations, we have been invited to prepare a submission to continue our research in the area. We have also involved the Treaty 8 Tribal Association in proposals for other research projects, demonstrating our commitment to continue research with them. 5.2 MEETING RESEARCH OBJECTIVES Many of the objectives originally set for this research were specific to the methods rather than the results. These objectives included increasing community capacity to conduct similar projects in the future, exploring the degree to which collaborative partnerships can provide an effective approach to research, and exploring the implications of collaboration and community diversity for resource management in British Columbia. The following discussion outlines the degree to which the methods met the research objectives. 5.2.1 Increasing Community Capacity One of the primary research objectives of this project was to develop community capacity to conduct projects such as this in the future. Capacity is not limited to skills, but also includes access to information and researchers. The most direct contribution to capacity development was a result of working with the community researchers. In two of the communities, this provided younger community members with an opportunity to learn about social research and the natural sciences. In the other communities, it provided individuals with an opportunity to enhance skills that had been gained on earlier projects. This project provided an opportunity to increase the information available in the communities. Some communities maintain well-organized inventoried libraries of past studies while other communities are in the process of compiling and documenting these collections. This project provided an opportunity to highlight missing documents and inventory existing documents. Together with the information collected for this project, communities were also given copies of significant supporting literature. By working with the University of British Columbia on this project, the communities increased their understanding of the opportunities, expectations and pitfalls that surround collaboration with academia. However, changes in staff and leadership could swiftly undo these lessons if they are not institutionalized. If this experience is used to develop official mechanisms and 62 protocols for future projects, the project will have made a greater contribution. Ideally this would occur within both the First Nation and the university. 5.2.2 Research Potential of Collaborative Partnerships Based ultimately on the level of community support and the richness of information that has been collected, this portion of the project has been a successful collaboration. During this project, difficulties arose when researcher agendas and community agendas were incompatible or there was a lack of mutual understanding. The success of future collaboration depends on increased capacity for mutual comprehension, and the establishment of long-term, trusting professional relationships. 5.2.3 Diversity In and Amongst Communities The objective of exploring an understanding of the diversity amongst and within First Nations communities, and the implications this has for resource management, can be assessed within the context of both the methods and the results. The distinct cultural, historical and demographic characters of the participating communities were reflected in the community members' willingness to participate, the availability of archival information, preparedness for collaboration and the means that were required to explain the research project and elicit input. An attempt to approach these communities with an inflexible, rigid methodology would have been unsuccessful. 5.3 SUMMARY The lessons learned during this project have the potential to benefit both the research partners and those embarking on similar projects in the future. Archival information, participant reviews and community researchers collaboration proved to be more challenging than originally expected but overcoming these challenges greatly enriched both the research and my experience. Unforeseen obstacles arose surrounding incompatible timelines, expectations and communication. The diversity in and amongst the communities and the range of archival J information existing in some communities, stretched the bounds of standard scientific design. These challenges demanded flexibility and threw a spotlight on the integral value of respect 63 and understanding. Approaching the enquiry with a rigid, quantitative research approach would have resulted in utter failure. ^ The greatest and most pressing problem encountered during the course of this research is the general incompatibility of university institutional practices and community practices and expectation. While building technical capacity in communities is certainly a pressing issue, there are major underlying issues that need to be resolved first. Communities are unaware of the processes, risks, challenges and limitations that are involved in partnering with universities. What may be obvious to either community representatives or university researchers, maybe entirely foreign to their research partners. As responsible researchers, we must ensure that all of this information is clearly communicated and make no assumptions regarding our research partners' understanding and expectations of the relationship. In terms of capacity building, the most pressing issue is equipping communities and universities with the information and understanding requisite for mutually beneficial partnerships. 64 6.0 IDENTIFIED COMMUNITY CONCERNS The primary goal of this project was to identify the land-use rights and interests that are currently of the utmost concern to the participating First Nations, and the ecosystem components or attributes that are necessary to maintain these interests. Conversations and interviews with community members also resulted in the identification of industrial activities that are of concern to community members, and perceived as having a direct impact on land-use rights and interests. The purpose of this chapter is to present the information that was shared by the participating communities. It cannot be emphasized strongly enough that the following information does not represent an exhaustive list of concerns, rights or interests, but rather is an overview of the concerns identified by participants at this time under these circumstances. While participants were consistently concerned about the rate and amount of industrial development, the collaboration resulted in the identification of six significant themes or types of land-use rights and interests: • land-based activities • human health • identity, culture and sense of place • access to financial benefits • power, rights and jurisdiction • intrinsic value of nature These themes are not mutually exclusive and an intricate web is created by the various components and attributes associated with each theme. The data could have been organized in many ways. For this report, it is presented according to these themes to facilitate the cumulative impact assessment and directly address the research questions. This chapter outlines these six themes and, where appropriate, the associated sub-themes, components and attributes that were identified or inferred by the participants. Industrial activities of concern are also identified. Sub-themes, components, attributes and industrial activities are listed. In the first six sections, the four communities are represented collectively; noteworthy trends and contradictions are discussed in the following sections. Throughout the following sections, quotes are included to contextualize and clarify. Direct quotes from transcripts and interview notes are presented in italics and quotations. 65 6.1 LAND-BASED ACTIVITIES Land-based activities were the predominant theme identified by participants. These include sustenance activities, cultural practices and recreation—often these are not mutually exclusive. 