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An alternative strategy for resource development : a Gitksan Wet'suwet'en proposal Yellowfly, Cathrine Luanne 1992

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AN ALTERNATIVE STRATEGY FOR RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT:a Gitksan Wet’suwet’en ProposalByCATHRINE LUANNE YELLOWFLYB.A., The University of Calgary, 1985A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFMASTER OF ARTSinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES(Sociology)We accept this thesis as conformingr’frpd sndardTHE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIASeptember 1992@ Cathrine Luanne Yeflowfly, 1992In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanceddegree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make itfreely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensivecopying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of mydepartment or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying orpublication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my writtenpermission./Department ofThe University of British ColumbiaVancouver, CanadaDate______________________7.DE-6 (2/88)The central issue addressed by this thesis is the Gitksan Wet’su*t’enproposal to use their traditional values, practices and systeme as the basisof a contenporary strategy for resource management and development in themarket econoir’. Instead of adopting a market-based approach, the GitksanWet’suwet’en are proposing to use the traditional institutions and structuresof their society as a frameirk for conmercial resource operations. GitksanWet’sut’en initiatives to increase their participation in the marketeconony are an outgrowth of traditional goals arid obiectives for prosperityand self-reliance. Ho*ver, in an effort to preserve their perceived role inthe maintenance of the universal order, the Gitksan Wet’suwet’en areproposing a strategy that will enable them to conduct market-orientedresource activities in accordance with the traditIonal la and custonm oftheir ancestors. The n*,del they propose represents an alternative strategyfor the management and development of natural resources in a market setting.This thesis argues that, from a Gitksan Wet • suwet ‘en perspective, the use ofthis proposed strategy offers several inportant benefits to the GitksanWet ‘suwet ‘en comminity. Discussions focus around ewe main arguments. First,the use of traditional Institutions and structures as the basis ofcontenporary resource management means the rate of Gitksan Wet suwet’enmarket development activities weuld be slowed to a pace that can be sociallyacconmdated. The key benefit to the Gitksan Wet’suweten is that potentialdisruptions to their social order and lifeways may be reduced. Second,— ii —administering coneercial resource operations through traditional institutionsand structures means that Gitksan t’suwet’en market activities i&uld remainsynchronized with Gitksan t’suwet’en social needs and goals. The principlebenefit is that risks to both the social welfare of Gitksan Wet1suwet’ensociety and the limited resource base upon ich they depend may beminimized.Data used in the presentation of the traditional Gitksan Wet’su*t’enresource management nalel were taken from a variety of published andunpublished sources, as well as other resource materials including courtdocuments, myths, and Journal articles. rguments presented in this thesisare supported by an examination of relevant literature on: (1) the historicalemergence of the market economy; and (2) the use of coman property systemswithin a market setting.— iii —TABLE (P (XtflThTSAbstract HTable of Contents ivHap of Territories Claimed by Gitksan and Wet ‘suwet’en Peoples viDedication viiIN’mocucYrtoNArguments and ConsiderationsAssunptions and ConditionsMethods and TermeOrganization and ScopeGIThSR4 €T’ SUET ‘174 RESCXI HANPlENP: traditionsand contenporary proposalsThe Gitksan Wet’suwet’en Perspective: Principles andPhilosophyValuesPractices: Approach and Policiesa) long-term planning: mepping and inventoryb) synchronization and conservationC) public participationHousesPARTICIPATION IN ThE MARKET SETTING: benefits of aslo*r rate of developeentCurrent Gitksan Wet’suwet’en Resource ktivities andInitiativesKey Features of the Traditional Gitksan Wet’sui*t’enManagement Systema) the process of sanction and validationb) the inpetus £or resource activityC) the rules governing resource activitiesPossible Benefits and Probleme: a critical discussionChapter Three SOCIALLY 1’ROLLED RESOL 0OPMN1’: the benefitsof connn property oership in a market econonyPriorities and Goals of the Gitksan Wet’suwet’en25891212Chapter OneChapter Two182022242830nameholders 32general House nmatership 34Systeme: Settings and Hechanisma 35Key Functions of the Gitksan Wet’sut’en FeastingSystem 405254606265677079Management System 80Mvantages of the Proposed Gitksan Wet’ suwot ‘enStrategy 82Possible Benefits and Probleme: a critical examination 110- iv -CX)Na,USICN 119Sumnary: the Strategy and its Benefits 119The Gitksan Wet ‘suwet en Proposal: TheoreticalInpitcations and Significance 132Success of the Gitksan Wet’ suwet ‘en System: PracticalConditions and Considerations 144Closing Renrks 155Notes 159Bibliography 170-v -iq(GeriercLlized mp of Br;-Hsh C11(mLicLShoLor Tr’rore c/i1ec/G-RSEL Cird (AJetSuu)ef’i Ve?t+0“C0 s 1.- vi -DEDICTIt4This thesis is lovingly dedicated to v son, Dallas YellowEly,those patience and understanding I could not have done without.His insatiable love of life and respect for the natural .rld wereny inspiration.- vii -It4’fflJc,rIThe GItksan Wet’suwet’en Indians of northern british Coiuntia are proposingto use their traditional aboriginal values, practices and systeme as thebasis of contenporary natural resource development in the market economy. Theaboriginal system of property rights, based on coun property omership, isto provide the framework for development of cogmercial operations in kIiChrights to harvest aid obligations to share benefits from such development arestructured along traditional lines (see Daly, 198$: 17, 287—9; also seePinkerton, 1987:254).Clearly, many traditional Gitksan Wet’ suwet’en values, practices and systeneare inconsistent with those characteristic of the conteiorary marketsetting. As such, their use as the basis for contenporary develont wouldsuggest limited Gitksan Wet’sui*t’ en success. Indeed, from a marketperspective such a strategy would seem to be highly problematic. Ho*ver,ihile attentive to the validity and logical possibilities these argumentspose, this thesis will argue that, from the Gitksan Wet’ sui*t ‘en perspective,the use of this strategy will be advantageous. That is, the use oftraditional values, practices and systene for the development of naturalresources in the contenorary market setting wiii benefit the (itksanWet ‘suwet ‘en ccimvnity. Perhaps the single swst fundamental benefitassociated with this strategy is the opportunity for socially guideddevelopment of natural resources within a market setting.