6.1.1 Hunting Hunting is widely practised and integral to the economic well-being of many families. Many participants reported that they are dependent on meat from hunting. However, the significance of hunting extends beyond economic benefits and having cultural, spiritual and social implications. Hides are still tanned and used for various crafts, and meat from wild game is often shared amongst community members, strengthening community ties. In regard to the significance of hunting, one participant remarked that: "Sure I got a job and I can afford to buy meat but it's [moose] our regular diet and it's what we like to do and it's practicing traditions or customs so they are not lost." Components Although many species are hunted, moose {Alces alces) stand out as the preferred species. Many participants discussed hunting the following species: • moose • deer (Odocoileus virginianus and Odocoileus hemionus) v • elk (Cervus elaphus) • caribou (Rangifer tarandus) • rabbit (snowshoe hare Lepus americanus) • grouse (Bonasa umbellus, Tympanuchus phasianellus, Falcipennis Canadensis, Dendragapus obscurusl) • waterfowl Infrequent reference was made to the following species: 66 • sheep (Ovis dalli and CV/'s canadensis) • goat (Oreamnos americanus) • beaver (Castor Canadensis) • bear (Ursus americanus and Ursus arctos) • lynx (Felislynx) • porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum) Participants identified the following as integral to hunting and game species: • moose licks • moose calving grounds • thermal cover • shelter from hunters and predation • forage and browse species • beaver lodges • bear trees Participants also emphasised the importance of the following attributes: • animalhealth • animal behaviour • animal distribution • population structure and dynamics • suitability for consumption Impacts of Industry In relation to hunting, community members expressed concern about a range of industrial activities. In general, there was an overriding sense of uncertainty and concern regarding the impacts of industrial development, and the safety of consuming animals found in areas where industry is active. This uncertainty is undermining some people's hunting opportunities and experience. 67 Some community members are reluctant to hunt in heavily developed areas because they feel that animal health in these areas has been compromised and that the animals are unfit for consumption. One participant discussed how they are no longer willing to hunt in one heavily developed area: "Before we used to do a lot of hunting in Del Rio. All them well sites got moose licks right beside. Find quite a few moose that are unhealthy. We hunt different areas where there are not well sites and we don't see moose like that. Cysts, scabby legs, only in Del Rio. Don't go hunting in Del Rio. We don't eat them." More specifically, community members are concerned that animals are drinking from the sump water and ingesting the soils found at the base of oil and gas wells. There is concern that the animals may be contaminated with toxins: ".. .if you went to the grocery store and somebody said 'well this beef has been drinking contaminated water but it should be alright' would you eat that beef?...I don't feel safe, I don't feel comfortable eating food that I suspect..." In addition to the pollution associated with oil and gas, the herbicide spraying done by forest operators is of concern. The following comments reflect community members' concerns and the uncertainty regarding the effects of spraying: "77?ey spray that pesticide herbicide stuff, that's not good. The moose probably go there and rest. Maybe that is where those lumps and stuff come from eh. It is hard to say. You gotta do a lot more research on that." Overall participants expressed concern about the following industry-related impacts: • pollution and contamination of habitat • loss of browse, grazing and forage species • habitat fragmentation • reduction of habitat availability • traffic (collision-related mortalities and disturbance of animals) • restricted First Nations' access to land • rate and intensity of industrial development • disturbance of animals 68 • industrial activity in prime hunting areas • proximity of viable hunting grounds from reservation • increased hunting pressure due to increased access for non-First Nations hunters • a lack of information regarding the extent of current and future effects 6.1.2 Trapping and Snaring Currently, trapping is not as widely-practiced as hunting, yet it is still highly valued for its cultural significance. Participants reported that the current low price of fur has reduced the current economic gain from trapping. The lower fur prices relative to the wages earned working for industry mean that trapping and snaring are not currently of great economic significance for most of the participants. This loss of economic value however, does not reduce the cultural importance of trapping. Trapping is linked to both traditional practice and the legal rights that are associated with registered traplines. Participants expressed interest in trapping in general; they also expressed concern that the rights associated with legally registered traplines be protected. Trapline rights represent a broader set of land-use activities to the registered holder. Time spent on traplines is closely linked to the other land-use themes, and is seen as a valuable time to share cultural knowledge and experience with younger generations. In reference to trapline rights, one participant remarked: "... it is not the trapping that is that important anymore, it is the life. You go out there and live that life, that is what is important." Relative to both trapline rights and the more general activity of trapping, most participants are concerned about protecting future rights to trap, as trapping is integral to their cultural identity and it would be their livelihood if industry were to leave the area. Components The species discussed in reference to trapping included the following: • marten [Maries americana) • weasel (Mustela nivalis) 69 • fisher {Maries pennanti) • squirrel {Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) • lynx • rabbit (snowshoe hare) • beaver • wolverine (Gulo gulo) To maintain healthy populations of species, participants stressed the importance of protecting the following: • coniferous forests • thermal cover • shelter • valley bottoms • Community members emphasized the importance of: • animal health • behaviour • distribution • population structure and dynamics • the ecological integrity of specific areas (i.e. traplines) Impacts of Industry Forestry practices are the primary concern associated with trapping rights and wildlife populations. Participants are concerned that clearcutting removes habitat that fur-bearers are dependent on, specifically spruce forest. For trappers, the links between deforestation and productivity are clear: "Now there is nothing left to trap. All the timber is gone. There is no timber." One participant commented on the impacts of forestry on squirrels: "Now there was a 150 year old tree standing there where squirrels can live off. When they clearcut, they take that 150 years for that tree to be full grown and that things supposed to back, where does that squirrel go?" 70 The interviews identified the following industry related impacts: • disturbance of animals • impact and disturbance in specific regions • pollution and contamination of habitat • habitat fragmentation • reduction of habitat availability • traffic (collision-related mortalities and disturbance of animals) • restricted First Nations' access to land • proximity of viable trapping grounds from reservation 6.1.3 Fishing Some participants reported fishing in local rivers and lakes on a regular basis. Components While no specific species were emphasized, the following species were discussed: • Dolly Varden (Salvelinus malma) • grayling (Prosopium williamsoni or Thymallus arcticus arcticus) • ling cod (Lota lota) • jackfish (Esox lucius) • bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) • white fish (Coregonus albula) • suckerspp. • lake trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii clarkii) • rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) Participants were concerned about the following: • fish health • fish size • fish abundance Impacts of Industry Overall, the interviews identified the following industry related impacts: • contamination of fish • pollution of habitat • alteration of water temperature • siltation in streams and rivers 6.1.4 Food Gathering Most participants discussed picking berries annually. In addition to contributing consistently to some household's income, food gathering, and specifically berry-picking, represents an opportunity for community members to spend time together on the land. The following quotes demonstrate some aspects of the role that food gathering plays in the community: "... every year I go out with our elders and just on reserve here we got many different types of berries. So, they can 'em every year...so that is the kind of stuff I like." and "An old lady in an old pick up with a bunch of buckets in the back and a truck load of kids. You dont see that anymore." 72 Components Many plant species were and are collected for food. Various species of berries are the most widely collected plant species. These include: • lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium caespitosum) • highbush blueberry (Vaccinium ovalifolium) • huckleberries (Vaccinium membranaciaum) • raspberries (Rubus idaeus and Rubus pubescens) • cranberries (Viburnum edule) • strawberries (Fragaria vesca and Fragaria virginiana) • Saskatoon berries (Amelanchier alnifolia) Other plants collected for food include: • mint tea (Mentha arvensis) • trapper's tea (Ledum glandulosum) • wild onions (Allium cernuum) • wild rhubarb (Heraculeum lanatum) • rosehips (Rosa acicularis) • dandelions (Taraxacum officinale) • bluebells (Martensia paniculata) • birch sap (Betula papyrifera) Impacts of Industry The primary industry-related gathering concern is the potential impact of herbicide applications associated with forestry operations. In addition to reducing the abundance of berries, spraying also raises concerns about the safety of consuming berries and other plants. "Well there is sprays. There is herbicides. They spray the stuff on the roads and then ah...we don t even know if our berry patches are sprayed." 73 Participants were concerned about maintaining access to known berry patches: "Now we are finding agriculture and guide outfitters are taking away lands that we kept undisturbed for the purpose of hunting and fishing and trapping and gathering." The interviews identified the following industry-related impacts: • pollution and contamination of plants • reduction in abundance of plants • proximity of viable harvesting areas from community 6.1.5 Gathering Medicines Collecting information relative to this theme was complicated by the proprietary nature of this type of data and the potential risk to intellectual property rights. According to most participants, knowledge of medicinal plants is extremely proprietary and cannot be widely shared. Typically, knowledge is shared only with those who requires the knowledge for healing. Components Many participants pointed out that every plant is a medicine and has a purpose: "I know what, I know every plant there is a reason for every plant, that I was told." Well known and previously published species that were mentioned by participants included: • rat root (Acorus calamus) • water lily • mint tea • trapper's tea Specific ecosystems that were emphasized include: • riparian ecosystems • alpine ecosystems 74 Impacts of Industry Participants discussed the importance of maintaining undisturbed, unpolluted areas for gathering medicines. The pollution found around well-sites and the effects of herbicide spraying were of particular concern, rendering medicines unsafe and undesirable. Most participants will not pick medicinal plants at industrial sites. Forestry herbicide spraying is also believed to reduce the abundance of certain species. Overall, the interviews identified the following industry-related impacts: • pollution and contamination of plants • reduction in abundance and availability of specific species 6.1.6 Teaching and Cultural Sharing Most interviewees specifically addressed the importance of teaching cultural practices and values, and language to future generations. "We are kinda getting like squeezed out of there right? And in order for our culture to survive into the future we are going to need some land for teaching there. You know that is our institution that is our school, that's our school, that's our hospitals, everything, that's the church. All our institutions are in here. And all the resources that provide those you know." Components For the purposes of teaching, participants emphasized: • access to undisturbed areas • moose Impacts of Industry Overall, the interviews identified the following industry-related impacts: • degradation of ecological functioning • restricted First Nations' access to land 75 6.1.7 Camping Many participants discussed the importance of getting out on the land to spend time in cabins or camping. In some cases, these rights are strongly linked to trapline rights, teaching, hunting, trapping and gathering. Components In reference to camping, community members emphasized the importance of the following: • peace and quiet • solitude • visual qualities • abundance and health of wildlife Impacts of Industry Overall, the interviews identified the following industry-related impacts: • noise • deterioration of visual qualities • degradation of ecological functioning • increased road access for non-First Nations • increased human activity 6.2 HUMAN HEALTH In general, community members' concerns about human health and the associated ecosystem components were directly linked to industrial activity and associated changes. 76 Components Relating specifically to human health, participants expressed concern about the following: • game species • food and medicine plant species • air quality • water quality Impacts of Industry \ Participants expressed concern that air and water quality are deteriorating as a result of industrial activity. "Well it's a now they got the oil too close and the air will be too bad for the kids and the old people and for animals. Small pollutions accumulate into big problems. Used to get water from a natural spring but it is polluted because of nearby well." Overall, the interviews identified the following industry-related impacts: • contamination of animals and plants • proximity of industrial development to residential areas • proximity of industrial activities to water supplies • emissions from industrial activity • pollution of surface and ground water • impacts of deforestation on hydrological cycles • understanding of the impacts and risks. 6.3 IDENTITY, CULTURE AND SENSE OF PLACE Participants expressed that their personal and cultural identities are tightly bound to the land. A loss or degradation of these attributes, components and sites undermines individuals' and communities' identity, sense of culture, sense of place and enjoyment. 77 "Why the land is so important is because it is so closely connected to our culture and our way of living. The people we are is because of the closeness to the land." Participants emphasized the importance of passing these values on to future generations. Components Beyond the overall ecological functioning, moose were the most significant concern and represent so much more than just a game species. "Need area that is not touched...without the land we dont have any culture. Need to keep the moose alive to keep culture. " The issues and attributes that were identified by participants include: • overall ecological functioning • moose • visual qualities • pristine areas • peace and quiet • solitude • traditional campsites • historical wagon trails • historical landmarks • culturally and spiritually significant sites • access to and condition of specific areas Impacts of Industry Overall, the interviews identified the following industry-related impacts: • restricted First Nations' access to land • noise • deterioration of visual qualities 78 • degradation of ecological functioning • loss or damage of historical and traditional sites • proximity of industrial activities to residential • proximity of industrial activity to spiritually and/or culturally significant areas 6.5 ACCESS TO FINANCIAL BENEFITS This theme refers to access to economic opportunities linked to industrial activities on the land base. Many of the participants want access to the economic benefits that are associated with industrial development. One participant summed it up with the following comment: "Local people around here they always worked and make a little money from timber. But this way, [industry] arrives from Prince George and all the big outfits come up here and logging. In the springtime, they are all gone. All the money goes somewhere else. And see people are scraping to make a living here. And they don't hire anybody here. You know um, I realize there's lots of problems employing people. I also realize if you dont give people a chance to try they are never going to accomplish anything." Components The specific opportunities discussed by participants include: • employment (number, quality and duration of opportunities) • the flow of economic profits • long-term investment in communities 6.5 POWER, RIGHTS AND JURISDICTION The importance of making or contributing to land-use decisions was discussed by participants. Many expressed a feeling of frustration and powerlessness in reference to their ability to affect land-use decisions and the meaningfulness of the consultation processes. 