—1—Argnts arid. ConsiderationsThis position emerges in response to several key issues and points arisingfrom an exination of literature on the history of the market econoey.First, this literature suggests that one of the greatest problema found inthe emergence of market-based societies wes the rate at iihich developmentsoccurred. Tremendous costs, of a wide variety, have been endured as a resultof profound societal transformations brought about by rapid economicdevelopment. These societies are Often characterized by great himmn sufferingand hardship. With the use of traditional values, practices and systema,however, the pace of conteiozary Gitksan Wet’ suwet’ en development in themarket economy would be established by the traditional social system. As aconsequence, develoment would be constrained or slowed to a rate that couldbe socially and economically accomerxtated by. & small scale tradition-basedcomwnity with limited resources. In this iey the use of traditional values,practices arid systeem would serve as a bui It-in governor on contenporaryGitksan Wet’ suwet’ sri resource developments. From the Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘enperspective this would be a great benefit, enabling the Gitksan Wet’suwet’ento minurhize (or even avoid) some of the potentially devastating socialconsequences suffered by tradition-based societies seeking to increase theirpticipation in the market econcey.A second m&Jor problem revealed by literature on the emergence of the marketeconomy has to do with the increased domination of economic priorities oversocial needs. The history of market society has often been one characterizedby a superseding and replacement of social considerations in favour ofeconomic goals. lkider the domination of economic priorities, a wide variety—2—of issues and problenm plague the social fabric of market societies. Usinqtraditional values, practices and syateem, however, means conteeporaryGitksan Wet ‘suwet’ en ket developments ild be filtered through thetraditional social system. As such, Gltksan Wet’suet’en economic endeavourscan remain sensitive to Gltksan Wet’siamt’en social needs (both traditionaland conteorary). The benefit of this strategy is that it uld allow the(3itksan Wet’ssiet’en to synchronize the economic development of naturalresources with the social development of their coraw.mities.. As a consequence,Gitksan Wet ‘suwet’en development of natural resources may be conducted in asocially responsive and manageable manner.A third point raised by this literature is that within the market systemthere is a tendency towerd the concentration and polarization of wealth andper • That is, ithen market machanisma are permitted to operate, withoutsocial intervention (i.e.,laissez faire economic), the big and the powerfulbecome increasingly bigger d re powerful. Steadily choking offopportunities for growth by smaller and less powerful participants, themarket is increasingly nopol ized by fewer, bet larger players. This hasyielded many social problema àdch in several respects makes the capitalistmarket system less than an ideal means of organizing a htanan society.However, ueing traditional values, practices and systetee as the basis fordevelopment, the wealth generated by Gitksan Wet’ suwet’en market developments*,uld be distributed throughout the Gitksan Wet ‘suwet’en comity. ThisKuld provide continued aess to wealth by all, thereby serving to increasecon well-being. The result is that the Gitksan Wet’st’en may be able toavoid scme of the social and economic hazards associated with the increasedpolarization of wealth and power (e.g.,structural poverty, ircnopolization)— 3 —Fourth, the literature suggests that following the principles of economicefficiency, profit maximization and market demand, development in the marketmede has often led to the over-exploitation and subsequent depletions of keyresources • In some situations, this has led to permanent environmentalinbalances and even the coilete destruction of natural eco-systenm. Thek1ications of such development are fast becoming a matter of grave concern,requiring urgent action. With the use of tzaditicmal values, practices andsteme, however, conten4)oraryGitksan Wet ‘suwet’en development of resourcesweuld be constrained by concerns about maintaining the continuity andsell-being of the natural order • This means that resource activities uldbe conducted in a manner that preserves the entire eco-system as a whole. Asa result, consequences often associated with market approaches to development(e.g. ,single resource dependency, resource depletions) may be avoided. Inthis wey, traditional strategies iuld serve to protect the limited esourcesof the Gitksan Wet’suwet’èn comeunity, forcing it to seek means ofsustainable developnt. This is particularly inportant for the GitksanWet’suweten ccmmit who, imlike non-native market participants, are lessable to relocate their operations in search of new resource supplies.A fifth and final point is that market development has often meant thedestruction of traditional societal structures and the transformation of suchsocieties into market formations. The result has been an assimilation andacculturation of tradition-based societies into the industrial economy.Experiencing a breakdoi.m of traditional authority and obligations, as well asbeing structurally limited in their ability to advance their position in the*4 —hierarchy of market society, these societies are often forced to occupypositions of dependency and subordination within the dominant system.9oever, using a strategy based on traditional values, practices and sy8tees,the Gitksan Wet’suwet’en may be able to preserve their distinct culturalformations and identity ithile increasing their participation in thecontenporary market econo’. Developing their natural resources through thetraditional machanisne and systene of their society may enable the GitksanWet ‘suet ‘en to rebus14 or renew their economic foundations without thetransformation of their cultural lifeys and societal order • A consequenceis the possible preservation of a conteirporary traditional society within amarket setting.Msiçtions &vl ConditionsConsidering these five nm)oz points, Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en intentions to usetheir traditional values, practices and systens as the basis for conteirporaryresource developnent weuld sees to offer a niarber of benefits to the GitksanWet’suwet’en as a tradition-based society. However, these benefits nsjst beneasured from a Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en perspective and not that of the marketeconony. That is, the use of traditional values, practices and systene asstrategy for resource developnent imuld benefit the Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en, notas mainstream market players, but as a tradition-based society seeking to.sustain itself through participation in the market econcn’. As well, thesebenefits nvst be assessed from the vantage point di the Gitksan Wet’suet’encollectiVe and not that of single Gltksari Wet ‘suwet ‘en individuals. Thus, thenotion of “benefit” assused by this thesis is derived from a GitksanWet’ suwet ‘en perspective, for the Gitksan Wet’ suwet ‘en, and the cosnKm good—5-of their society as a hole.Argtments concerning the benefits associated with the use of traditionalvalues, practices and systema as strategy for conteorary resourcedeveloiment pertain only to the Gitksan Wet’suwet’en. This thesis does notthat such a strategy uld render the s benefits to otheraboriginal societies seeking increased partIcipation in the market econwy(even though this may be the case). There may be certain factors or elemantspeculiar to Gitksan Wet ‘sui*t ‘en society 4iich are not present in otheraboriginal societies. Thus, diat may work for the Gitksan Wet’ suwet’en cannotnecessarily be assused to work for others. Arguments presented in this thesisare therefore restricted only to the case of the Gi tksan Wet’suwat’ en.*iile argments in this thesis will be presented to show potential benefitsof the proposed Gitksan Wet’suwat’en strategy, this is not to say that thisstrategy would not have some disadvantages. Clearly, the greatest successesin a market setting would be gained through adherence to “pure” marketprinciples and iwpezatives. Dominated by social considerations, ptentialgains that could be obtained from responding to market “needs” for profitmaximization and economk efficiency may be thwarted to some extent. Businessrelations between the Gitksan Wet’ suwat’ en and other market players could becoqlicated by differences in resource management priorities and practices.wall, opportunities for enhancing the collective wall-being throughcertain Individual free&es (i.e.,the trickle-doi theory) may be limited orunavailable. However, it will be argued that, overall, the benefits of thisproposed Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en strategy outweigh the possible disadvantages.