79 "We are nothing right now. It is all controlled by the government. You think it's our land -no.. You cant stop the oil companies. They will do whatever they want no matter what we say they will do it." Components The process used to communicate with individual trapline holders raises some concerns amongst the community members, for example: "They send letters but by the time you get out there the activity has happened.. .places I used to trap there is nothing left but the willows." The following points were of concern to participants: • respect for First Nations culture and values • consultation process and timeline • follow-up after consultation • confusion surrounding rights and tenure of First Nations', government and industry • recognition of First Nations' rights and tenure 6.6 INTRINSIC VALUE OF NATURE This theme refers to the fundamental value of the ecosystem and its components, regardless of human utility. Participants expressed the opinion that every aspect of the natural world is important, as is the overall functioning of the ecosystem. "I think all the animals should be protected to a certain extent." Due the holistic nature of this concept, it cannot be broken down into specific components. 6.7 SIGNIFICANT THEMES AND COMPONENTS Some striking themes emerged from the data. These themes tell of the participants' concerns that they may be losing access to the lands that are integral to their way of life, culture, economic wellbeing, health, identity and autonomy. From an analytical perspective, these themes and concerns are frustratingly inter-connected and defy precise, consistent 80 compartmentalization. This interconnection however, is a reality of the holistic organic web of relationships amongst living things and cultures. The purpose of this section is to highlight the prominent themes and illustrate the complexity of the relationships. A more detailed analysis of these themes is presented in Chapter 7.0. • moose • pollution and contamination of animals and habitat • identity, culture and sense of place • future generations • power, rights and jurisdiction 6.8 NOTEWORTHY CONTRADICTIONS In the Fort Nelson and Prophet River First Nations specifically, participants were very concerned about the proximity of industrial activity to their homes. Some referred directly to the level of development on and around Blueberry First Nation as an example of the situation they hope to avoid. Some expressed a greater concern about air and water quality from the perspective of human health in these communities. The proximity of activity also potentially limits hunting: "Wont hunt near wells but 80% of the community walks to hunt and there are wells near the community. Cannot go where there are no wells." Generally, participants from Prophet River were concerned about maintaining a relatively undisturbed zone around the reservation and slowing the rate at which other areas are opened up. In contrast, participants from Saulteau and West Moberly discussed the conservation of very specific significant areas. It is notable that not every participant felt that industry is having any long-term negative impacts on the environment. Nor did every community member agree on the extent of the damage. The contrast is illustrated by the following quote: "No major impacts. Industry doesnt bother anything, fewer politics means more jobs." 81 7.0 DISCUSSION The purpose of this chapter is to examine the noteworthy concerns that emerged from the data, compare the results to other impact assessment and management approaches, and to look at the implications that both the methods and results have for cumulative impact assessment and resource management in British Columbia. Themes and components resulting from this research are presented in italics for clarity. 7.1 AN EXAMINATION OF SIGNIFICANT THEMES, SIMILARITIES AND CONTRADICTIONS Due to cultural and experiential differences, communities, culture groups or regions could not be expected to produce uniform data. While wide-spread agreement amongst participants was noted, contradictions did not devalue the information collected, and contradictory data is included in the results as a reflection of the diversity amongst participants and communities (Kosek 1993). As Nanang (2003) found in Borneo, peoples' ecosystem values are not simply a function of culture and learned knowledge, but are also a reflection of experience of the forest environment. When the influence of experience is added to the puzzle, it seems logical that communities over 700km apart with diverse historical and cultural backgrounds, and varying economic realities, would have differing concerns. While many plant and animal species were mentioned by a majority of the participants, the pervasiveness of moose (Alces alces) was overwhelming. Throughout all four communities, moose were the primary concern and form the cohesive unifying thread that ties all of the data together. Moose were the only individual species mentioned repeatedly in relation to multiple values, rights and interests. Participants were concerned about access to moose and moose health, abundance, distribution, population structure and habitat. Every participant discussed the predominant importance of moose. In addition to household economies, participants linked moose to social structure through the sharing of meat and hunting responsibilities, maintaining and sharing cultural traditions, and identity, culture and sense of place. Moose were also used to illustrate other points such as concerns regarding pollution, habitat destruction, increased hunting pressures and a lack of power to contribute to management decisions. Some participants 82 linked moose to the human presence in the northeast. The quote below clearly describes how important moose are to the First Nations in northeast British Columbia: "If it wasnt for moose, this country be nothing. No moose, no Indians, no nothing." The significance of moose to the people of northeast British Columbia is in keeping with locally authored books such as Roast Meat and Rosaries (Courtoreille et al. 1997), and Brady's (1981), Riddington's (1979) and Goulet's 1 5 (1998) description of these cultures and communities. It is also reflected in many of the archival interviews kept by the communities. Garibaldi and Turner (2004) identify what they call cultural keystone species. These are "...culturally salient species that shape in a major way the cultural identify of a people, as reflected in the fundamental roles these species have in diet, materials, medicine, and/or spiritual practices" and species that "...have more direct relevance and recognition in peoples' life ways (than other species have) and have developed a primary, overriding importance" (Garibaldi and Turner 2004: 1). They base their assessment on the role of specific species in use, language, art, culture and outside trade. The information collected for this project suggests that moose meet the use and persistence criteria of keystone species. No data was collected relating to art and language. Garibaldi and Turner (2004) suggest that a loss of access to keystone species and the associated knowledge can indicate a greater loss of culture and language. The possibility that a single species could play such an integral role in the wellbeing of a culture or cultures has grave implications for cumulative impact assessment and management, particularly within the context of the increasing recognition of the links between social and ecological systems. Culture, identity and sense of place were linked to participants' experiences on the land: what they saw, heard and encountered. In this research, sense of place evolved from participants' concerns regarding their ability to recognize, know and appreciate the lands around them and how they linked this to culture and identity. For the purposes of this project, sense of place refers to participants' awareness and expectations of their physical environment and their associated memories, and culture. This is illustrated by the components solitude, and peace and quiet. These experiences are impacted when industrial development results in more non-community members in the backcountry, noise pollution, and alterations to the ecological and physical facets of the environment. 1 5 Goulet's book Ways of Knowing focuses on the time he spent with the Dene Tha people in the Northwest Territories. Although he refers to British Columbia, he was not based there. 83 "Sense of place" is well established in the fields of human geography and environmental psychology; however, there is no widely accepted definition and the concept remains vague (Shamai and llatov 2005). Despite the difficulty in defining sense of place, the concept plays a significant role in community well-being and perceptions of.environmental change. Kaltenborn (1998) found that community members with a strong sense of place are more likely to be emotionally affected by environmental impacts than members with a weaker sense of place. Alterations to the physical environment may reduce the quality of land-users' experiences. While most participants saw problems with industrial development, not one expressed the view that industry should be entirely stopped. Of course, all of the participants exist in a contemporary environment that demands economic resources. Like all communities in northeast British Columbia, these communities are highly dependent on industry for their contemporary economic wellbeing. A complete halt to industry development would have dire economic consequences. Participants expressed concern about establishing and/or maintaining access to financial benefits. The general sense was that participants were concerned about the rate and intensity of development, and industrial practices that increased industry-related impacts. Speaking directly about industrial development, one participant stated: "Sometimes a guy gets this funny feeling when things are moving too rapidly, you only live once... but you have to speak up before things happen. Cannot get caught up in making money and forget about the land." There was a great deal of concern and uncertainty regarding the level of environmental pollution and the impacts that this has on human health. Air quality, water quality and the safety of animals and plants for consumption were also linked to pollution. This concern was often associated with the concern that there was a lack of understanding of the impacts and risks. All communities discussed regions that are, thus far, relatively undeveloped and/or of significant spiritual, historical and cultural value 1 6. The Twin Sisters area is an ideal example of a region with monumental significance to the communities of Saulteau and West Moberly, and whose members have struggled for years to halt development in this area. Saulteau and 1 6 Because this project did not collect geographically specific information, I will limit my discussion of geographic areas to broad, publicly known areas of concern and high development. 84 West Moberly participants were also very concerned about the Boucher Lake area located to the north of Saulteau First Nations. Individual trapline holders and their family members expressed a great deal of concern about the wildlife, ecological integrity and sense of place associated with their traplines. Trapline rights were of significant importance to trapline holders and to members of communities that have community-held traplines. Participants from Fort Nelson First Nation and Prophet River First Nation also expressed concern about the area immediately surrounding the community. Specific regions were often used to illustrate scenarios that people did not want to see happen in other less-developed regions. For example, participants from Fort Nelson First Nations and Prophet River First Nation were particularly concerned that their communities not end up surrounded by development and facing the same problems that Blueberry River First Nation 1 7 contends with. Saulteau and West Moberly participants referred to the highly-developed, neighbouring Del Rio region as an example of excessive development. The type and level of industrial development in and around the communities appears to be influencing participants' perceptions and concerns. Both Fort Nelson First Nation and Prophet River First Nation have wells on or near reservation land, and Prophet River has been previously evacuated due to a sour gas leak from a neighbouring well. Fort Nelson First Nation's air quality is also affected by the neighbouring oriented strand board plant; they have responded by building two community-based, air-quality monitoring stations. In contrast, West Moberly and Saulteau First Nations do not currently have manufacturing or oil and gas activity in close proximity to residential areas. More participants from Fort Nelson and Prophet River First Nations expressed a much stronger concern about air quality. The power, or lack thereof, to affect land-use decisions was repeatedly raised by many participants. A surprising number of people expressed feelings of powerlessness in the face of industry and government. This is an ironic situation when one considers that First Nations' have a unique set of rights that entitles them to a voice in land-use decision (Boyd and Williams-Davidson 2000). Under the current Memorandum of Understanding between the Treaty No.8 First Nations and the British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission, First Nations must be consulted regarding new oil and gas development in territories traditionally used by the community/That said, First Nations do not have the power to stop a development, and 1 7 Blueberry River First Nations reservation has been evacuated multiple times due to air quality issues caused by oil and gas activity. The reservation is located in an area that has a high level of oil and gas development and private agricultural lands. 85 must therefore compromise and accept mitigation. Attempts to stop or slow development lead to litigation18 and, on occasion, to public demonstrations and blockades. When a community leadership chooses to engage in legal action, it is at great financial expense and risk of failure. Participants are also faced with the systemic challenges that hinder them from participating in land-use decision processes and even consultation processes. Community participants reported that when they had engaged in land-use management processes in the past, it was dissatisfying and unproductive. Cultural and institutional differences have long been recognized as excluding members of certain groups from participating in some processes (Hessing and Howlett 1997). The most obvious factors that serve to exclude community members include language, literacy and technical capacity. Some participants expressed a lack of understanding of the process and their rights as another problem. Certainly, there are many more challenges to accessing and participating in the resource management system. Protecting rights, interests and values for future generations was an overriding concern in all communities, and many participants felt that this was potentially jeopardized by the cumulative impacts of industrial development. Although this concern was frequently mentioned in direct reference to trapping, many participants discussed the importance of protecting the lands in general for the benefit of future generations: "/ would like my little grandchildren to go out and do the things I did when I could walk and go out in the bush. That's how important the land is to me. If our ancestors could survive off the land, we have to sort of balance it with activities. Balance it in a way that the land could be saved for future generations so they can survive off of it also." The concern for future generations extended well beyond impacts associated with ecological change. The extent of the connections between the environment and socio-economic well-being is reflected in the following comments made in reference to maintaining the lands in case industry pulls out: ".. .if our kids leave the reserve and they go outside, they do not know how to protect themselves. They dont know how to deal with the outside world so if they dont go to Vancouver and stay here, there is no jobs and no industry. What in the hell are they going to eat?" This participant went on to say: 18 Apsassin et al (Salteau FN) v. BCOil and Gas Com. et al /January 2004] B C S C 92, Apsassin et al (Salteau FN) v. BC Oil and Gas Com. et al [April 2004] B C C A 240, Apsassin et al (Salteau FN) v. BC Oil and Gas Com. et al [May 2004] B C C A 286 86 "[If the lands are depleted and industry pulls out] now, our kids are going to pick up and move to Vancouver, and end up pig food. That is serious. '"g Protecting rights for future generations hinges on maintaining all of the ecosystem and non-ecosystem components that are addressed in the previous sections, and ultimately returns us to the concept that drives this research. In some worldviews, social, cultural and ecological systems are inextricably linked. 