—6—..Arguments put forird in this thesis are based on certain conditions. Thefirst condition is that the Gitksan Wet’suet’en actually have control overthe territories involved in their traditional menagenent systene and are ableto exercise effective coewnand over the resources these territories contain. Asecond condition, Iiich is contingent on the first, is that the GitksanWet ‘sui*t’ are successful in their current endeavours to hav6 the externalparters of their traditional territories fornelly and legally recognizedby the larger non-Gi tksan Wet • su*t ‘en society. Without the settlement of theGitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en land claim and the re-estabiisteent of GitksanWet’ suwet ‘en resource Jurisdiction and authority, the proposed developmentstrategy cannot irk. The final condition upon ithich this argument rests isthat the basic features and conditions characterizing the merket economy willpersist in their present fori, thereby providing the arena in ithich theproposed GitksanWet’suwet’en development strategy wifl be fielded.It nvst be stated that the arguments and conclusions put fonrd in thisthesis pertain to the proposed Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en del. as a theoreticalconstruction and approach to resource nenagement. These arguments andconclusions are j based on an assessment of actual or perceivednezket-oziented resource activities by the Gitksan Wet’suwet en. This thesisis not a prediction about ithat the Gitksan Wet’suwet’en will do, but anargument about the possible iirpl ications for the nanagement of naturalresources within a market setting using a strategy based on traditionalGitksan Wet ‘suwet’en philosophy, values, practice5 and systei. Furthernore,this thesis does not ass that the Gitksan Wet’ suwet en will (necessarily)inlenient this management ncdei, or that all Gitksan Wet’suwet’en resource—7—activities are a consequence of the proposed model. Indeed, thile it isargued that the proposed Oitksan Wet ‘suwet’ en resource managennt model u1dprovide the Gitksan Wet’ suwet ‘en with song inherent benefits, the possibilityof realizing these benefits Is largely determined by the Gltksan Wet’suwet’enpeople o give the model active life.—s and TerData on the Gitksri Wet ‘suwet ‘en presented in this thesis are based onvarious published and unpublished sources as well as other resource materials(e.g. nths, court docmnts, journal articles). All sources and materialsare cited in the bibliography with as mach accuracy aid detail as possible.The t principal sources of ethnographic information on the GitksanWet’suwet’en and their resource management system include the rk of John W.M, Ph.D. (published, 1973) SiK] Richard Daly, Ph.D. (unpublished,1988) . Both these authors conducted extensive anthropological fieldrkon the Gitksan Wet’ suwet’en, Mans for variable periods between July 1965 andHay 1967, and Daly for an on-going period from April 1986 to June 1987 duringwhich he lived anmg the Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en as a participant observer.Considerable Inconsistency has been observed surrounding terns and flasms usedby various authors to outline the highly cciplex social structure andhierarchy of social groupings of Gitksan Wet ‘suwet’en society. However, asthese terma do not generally alter the central thrust of the argumentspresented in this thesis, efforts to sort out these inconsistencies will notbe atteirpted. The use of these terns, however, will be kept to a mininaxn,eiloyed only where absolutely necessary for coeprehension of the arguments.—8—Those that are used in this thesis will be taken from the rks of John W.klasm (1973) and Richard Daly (1988). Other terwe and concepts used in thisthesis will be footnoted in the text.In this thesis, the GitkSan and Wet’suwet’en peoples will be referred to asone cultural group. Historical evidence indicates there has been extensivecontact d intermingling between these t groups over a very lengthy periodof tine, perhaps several thousand years • As a result, the Gitksan andWet’suwet’en increasingly function as one collective comminity (see Daly,1988:14—16; Hills, 1988:387). Thus, ithile linguistic, geographical and sanecultural differences are acknowledged, for the purposes of argumentscontained in this thesis, they will be identified as the “GltksanWet’suwet’en” without distinction.organization and ScopeThis thesis is an exercise in applied Sociology The central task of this.a,rk will be to show the poteritial benefits associated with the proposed useof traditional values, practices and systene as a strategy for contenporary(31 tksan Wet’ suwet’en development of natural resources • some of the possibledisadvantages of this strategy will also be exnined.Discussions in this thesis wi].1 concentrate on the ftrst t arq.m*entspresented. Briefly restated, these argnts are:(1) The rate of contenporary Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en resource development wi Ube held to the pace allc*ied for the traditional social system.Potential disruptions to Gitksan Wet ‘suiet ‘en societal order and—9—lifeweys due to increased market participation nay therefore beminimized.(2) Ccmteorary Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en resource development will beadministered according to priorities emerging from the traditionalsystem. Risks to the social welfare and resource territories of GitksariWet ‘suwet ‘en society that could arise from increased participation inthe market economy and the pursuit of economic interests nay thereforebe reduced.The first of these argusents is presented in Chapter 1%m. Following a briefdescription of current Gitksan Wet ‘suwet’en resource activities andinitiatives, this chapter will focus on some distinctive features of thetritional management system that ma’ constrain the rate of (itksanWet’ suwet ‘en market developnent to a pace cofisterit with the rate ofccrnity social adjustment. The possible benefits and disadvantages to theGitksan Wet ‘suwet’ en associated with a slower pace of develoiment will alsobe exemined.The second argusent is presented in Chapter Three. Exanining the keypriorities and objectives of the traditional Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en managementsystem, this chapter will atteept to illustrate how the intended. GitksanWet ‘suwet ‘en resource strategy offers opportunities for economic inprovementiiile preserving both the social welfare and limited resource base of GitksanWet’suwet’en society. Particular attention will be given to theoreticalissues arising fromffering concepts of coemon property, and the practicalconcerns surrounding the performance of coen property management systema in—10—a market setting. This chapter Will conclude with a look at some of thepotential benefits and disadvantages that may be associated with the proposedGitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en strategy for conteirorary resource develont.The third, fourth and fifth argients (outlined earlier) wifl not be givenspecific attention in this thesis. However, several of the (entral pointsthey raise will be discussed in connection with the first t argwaents.The Conclusion will provide a sry of the proposed Gitksan Wet’suwet’enstrategy and the ma)ot arqtmentspresentedin this thesis. It will alsoinclude an analysis of some of the theoretical ixlications of comernproperty management systema in a market setting, as well as the particularsignificance of the Gitksan Wet ‘sus*t • en proposal fox conteu4oraxy resourcedevelopment. Some practical conditions and considerations that may influencethe success of the proposed Gitksan Wet’suwet ‘en management system will alsobe identified.Chapter ie, x*ilch followe, presents a detailed description and discussion ofthe Gitksan Wet’ suwet ‘en resource management system, focusing on variousaspects of Ôitksan Wet ‘suwet en tradition involved in their contewçoraxyproposal for market participation. Specific attention is given to thefundamental principles of traditional Gitksan Wet’ suwet en philosophy, aswell as the values, practices and systeme relevant to the use of naturalresources • Elements of traditional Gitksan• Wet ‘suwet’ en social orqanizationand structure pertaining to resource management and development will also beexamined.— 11 —pcs€P’ str‘i RESGL NN*NLtraditions and contesporary proposalaContesçorary Gitksan Wet • sui*t ‘en proposals for natural resource developmentare lodged in the traditional Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en perspective of therelationship between htmans and nature. This perspective is centred aroundseveral principles. These principles give rise to a distinctive philosophyabout land uee asong the Gitksan Wet ‘suwet’en. s well, these principles havegenerated certain values and informed certain practices with respect totraditional Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en natural resource management systena.The Gitksan Wet’ suwet’ en Perspective: principles and pidlosopjyThe meet fuidntaL principle of the traditional Gitksan •Wet’suwet’enperspective of hi.uflan relationships with nature is the notion of htmeninseparableness from the natural world. Htanens are perceived as intrinsicallylinked to the Earth, like children to their nether. They share thisrelationship. with all othe elements of the natural world. In this wey,humans are seen as innately bonded with all elements of the world, both homnand non-human, animate and inanimate. All the world’s elements are likesiblings, made of the ease stuff. Prom a traditional Gitksan/ Wet’suwet’enperspective then, hsnans are perceived as part Qf. the universal ‘*ole, havinga relationship within nature rather than nature.— 12 —iwpoztant dimension of this principle of hxn inseparableness from natureis the Gitksan Wet’suet’en notion of equality between all natural elements.Innately bonded With all elements of nature, hnans share an equality withinNature. Furthernvre, the well-being of one element is inherently dependent onthe well-being of the others • Huaan interests and ‘goals are perceived as oneof the y sets of forces that contribute to the path of the universaliole. The relationship between himns and nature is but one aspect of alarger functioning diole e up of nutually interdependent relationships andparts, there the needs and interests of all elements suet’ be equallyconsidered. Indeed the Gitksan Wet ‘suwet’en see this equality as the sourceof ccmUnuity and well-being for all. In the traditional GitksanWet ‘suwet ‘en/wet ‘suwet en perspective then, humens are perceived to be partof the balance of nature, ihere the nuintenance of equality between allelements is seen as vital for the welfare and survival of the idiole.another dimension of this philosophical principle of inseparableness concernstraditional Gitksan Wet • suwet ‘en perceptions of hwn identity, both at thelevel of comamity and that of the individual self. Perceived as inseparablefrom nature, the Oitksan Wet’suwet’en see hmn identity as somethinginherently linked to the territory they are survived by. That s, theterritory *dich gave “birth’ to these hi.mans (i .e,, in this case, GitksanWet’suwet’en hmmns) is the territory they are bound for life. It is theterritory expected to provide them with their basic necessities for survival.Inherently part of this territory and innately bonded with all elements ofit, hin identity is inalienable from that of this territory. Inshort,from a Gitksan Wet ‘sm*t’en traditional perspective, the “Gitksan— 13 —We’su3et’ en” and their: lands cannot be separated.Evidence of this principle of inseparableness and its various dimensions isfound in a recent (1986) forest reconnaissance study ccuinissioned by theGitksan Wet’suwet’en Tribal Council and chiefs. Based on traditionalperspectives of the hn relationship with nature, this study showe howGitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en philosophy of forest management arid land use isdiametrically opsed to industry-oriented philosophies held by coq,aniesand goverrnts. “Philosophies about forests can be reduced to tfundamental opposites: the land belongs to us, or we are part of the land”(Daly, 1988:660—1).Considering the ixlications of the former philosophy, that seen to be heldby industry and governnnt, the Gitksan Wet ‘suet ‘en argue that:If land belongs to humans, it is property. Property is a tbin to bebought, sold and manipulated for 4at can be taken from it. 0imershipiw4)lies that the oimer is bigger and more iuortant than that is owned.With this comas the conceit that humans can control nature, that it isour right to mipulate anduse up the land (ibid:661)Considering the Gitksan Wet’suwet’en position, “we are part of the land”, itis argued:This statnt iilies that people arenot bigger than nature and dont control the universe. The land is a living organism, a vibrantinterweaving of movements and changes. Hmmns are part of thisactivity. We are subJect to its changes arid receive its gifts(ibid :661).— 14 —The Gitksan Wet suwet’en further point out that:By viewing the land as a thing, people are removed from it. People whont to control the land, but who feel separate from it, do not respectit (Daly, 1988:661).Conversely, according to Gitksan Wet ‘su*t’ en philosophy:People who are part of the land seek to use nature in a balaflced,nurturing y, perhaps trying to give back more than is received(ibid:662).Cove (1982:8) nakes a similar point in his examination of traditional Gitksanconcepts of land oiiership:Resources on a House territory re not seen as “things” nere].y therefor its weizers use. Rather, a House had a special and exclusiverelationship not only to its lands but to everything in or on them. Aterritory ‘,es a House’s sacred space which it shared with other beingsfundamentally no different in kind from husans; all having similarunderlying form, consciousness, and varying degrees of power. Relationsto them were not seen as unilateral and exploitative, but ratherreciprocal and moral.This notion of inseparableness and its iioztance for Gitksan Wet ‘suwet’ enresource nanaqenant is further revealed in arqments concerning theterminology used in reference to the land. “The language people use whenspeaking of the land reveal their philosophy” (Daly, 1980 :661). Again, drawinga clear distinction between their om and an industry-oriented philosophy,— 15 —the Oitkzan Wets suwet en argue:Lard owiers menage (menipulate) natural resources (sources of revenue)in the envirornt (a thing out there that surrounds us, separate fromus) (ibid:662).As Daly points out:the language used in the Canadian-European ttadition of omership... isthe language of those i4io catalogue husan aid natural life in ternth1ch separate people from the rid in irEiiCh they live (1988:292).Furthermere, the rld is conpartnentalized aid classified according to itspotential uses in the satisfaction of husmn needs.In opposition to this, the philosophy that “people are part of the land”leads to a portrayal of nature as an integrated lthole rather than a set ofcouçartments or costeting potential uses (ibid:662). Gitksan Wet’suwet’enterritories are referred to in terme of natural boundaries and units such as“watersheds” and “ecosysteme”. In the Gitksan Wet’ suwet ‘en tradition, thelanguage recognizes nature as something to be treated “as undivided ratherthan as a set of resources to be exploited” (ibid :663). Furtherrre, GitksanWet’ suwet’en terminology recognizes nature as something husans areintrinsically part of, rather than outside of.The principle of inseparability from nature is interlinked with a secondfundamental principle of the traditional Gitksan Wet’sui*t’en perspective ofhxmen relationships with nature. Given their particular abilities as aspecies, husans are the beings entrusted with the “stewardship” or care ofthe natural ‘xrld. In return for their care and attention, nature ensures— 16 —husmn survival through an abundance of resources (i .e, “gifts”) and thereplenishing of used stocks. As well, hixaan beings are seen to have someinherent (i.e. ,natural) rights to the land 3ihich allow them the use ofnature’s resources in order to meet the basic necessities of life.Daly’s examination of the traditional Gitksan Wet’ suwet’en hunt reveals thepractical significance of these notions, as well as some iulications theyhold for Gitksan Wet’ suwet’ en resource nmnagement schemes:The planning, execution and distribution associated with the huntinvolve the philosophical core of the culture, the crucial principlesupon dich social relations are