7.2 LOOKING AT THE COMMUNITY IDENTIFIED CONCERNS While comparisons require caution due to the different approaches and processes employed by various projects and resource management approaches, they can also offer valuable information. An evaluation of the priorities identified in this project, and those addressed in other cumulative impact assessments and resource management processes, offers insight into the importance of directly involving First Nations in cumulative impact assessment and resource management by identifying similarities, gaps and potential incompatibilities. Of the plant and animal species mentioned directly by participants, few appear on the British Columbia Red and Blue Lists (Ministry of Environment 2005) 2 0. The southern population of caribou (Rangifer tarandus) and the Williston watershed population of Arctic grayling (Thymallus arcticus) are red-listed. Grizzly bear (Ursus arctos), Fisher (Martes pennati), bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus), and both the boreal and northern mountain caribou populations are blue-listed. Beyond their ecological status, red and blue-listed species are significant because the British Columbia Identified Wildlife Management Strategy requires that forest and range practices be managed to minimize impact on listed species-limiting habitat. Ultimately, however, participants' prioritized overall ecological functioning as a component integral to both and the intrinsic value of nature, and expressed concern about changes in the ecosystem. This adds some significance to the red and blue-listed species, regardless of correlation with species identified by participants. AXYS Environmental Consulting Ltd. & Salmo Consulting Inc. (2003) address eighteen Valued Ecosystem Components (VECs) in various parts of their framework (Table 1 and Table 2). All of the wildlife species addressed in the framework were also mentioned at some 1 9 This comment was made in reference to Vancouver's "Missing Women". In 2002, Robert William Pickton, a Port Coquitlam pig farmer was arrested and charged with the murder of 27 women. The current location of over 30 other women remains unknown. Many of these women were First Nations. 87 point by participants in this project, with moose of course being the primary ecosystem concern of most participants. The framework also included V E C s relating air quality and aquatic ecosystems that were discussed by participants in this study. Because the AXYS Environmental Consulting Ltd. & Salmo Consulting Inc. (2003) framework was limited to ecological priorities and had very little involvement of First Nations, many of the concerns raised by participants in this project are not addressed. These include the socio-cultural themes of teaching and cultural sharing, identity, culture and sense of place, access to financial benefits, and power, rights and jurisdiction. The overlooked components include solitude, peace and quiet, visual quality, traditional campsites, historical wagon trails, historical landmarks, culturally and spiritually significant sites, employment, economic benefits, respect for First Nations culture and values, consultation process and timeline, follow-up after consultation, and recognition of First Nations' rights and tenure. The Northwest Territories Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program 2 1 (NWT CIMP) addresses a broader range of components than the AXYS Environmental Consulting Ltd. & Salmo Consulting Inc. framework (2003). The Valued Components (VCs) listed in the NWT CIMP were not restricted by the availability/measurability of information. Availability and measurability of information was not taken into account until indicators were selected. Like this project, the NWT CIMP extends beyond ecological components. The inclusion of non-ecological components and the procedural similarities facilitate comparison with this project. The components identified by the B.C. Treaty No. 8 First Nations community members participating in this project are remarkably similar to those identified by the indigenous communities participating in the NWT CIMP (DIAND 2002). The NWT CIMP components were based on the following issue types: economic, social, cultural, community, ecological, legal or political concerns. Likewise, the apprehensions expressed by the participants of this study reflected this range of interest and concerns. The most noteworthy similarity is the inclusion of human health. Both projects also identified a broad range of animals including various ungulate species, large carnivores, small-mammals and fish. The components included many similarities (i.e. moose, caribou, marten, fisher) and some differences. The NWT CIMP addressed vegetation as a comprehensive component, rather than distinguishing specific plants. Species and ecological divergence (i.e. prioritization of sea 2 1 See Chapter 2.0 for an overview of the N W T CIMP. This project involved representatives from the Gwich'in Settlement Area, Sahtu Settlement Area, Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Deh Cho First Nations, Akaitcho Territory Government, Dogrib Treaty 11 Council, North Slave Metis Alliance, Northwest Territory and the Metis Nation. 88 mammals, snow, ice and permafrost in the NWT CIMP) are certainly attributable to different natural environments. Three Land and Resource Management Plans (LRMPs) dominate the region (Dawson Creek Land and Resource Management Plan, Fort Nelson Land and Resource Management Plan, and Fort St. John Land and Resource Management Plan). All prioritize red- and blue-listed species, but also incorporate other values associated with the natural land base and land-use (Fort Nelson LRMP Working Group 1997, Fort St. John LRMP Working Group 1997, Dawson Creek LRMP 1999). Although the plans were created largely without the involvement of Treaty No. 8 First Nations 2 2 and address a broad range of stakeholders, there are some noteworthy similarities amongst the values prioritized by the LRMP working groups and the communities participating in this project. The noteworthy similarities include the recognition of overall ecological functioning, the prioritization of wildlife habitat, conservation of specific areas (or zones), air quality, and the recognition of hunting, trapping and recreation uses. As a land-use planning exercise, the LRMPs focus predominantly on the utilitarian aspects of the relationship between humans and the natural environment by addressing economic values and recreation values. With the exception of the acknowledgement of historical and traditional sites, there is limited discussion of the socio-cultural ties between Treaty No. 8 First Nations and the natural landscape 2 3. As well, the plans do not delve into the cultural and spiritual relationships between humans and the environment. Whether this is indicative of the different relationship indigenous communities have with the natural environment or rather a result of the planning process, it indicates a potential gap in resource management and planning. The LRMP process employs zoning to assign potential uses to specific areas. While Bonnell (1997) suggests that this approach may be in direct conflict with the traditional First Nations' holistic view of land and stewardship and human roles, it does provide a means of protecting significant sites and zones. The participants in this project recognized a broader range of impact from cumulative impacts than is addressed in the AXYS cumulative impact assessment, the environmental assessment process or LRMPs. In reference to utilitarian land-uses, community members expressed concern for many animal and some plant species, and many associated habitat components. However, by consistently emphasizing the intrinsic value of the ecosystem, participants 2 2 See Chapter 3.0 for a information on B.C. Treaty No. 8 First Nations' involvement in the LRMP process. 