built, the give and take betweenpeople, arK] between people and nature. ... This philosophy entailsstrict adherence to a body of principles arK] procedures which are basedupon an equitable balance between the species, and between himmnsociety arK] the realm of the spirits. xordiflg to the GitkSanWet suwet ‘en, the consistently successful hunter ni,st obey certainlawe and procedures which will ensure both the well-being of the landand a successful hunt (Daly,1988:6).From a traditional Gitksan Wet’suwet’en perspective, the husan relationshipwith nature is one based on a reciprocal trust, where hmmns are nrrallybound to a .iltitude of obligations and responsibilities. Their fulfilment ofthese obligations arxl responsibilitieS secures both their right to territoryarK] access to a basic means of survival • This relationship between humans andnature is perceived as both sacred and eternal. It cannot be escaped, alteredor terminated • It is permanent. Furtherra,re, it is one that abeorbe every— 17 —individual. It is within the context of this relationship and the role of“trustees” that au activities concerning land use and natural resourcemenagement by the Gitksan Wet’ su*t ‘en mist be conducted.ValuesTraditional Gitksan Wet’suwet’en philosophy of land use has generatedcertain values ‘dilch govern traditional Gitksan Wet ‘su*t’ en resourcemenagement schemes. camining this philosophy, the central or core value toemerge with respect to natural resource use is preservation. Based onprinciples of inseparableness (including its various dimensions), the GitksanWet ‘sutet’en hold a corresponding assption that 4atever is done to natureis, at once, also being done to yourself. In other rds, ‘that hmans do tothe natural w,rld, they do to themeelves. jrtherm,re, because hueans occupythe role of sacred trustees and sterds of the land, at himmns do totheseelves, they do to the natural irld. Perceiving continuity to be theinherent goal of the natural order, according to Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘enphilosophy, husan activities mist preserve the natural order as coepletely aspossible. For it is only through the preservation of the natural order thatthere can be continuity of any kind. From a Oitksan Wet’suwet’en perspectivethen, “preservation”, be it of self, cosn*inity or Indeed “the rld” (in thiscase, Oitksan Wet’suwet’en territories), is a sacred obligation and mist bethe overriding goal of all husmn activities. Hence, preservation becomes thecore value utderlying traditional Qitksan Wet ‘5u4*t’en resource management— 18 —Another inportant value emerging from the traditional Gitksan Wet su*t ‘enençhas is on the preservation of the natural order is respect. Sharing anequality within nature, hmans most not only preserve the natural order butalso respect all coq)onents of it • ‘*ille hueans may use the natural rld andits resources to satisfy their needs for survival, this mist be done withrespect for the *ll-being and needs of others also dependent on theseresources. Htman interests are not permitted to degrade, erode or jeopardizethe *elfare of the larger ithole. The “gifts” of Nature most not be abused,hoarded or taken for granted. cêiat is taken mist be “repaid” (e.g., throughceremonies such as the feast which will be examined in more detail later).In the traditional Gitksan Wet’suwet’en philosophy then, there is great valueplaced on huean efforts to synchronize the activities of the couminity and-the Self with the needs of nature. This attentiveness to the natural order isunderstood as a collective moral obligation as 1*11 as a sign of individualself—respect.Intertwined with these values of preservation and respect is another value ofparticular significance for traditional Gitksan Wet ‘sus.et’en resourcemanagement schms and that is consensus • In efforts to ensure the interestsand needs of all of nature’ conçonents have been addressed and therebyfulfil hn sacred responsibilities and obligations as stemzds or“trustees” of the land, husan activities most be sanctioned by “the whole”.In order to obtain this sanction, opportunities (e.g. ,feasts) are pzovided.tiere all elements of the natural world (hzaan and non-human) are called uponto witness and validate human activities. As *ll, because human needs andinterests are seen as best met through preservation and continuity of the— 19 —thole, those needs and interests peculiar to any one ccssTcnity or individualare not permitted to deviate from sanctioned agreements. In the (3itksanWet ‘suwet ‘en tradition then, there is great value placed on consensus, asboth a goal and a process. This is especially relevant to activitiesinvolving land use and resource nanaqement.Practices: Approach and PoLicjIn addition to generating certain values, the traditional oitksanWet ‘suwet’en perspective of human relationships with nature inplies aparticular approach to land use, one ithich is markedly different than thatadvanced by mainstream market participants:The philosophy of being part of the land is a sustainable approach.Nature is 4iole rather than a set of compartments or ccnetingpotential uses. Such a holistic approach does not try to integrate usesin the conventional sense, because it sees nature as integrated([)aly,1988:662).Based on this philosophy and approach, the Gitksan Wet ‘suwet’ en propose adistinctive set of policies and practices äoncerning resource management.Collectively, these make up daat might be referred to as art “eco-based” landuse i,del:Land management will be organized in a ‘ay that is efficient ar thatprotects the ecosystem.... Ecosystema are recognized as interconnectedwebs those focus is sustaining the ‘thole, not production of any singlepart (ibid:663,662).- 20 -At the centre of this rdel is the belief (nentioned earlier) that continuityis the inherent or “natural” goal of nature. This goal is thought to berealized through the operation of “natural” laws between functionallyinterdependent parts of the diole. As humans are part of this functionallyinterdependent 4ole, the Gitksan Wet ‘suwet’ en believe their practices,particularly those concerning the use of natural resources, imist reflect thelaws and order of the natural world:If forest managenent follows natural laws, social and economic benefitwill also follow. Healthy ecosystene will leed to healthy societieseconomics. This philosophy euçhaeizes the interrelatedness of all partsof an ecosystem; *ien one part of an ecosystem changes significantly,all other parts are affected. Forests will be managed to sustain thedole, rather than to maximize production of a single coetnodity(.Daly,1988:664).Further evidence of this concept can be found in Cove’s (1982:12) argusentsconcerning treditional Oitksan Wet’ suwet’ land. use activities and thefunctional inçortance and zole of myths in establishing rules of conduct. AsCove points out:The incidents stated in myths could also act as precedents for lawsgoverning the relations en,ng beings of different kinds. 11iat we wouldconsider as resource managenent practices were concrete expressions ofrules learned through these [mythical) encounters....From a Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en perspective then, nature provides a model for— 21. —hmen conduct, i*aerehammn use of “nature’s gifts” nvst not in any iy alterinportant relationships bet*en the various coqonents within the ole.Expanding and ad:iust Iraq this traditional perspective to neet the needs ofparticipation in a market setting, the Gitksan Wet’sui*t’en identify threemain priorities with respect to land use, and in particular forestmanagement.The three priorities of our philosophy of forest management are:First: Care — give theMe for the use of the landSecond: Stmrdship - use the land wiselyThird: Economics - trade or barter any surplus (Daiy,1988:664).To meet these priorities, the Gitksan Wet’suwet’en propose several policiesand practices for conteuçorary resource management. Focus Iraq on theirparticular objectives, these policies and practices may be grouped into threebasic categories: long-term planning, synchronization and conservation, andpublic participation.a) long-term planning: mapping and InventoryA key ingredient in conten4orary Gitksan Wet’su*t’en resource managementproposals is long-term planning. The Gitksan *t ‘suet ‘en propose thatlong-term planning leads to sustainable resource management, 4aeze they argue“forest practices can be efficient and , . .protect ecosysteme at the sanetime” (Paly,1988:665)— 22 —To facilitate long-term planning, the Gitksan Wet suwet’en propose extensivemapping of all Gitksan Wet’suwet’en territories. This will involve thedelineation of Gitksan Wet’suwet’en territorial boundaries, identifying boththe collective land management area as well as specific individual resourceunits. Following traditional patterns and practices , the Gitksan -Wet’suweten argue that:The most appopr iate nature unit for management is the tershed..Watersheds are naturally defined valley units ‘there weter draiinto a single main streas or river in the valley bottom. The najorriver fornu the overall ‘atershed area, with each of the many streameflowing into the river being a smaller wetershed management unit.Because tersheds link all parts of the forest ecosystem, forestmanagement by weterthed units will permit use and protection of allforest values (ibid:665,664).In addition to mapping, the Gitksan Wet’suwet’ propose that managementplans will be based on a colete inventory of each wetershed area.All plans will be formolated from a coeprehensive, field-basedinventory of natural, social and economic factors. This inventory willovide the means to ensure a 1aolistic, integrated view of anysituation before activity occur. Included in this inventory will befisheries data, comnity economic needs, hunting and trappinginformation, forest ecosystem descriptions and other informationnecessary to develop a ccitplete picture of an area (ibid:667).rthermore, the Oitksan Wet suwet’en state that in terme of managementdecisions and activities:Priority will be given to natural factors (conservation of soil, water,plants, fish, wildlife) rather than to social and economic factors. Byprotecting natural factors, some short term social and economic goalsmay be n*dified. Howaver, in the long term a healthy eco-system wiilensure healthy economies and societies (Daly, 1988 :666).The (Jitksan Wet’suiet’en point out that:The primary feature of this ‘*iolistic planning system is that uses oractivities are integrated from the beginning. Short and long term needsare balanced so that forests and their related conwunities aresustainable. .. (Da3.y,1988:669),Indeed, the Gitksan Wet ‘suwet’ en propose that “holistic watershed-basedmanagement”, i4iich they argue leads to long-term planning, will yield thegreatest benefit f& the coataanity (ibid:665).b) synchronization aid conservationThe eco-based management medel proposed by the Gitksan Wet’ suwet’en willeq)loy traditional patterns of land use ere resource activities aregoverned by the “seasonal rounds” (see Daly, 1988 :chapter V) . Hostexplicitly this means that resource activity will be synchronized with thenatural cycles aid rhytima established by the seasons (see Daly, 1988 :AppendixC) For exa)le, fisheries activities will be timed accordinq to the seasonalpatterns of migration and spaming of specific species of fish. Forestryactivities such as logging, road building, and silviculture including— 24 —planting, fertilization, slashing, spacing and thinning will be conductedduring those seasons iwst favourable to the preservation of naturalconditions, timing activities will be sifflularly scheduled. Hunting andtrapping will be timed, like fisheries, according to the natural migrationpatterns and lifeweys of those species sought. Berry picking, as well as thegathering of medicinal and cerenvnial materials will continue to follow thetraditional pattern of activity. The timing of other resource activities suchas management planning and decision—making, mapping, wetershed inventories,restoration activities (e.g., reconstructing natural weter drainagepatterns), and ifacturing activities (e.g., saweifl and fish cannaryoperations) will be scheduled to utilize those periods of time deemedunsuitable for other activities,Using this traditional pattern means that Oitksan Wet ‘suwet’ resourceactivities may be concentrated into specific times of the year round cywle.For exle, certain activities may be dominant at one point in tine, ilebecoming subordinate to other activities (or even absent) at another time.Indeed, it is unlikely that a specific resource activity will be conductedall year round or that all types o resource activities will be engaged insuimiltaneously.The point to be ne. here is that rather than adopt a market-oriented pattern,there activities are regulated by fiscal policies and product demands, the(3itksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en are proposing to utilize traditional patterns ofresource activity. Based on this pattern, new activities associated withconteiporary market participation will be incorporated into the traditional—25— vseasonal rounds. In this manner, Gitksan Wet’suwet’en connunities andactivities will remain synchronized with the rhythme established by thenatural mrld,Another key ingredient in the synchronization of resource activities proposedby the Gitksan Wet ‘suiet’ en is conservation, Traditionally, conservationpractices imre centred around the observation of natural rhyttmm of theecosystem, protecting all elements of a territory and rking within theresource yield capacities of an identified area (e.g.,watershed). Cc*nactivities mudded restricting human use of certain resources that may havebecome at risk (e.g., taking less fish or gese from depleted species) orother wildlife controls suchas regulating natural predators of those qnestocks suffering a decline (e.g., by reducing/increasing trapping of adultm,lves or renDvinq pups to another location). Another inortant conservationpractice involved niving human coimunities with the changes in natural cyclesof a site in order to avoid over-extending its carrying capacity at a giventime. In this lay, conservation practices enable Gtksan Wet ‘suwet’ensociety to synchronize itself within the natural order, ensuring that humanneeds and endeavours do not deplete or destroy the natural balance.Adjusting these traditional goals and activities to meet the demands ofconteu4orary resource management, 43itksan Wet ‘suwet’ en identify a variety ofweys in 4iich resource activities will address the needs of conservation. Forexle, in their outline of policies reqarding proposed forestry practices,the Gitksan Wet’suwet’en state that forests will be logqed accordinq toclose utilization standards. Hiqhgrading, they arque, viii. not be practtsed— 26 —(Daly, 1988:676). Instead, they propose an “intensive use of resources”,there diverse species of trees, log sizes, and tiiber grades will be utilizedthrough the development of diversified menufacturing, based on localprocessing of small logs, pulp logs, od chips or speciality products. Evenso-called “wed” species will be utilized, me Gitksan Wet • suwet ‘en arguethat through the manufacturing of “value-aied” products, pressure on t1nersupplies is reduced (ibid:667)Conservation concerns are also evident, for exanpie, in proposed GitksanWet’suwet ‘en policies regarding the regeneration of harvested forest areas.Citing the need to conserve soil nutrients and avoidthe risks of erosion,the Gitksan Wet’suweten state that “all areas will be satisfactorilyregenerated within t years of harvest” (Daly,1988:671). These concerns arereiterated in policies governing the construction and maintenance oftransportatioWroad syeteme required for forest access. Vor exle, theOitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en state that roads n.st be designed and located in weysthat balance logging patterns, minimize soil, degradation, and protect creeksand rivers. As well:Róads will be located and constructed on stable terrain. there unstableterrain is encountered, areas may be eliminated from harvesting ifroads cannot be constructed so that risk to natural factors isacceptable (ibid:673).These conservation practices are exles of the wey in ich the GitksanWet suseten propose to