89 effectively prioritized all living things. Community members also extended the impacts of industrial development to include cultural and social values, and it is this expansion that marks the greatest departure from the other assessments. 7.3 IMPLICATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 7.3.1 Collaboration Many of the V E C s and resulting indicators addressed in the AXYS Environmental Consulting Ltd. & Salmo Consulting Inc. (2003) framework and the LRMP process are related to the priorities identified by the participants in this project. The principal shortcoming involves the lack of First Nations involvement in the process of developing these management plans and framework. While that sounds simple, bringing First Nations to the table with government and industry has been an ongoing challenge. The frustration expressed by participants in this project indicates that many past attempts are perceived as failures at the community level. While many of the components identified in this project correspond with the components addressed in the AXYS Environmental Consulting Ltd. & Salmo Consulting Inc. (2003) framework, the potential interpretation of impact on these components (illustrated by the final step in the process outlined in Figure 1) is limited by a lack of understanding of their significance to the communities. The increased understanding of community member's expectations of their rights, interests and values creates an interesting opportunity for the inclusion and analysis of a wider range of indicators. This type of understanding is integral to both cumulative impact assessments and resource management and can only be achieved by community involvement. Finding an effective way to include First Nations in resource management processes and research projects is imperative. Based on the experiences from this project and the feelings expressed by participants, the following recommendations can be made: • Heed both the literature and experiences from past projects. So many of the same mistakes are made time and time again; • Building relationships takes time. This does not necessarily translate into intense time, but rather the development of an ongoing relationship; • Capacity building must start at the organizational level by simply achieving mutual understanding of processes, roles and timelines; 90 • Accept diversity in and amongst communities; • Be flexible in timelines, methods and expectations; • Find opportunity in cultural differences; • Involve communities throughout the process; • Power should be shared amongst research partners. Attention should be paid to the unspoken power that rests with those who have technical skills and capacity; and • Make no assumptions. 7.3.2 The Next Steps in Cumulative Impact Assessment The next step in the process of assessing the cumulative impacts of industrial development is to identify political and legal priorities in addition to other expert identified priorities. The identification of priorities should be followed by the selection of appropriate measurable indicators. Indicators, of course, will be limited by the scope of the project and the means of assessment. While some priorities may not currently have readily measurable indicators, they should be seen as future opportunities to explore means of cumulative impact assessment not originally identified in the initial stages of the project. For example, some concerns may be more suitable to assessment based on local knowledge. The need for cumulative impact assessment in northeast British Columbia is widely recognized. The regional and project level process outlined by A X Y S Environmental Consulting Ltd. & Salmo Consulting Inc. (2003) may work to manage cumulative impacts in general. However, even with the inclusion of concerns identified by impacted First Nations, it fails to acknowledge the challenges that would arise with the necessary information sharing. To accurately and fairly manage impacts on First Nations and their unique rights, a third, independent stream of cumulative impact assessment and management may be necessary. Operating in unison but separate from the mainstream process would provide the means to accommodate not only First Nations land-use rights but the flexibility that is necessary to effectively collaborate with such a diverse group. An independent process may also be necessary if a trusting relationship is to be established. The concerns discussed by participants are both large- and small-scale, reflecting changes at the local, regional and possibly even the global scale. This range of impacts and concerns 91 supports the AXYS Environmental Consulting Ltd. & Salmo Consulting Inc. (2003) assertion that cumulative impacts should be managed at both the project level and the regional level. 7.3.3 Moose, Moose, Moose The cumulative impacts of development on First Nations in northeast British Columbia cannot be assessed without addressing moose. Currently moose health and the effects of pollution and contaminants are participants' most immediate moose-related concerns. Their overall wellbeing is of ultimate importance to the participants of this project. Moose provide an interesting opportunity for the assessment and ongoing monitoring of cumulative impacts and provide a valuable conceptual link between the natural environment and cultural and spiritual values. 7.3.4 Including Social and Cultural Values Clearly, assessing the ecosystem in isolation from the social, cultural and economic concerns, does not acknowledge the worldviews of the participants. This finding is similar to the concerns addressed in the NWT CIMP (DIAND 2002). Because participants identified concerns that extend beyond the natural environment, a comprehensive assessment of the cumulative impacts of industrial development and meaningful resource management planning must also extend beyond the natural environment. The most loudly expressed concerns are: • power to affect land use decisions • Identity, culture and sense of place and the associated components • j specific areas of cultural and spiritual significance 7.3.5 Proprietary and Sensitive Information Many participants identified spatially specific priorities. While spatial information was not collected for this project, Prophet River First Nation, Saulteau First Nations and West Moberly First Nations^have previously conducted extensive traditional use studies and Fort Nelson intends to conduct a similar project. This wealth of information is stored in GIS format and should be incorporated into a spatially explicit assessment of cumulative impacts. This information is, however, highly valuable and proprietary. The integration of this information will require the development of extremely trusting relationships between researchers/practitioners 92 and the communities or preferably, the development of community capacity (skills and access to technology) to assess these impacts. Any further assessment of cumulative impacts should produce results that are compatible with this previously collected information and documented knowledge. Medicinal plants also present a significant problem for the purposes of cumulative impacts. While land-use indicators (such as density of roads) may shed some light on the impacts to medicinal plants, they certainly do not solve the problem. Potential solutions to this problem include the collaborative identification of ecosystems associated with significant species, hotspot mapping based on traditional use information, or community- run assessment and monitoring programs of plant health and abundance. 