maximize the benefits of their share of Nature’sresources, ile reducing the need to consme nore than generated to sustain—27 —the ecosystem as a ‘thole. The key here is that people will be sustained aspart of the whole.Returning to a point mede earlier, the Gitksan Wet’suwet’ en clearly statethat in terme of management decisions and activities, piriority will be givento natural factors, specifically the conservation of soil, weter, plants,fish and wildlife. The economic and social needs of humans will occupy asubordinate position to the collective well-being of the ecosystem as aEo1e. This imans that in the pursuit of economic and/or social prosperity,Gitksan Wet ‘suwet’ en resource activities Esst remain sensitive to theresource production capacities of their territories. Failing to address thisbalance may result in resource depletions, ádch from a Gitksan Wet ‘suwet’enperspective uld be evidence of non-siichronization with nature.C) public participation and distribitiónPublic participation in the making of decisions regarding resource use is aparasmt feature of conteuporary Gitksan Wet’ suwet ‘en resource management.As the Gttksan Wet’suwet’en state in their outline of proposed policies andpractices:The Gitksan-Wet’suwet’en people will share decision making authoritythroughout afl phases of forest management. Public involvement willfollow traditional tribal systema in a process of consensus(Daly, 1988:680)The inçoztance of such participation rests on the premise (discusSed earliei)— 28 —that as stewerds and “trustees” of the land, hturaris are nrrally bound toensure that the ne and interests of jj nature’s elements are adequatelyaddressed. As well, sharing an equality within “the ihole”, hns liust alsoensure that the needs and interests of all nature’s elements are equallyconsidered. From a traditional Gitksan Wet’ suwet’ en perspective, this meansthat all elements of “the ole”, both husn and non-human, natural andsupernatural, nust be represented in the decision making processes of humanbeings, particularly those governing land use. It also means that humanresource activities xrust be sanctioned by “the ‘ihole”.In Gitksan Wet’suwet’en society, representation and sanction of “the 4ole”in the decision making process governing resource qnaqement is accomplishedthrough public involvement. Based on traditional Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘enbeliefs, all elements of the ithole are represented through selected humandesignates (i.e • ,nare holders 4)• Since these nameholders are activemenEers of the public, public involvement is, by definition, involvement by“the thole”. In practical terme, this means public input into resourcemanagement decisions as well as collective evaluation of Gitksan Wet’suwet’enresource activities . In short, it means Oitksan Wet’suwet’en resourcemanagement is based on social consensus.The distribution of public authority governing contenporary resourceactivities will be based on the traditional (3itksan Wet’suwet’en system ofproperty rights. Within this system, there are three basic statuses withrespect, to property and resources: oers, controllers, and users. The locusof rights attached to each of these statuses are held by different social— 29 —groupings within Gitksan Wet’sui*t’en society: “Houses”, nameholders, andgeneral House meehership. ccordingiy, each of these statuses confer adifferent (and separate) set of rights and hold different kinds and degreesof authority over resources • In the Oitksan Wet •sut ‘en system, each ofthese three statuses play a different but highly iuportant role in resourcemanagement.Houses are the principle “oers” ‘ of all property in the traditionalGitksin Wet’sui*t’en system and it is they io hold overall governing rightsto Gitksari Wet’ suwet ‘en territories. Gitksan •Wet’suwet ‘en society isdivided into four Houses ‘. These Houses are equal in terns of relativestatus, and, at least in theory, oim the same kinds and unts of socialresources • (Maive,1973:7).All meehers of Gitksan Wet’ suwet ‘en society are assigned to a House atbirth, usually their nother’s House (see Mase,1973:25) . The mentershipof Gitksan Wet ‘suwet’en Houses is organized into several hierarchicallyranked “lineages” °. Gitksan Wet’suwet’en lineages are made up of“related” families and often cross—cut several Houses (see N2ane, 1973:26-7). Within a given House, there are two type of lineages: those belongingto the chiefly class and those belonging to the coenon class (dame, 1973:37).C2iefly lineages are referred to as “Gitksan located on their o land” andit is typically neiEers of these lineages *o hold positions Of authority andcontrol over House resources. There are also several connon class lineaqes,— 30 —referred to as “...Gitksan living on land belonging to other Gitksan” or“coner&’ (kias, 1973: 38). These lineages occupy subordinate statuspositions within their House and hold a different set of rights andauthorities over resources (to be discussed later).It is iwortant to recognize that while Gitksan Wet’suwet’en Houses arekinship based, as one author points out, “Houses are LiQt. descent groups.. .They are ntrilineally organized corporate groups functioning under theauthority of a chiefly lineage, with other lineages - often unrelated- assubordinates” (M,1973:7,31). Houses are property-holding “corporations”.Clearly, the st valuable possessions of a House are its ancestral “names”(see Halpin, 1984:59). Each House oi.as a stock of ancestral names , whichare saidto have existed “ñince before the flood” (Adanm,1973:25 & 41). Inthe Gitksan Wet • suwet’ en view, these names are the entodiment of specialpowers and relationships established when the original ancestors of GitksanWet ‘suwet en society first entered the territories of supernatural beingswho inhabited the Earth before husans. Traditional Oitksan Wet ‘suiet’ensacred nyths (ada’ox) provide accounts of how these ancestors cane to holdthe special powers, songs, dances, iuçortant artifacts and, in some cases,territories that were given to them by these supernatural beings(HUler,1984:39). As these ancestors were the original me*ers of the House:Acquired powers therefore became part of a House and were given life byit. since (:these powers] have a physical association with a particularlocale, . . .that place also came part of the House — its territory(Qwe,1982:7).— 31 —Indeed, it has been argued that it is by virtue of their ownership of thesens that Houses ces to be land holders:A House wes deaxd to have title to a territory because it had mergedits essence with a piece land (Cove 1979). That essence ‘as its stockof supernatural powers acquired by ancestors of the House from spirits(naxnox) 4’o had taken on physical forme to. live in the sane mein ashimans (Cove,1982:7).That piece of land is referred to as “spanaxnox”. From a traditionalperspective, the territory of a Gitksarz Wet suwet en House (as noted in anearlier discussion) is perceived not as a collection of potentially usefulresources, bet rather as the “sacred space” of a House (lee C6è, 1982:8).nersThe only individuals with access to Gitksan Wet’suwet’en property andresources are nameholders • In the Gitksan Wet’ suwet • en system,nholders are resource nanagers and hold controlling rights overGjtksan. Wet’suwet’en territories. As noted earlier, Oitksan Wet’suwet’enancestors were given special rights and powers over specific territoriesduring their encounters with the supernatural beings who Inhabited the rld.Within the context of the traditional Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en system of propertyrights, these ns are wealth, acting as “titles” to resource territories(see Halpin,1984:59—6O).