7.3.6 Communicating Results Community members used personal stories, maps, moose and reference sites to explain illustrate their concerns. My difficulties that arose in explaining cumulative impacts and the project were best overcome through the use of photographs and drawings. When information from this cumulative impact assessment and other projects is shared with the community in general, expressing concepts in these terms will likely increase peoples understanding of the results. 7.4 LIMITATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH PROJECTS This project opened the door to many questions and ideas. First and foremost, this project should be continued to include other British Columbia Treaty No. 8 First Nations that wish to participate. Because this work was qualitative and only involved a limited number of participants, the results lend themselves to the development of a broader-reaching quantitative enquiry into community-wide priorities and concerns. This information would be valuable for resource management decisions made by community leadership and may contribute to definitions of sustainable forest management. The ecosystem components identified by the communities could potentially guide future cumulative impact assessments based on traditional and local knowledge, similar to the 93 Kache Tue Study (Wildlife, Lands and Environment Department Autsyl K'e Dene First Nation 2002). The communities may wish to pursue the identification of culturally acceptable thresholds of change to facilitate negotiations and participation in resource management. This should, however, only be pursued with caution. It is possible that these communities and their members are making trade-offs between cultural values and economic gain. Some of the economic benefits are short-term and limited such as short-term unskilled employment in oil and gas, and forestry. Enquiry into these trade-offs based on the flow of economic benefits associated with industry in northeast British Columbia, the loss of benefits (economic and otherwise) associated with Treaty and aboriginal rights that is associated with the impacts of industrial development, and the loss and gain of opportunities experience by neighbouring agricultural communities provides a large but interesting avenue for exploration. 94 8.0 CONCLUSION AND SUMMARY Through this research, the participants and I have identified the land-use rights, interests and values, and the associated environmental components that are currently of the utmost importance to Treaty No. 8 First Nations in northeast British Columbia. Together we succeeded in answering the research questions and meeting the research objectives. The success of this project hinged on mutual respect, generosity and patience of the participants and the flexibility of the methods. In summary, the priorities that were identified fell into six themes: • land-based activities • human health • identity, culture and sense of place • access to financial benefits • power, rights and jurisdiction • intrinsic value of nature Associated with these themes were multiple environmental components. In addition to these themes and components, participants concerns regarding specific industrial impacts were also identified. The land-based activities practiced by community members were the most prevalent theme. These activities included hunting, trapping, fishing, camping, and gathering foods and medicines. However, the themes described by the participants extended far beyond the utilitarian and encompassed health, spiritual well-being, identity and power to affect land-use decisions. Through the analysis of the data, several noteworthy trends emerged. These trends were identified based on unexpected results and remarkable correlation amongst the interviews. As expected, moose are of incredible importance to the participating community members and play role in economic wellbeing, and cultural and spiritual identity. Participants expressed many concerns about pollution and contamination caused by industrial activities. In addition to the desire that these affects be curtailed, there was also an interest in gaining greater knowledge and understanding of the potential risks. Participants descriptions of of the land were steeped in identity, culture and sense of place. This theme is difficult to pinpoint and will present a challenge for cumulative impact assessment. Many participants were extremely 95 concerned about the wellbeing and rights of future generations. Finally, participants expressed a great deal of frustration regarding their ability to affect land-use decisions. Combined with the six themes that emerged from the data, the preceding trends create an intricate web of relationships that cannot be easily or accurately compartmentalized. It is the complexity of these relationships, the diversity in and amongst First Nations communities and the realities of conducting research with indigenous communities that demanded a flexible research approach. The methods employed in this project were based on mutual respect and understanding, yet we still encountered many challenges. By analyzing both the methods and the results, I have identified the following implications and recommendations for both future research and resource management: • The impacts of industrial development are not limited to ecological change and any assessment from a First Nations perspective should reflect this. The communities described an intricate web of relationships that extends from the impacts of industrial development to ecological change, health impacts, spiritual wellbeing, cultural identity and continuation, and the rights of current and future generations. It is this web that is potential damaged when development proceeds unchecked; • Those priorities which cannot be addressed in this cumulative impact project due to the agreed upon means of assessment, should be viewed as opportunities to guide future assessments and projects; • While some priorities may not currently have readily measurable indicators, they should be seen as future opportunities to explore means of cumulative impact assessment; • Despite their Treaty rights, the participants' perspectives of the extent and nature of impacts from industrial development are not reflected in current resource management and impact assessment processes. In the future, First Nations in northeast British Columbia must be involved in these processes if their concerns are to be addressed; • Finding an effective means of including communities in resource management and environmental assessment is imperative and must be pursued with respect for the diversity that exists in and amongst these communities and the cultural differences that demand specific approaches; and • There are currently capacity limitations that restrict the potential for collaborative relationships between institutions and First Nations in northeast British Columbia. 96 These capacity limitations exist with both parties and are a result of a lack of official mutual understanding and official protection for First Nations' rights and interests. Proprietary and sensitive information will demand creative solutions, which should be put in place prior to the initiation of future projects. 97 REFERENCES Arcese, P. and A. R. E. Sinclair. 1997. 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Time spent living in community d. Livelihood 4. Let's start by talking about the land. Do you get out on the land very often? 5. What activities do you do when you are out on the land? 6. Let's talk about the things you just listed. How often do you go hunting/fishing/trapping etc? What animals/plants do you hunt (trap, fish, gather)? Are other animals hunted for food? Hides? Etc. Do you depend on hunting/fishing/trapping etc.? Is hunting/fishing/trapping etc important to you? What does it mean to you? What do you like about it? Is development impacting hunting? Are you noticing any changes in the animals/plants (numbers, health, location)? What about the habitat that the animals depend on? Do you gather medicinal plants? What kinds of ecosystems/types of lands are most important for collecting medicines? I noticed you didn't mention hunting/fishing/trapping etc? Do you do this activity? If so, discuss further referring to previous follow-up questions. 7. Can you explain to me if the lands are important to you, why? Do the lands mean something other than a food source? 108 


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