— 32 —However, according to Gitksan Wet’suwet’en beliefs, the rights and powersacquired by Gitksan Wet’suwet’en ancestors did not really “belonq” to therecipient in the sense that they were personal private possessions. Ratherthese ancestors “entcdied” them (see Cove,1982:7). That is, these individualsbecame the designated House ment,er chosen to hold those rights arid powers andgive them existence. As such, they becate husan representatives of theoriginal supernatural powers, holding their nases arid providing the meansthrough diich these powers act out their intentions on earth.Upon the death of an ancestor, the rights and power axe passed dom to newers of the House through reincarnation . subeequent “nane—hoiders”inherit “title” to specific tracts of territory originally claimed by theirn. That is, they become the “trustees” of that territory, obligating themto manage the resources of that territory to the benefit of all thosedependent upon it for survival (see earlier discussion, fri. 3). However, aspeople are merely representatives of names, it is the nases ithich are seen asmanaging the wealth and resources of a territory, not the individuals ohold the name (see Halpin,1984:60).House names are ranked in a hierarchical formation, based on their relativeinpoztance or part in mythical “beginnings” of Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en society.Each n has Its os*i status and position in the social order. Indeed, it hasbeen argued that these names reveal the social structure and or anization ofGitksan Wet’suwet’en society (see Ha].pin,1984:59). As all formalized socialinteractions are patterned according to the hierarchy of ancestral names, theaiwiunt of public authority over resource manaqement activitiesatforded to— 33 —each naneholder significantly differs. The distribution of these poirs,including the particular anunts, is also revealed in Gitksan Wet’sui*t’ensacred nyths.gtheral House m8ershipThe third social groupi to hold public authority over Gitksan Wet ‘su*t ‘enresources is the general neftdeship of a House ‘ The bulk of this qeneralmership is de up of nent*rs of coiswn class lineages and resident(paternal) children of a House • The general meters of a House are users ofproperty and hold rights of access to House property. In the traditionalGitksari Wet ‘suwet ‘en system, Eile rights of oership and control are heldbq Houses and (titled) nameholders, it is the general mentership of a Houseitho are perceived to be the principle beneficiaries of Oitksah Wet’suwet’enresources, Indeed, accordtrig to Gitksan Wet’ smet ‘en mythology, it wes onbehalf of and for the larger benefit and *ll-bein of this generalpopulation that Houses and meor nameholders cane to hold their respectivestatuses as owers and controllers in the first place.In the Gitksari Wet’suet’en system, mentership user rights sean guaranteedrights of access to the property and resource territories of their House (seedane, 1973:9,38) . based on traditional Gitksan Wet’suwet’en beliefsabout husan inseparability from and equality within Nature (discussedearlier), access to resources is something perceived to be an intrinsic rightof all elements of nature as members of “the 4oie”. irthernore, because allmembers of this ‘%thole” (humeri and non—hman) belong to one the four Gitksan— 34 —Wet’suwet’en Houses, no one is without access to resources. This means thata]). aer5 of this 9ole have some measure of authority over the use ofresources • In the Gitksan 1t’suwet’en system (as noted earlier), this isaccoqlished through public involvement in resource management, .there allnmieholders (greater and lesser) are selected hmn designates representingthe interests and needs of the larger collective whole. The authority of thegeneral House meership in resource management is therefore essential to thecontinuity and well-being of “the whole”.In the Gitksan Wet’suwet’erz system, user rights come from two differentsources. e set is gained at birth and comes from the paternal House withwhom individuals are first alifle. children, individuals are given “babyn&, chosen from asg the lesser noes of their father’s House (seeMills, 19$8:401—2;also see s,1973:41). These nms provide them with(limited) general access to House resources • A second set of user rights isgained upon maturity, when individuals may inherit the “adult nes”belonging to their oim maternal House. Mult ns are “power names” and,like baby nemes., provide individuals with user’s access to House resources,though in varied amounts. However, adult names also carry a significantdegree of power and authority, investing the individual with heavy moral andsocial obligations for the management of resource territories a,Syst: settings and mechanismaThe traditional aboriginal Gitksan Wet’suwet’en system of property rights isbased on common property oimership (see Daly, 1988:295—6; COve,1982:14).— 35 —Th this system, rights to property are defined accordinq to the hierarchy ofGitksan Wet’suwet’en ancestral namas. all relationships to wealth andresources are distributed through the assiqrnnent of these ancestral nans;there are no relationships outside these namas. Ancestral namas arecollectively ozed by Houses and all House menters are expected to hold atleast one name a0 In practical terwe, this neans that all GitksanWet ‘suwet ‘en are entitled to share in the wealth and other benefitsgenerated from House property.The aechanism through itiich the traditional Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en system ofproperty rights is sustained is the feasting system. The feasting system is aseries of highly formalized public gatherings, the ist formal being thePotlach (Hiller,1984:28). At the core of this system is the accuniilation,ibilization and distribution of valued goods and services. Ethnographicsources indicate that ile feasts may be held for many reasons, in general,they are a response to altered relations within the Gitksan Wet’ suwet ‘ensystem of property rights, for exanple those resulting from marriages,deaths, births, or naming (see Miller,1984:28; also see Daly, 1988:623; seekJas8, 1973:13). In a system of coemon propert omership, these alterationshave a significant bearing on the entire Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en comvnity. Assuch they imst be publicly witnessed and registered. As one author observed:The feast is a forus for the witnessing of the transmission oftancestral] namas and the public delineation of territorial boundariesand fishing sites. .. .me legality of the transactions witnessed are asvalid in the Gitksan and Wet’sui*t’en cultures.., as is the registry ofa deed or the notarisation of a docusent in a state-organized society(Daly,1988:12).36 —The traditional Gitksari Wet’ suwet ‘en feasting System operates within aneconomic order based on balanced reciprocity between resource-omtng groups(Daly,1988:545—643; also see Mase,1973:2) . Within this economic order, theconstion of one group inspires production by the other. Or conversely,that one group generates and gives awey the other is obligated to repay,usually with interest (see Daly, 1988:587,633). In accordance with theseprinciples, resource-oming groups in Gitksan Wet • suwet’ en society(i.e.,Houses) are both socially required as well as irally obligated tosponsor or ‘“host”’ feasts (see Mai, 1973: 103, lU). As one author explainsholding a fe3t allowe a House to settle its affairs, repay its debts, fulfilits sacred obligations, re-establish “co-opexative alliances as well aspublicly present its history, land boundaries and succession to title forvalidation by its:”peers (Daly,1988:546,558,564).Failure to sponsor a feast has profound social il%’lications. As Daly notes:A House ithich receives, feast after feast, and in everyday life,without reciprocating, lives in shan because its meebers are never ina position to pay off their debts in the proper menner (1988:284).The result is a serious decline in status held by a House. This in turn leads’to the loss of legitimete title to territories, and hence rights of accessand control over resources (see Daly, 1988:284-5,559). In this setting:A feast is an occasion for a House to “sort out its business” inrelation to the other Houses of the village, ..and to have itsiiqortant decisions witnessed and ratified by the thole coununity(Daly, 1988: 558 )— 37 —It is argued then that the feasting system serves as both an inetus toon-going reciprocity, as well as the principle nchanism by which reciprocitybetween zesource-cwning groups is ensured (see Daly,1988:1i,156).In addition to economic hrçeratives, the feasting system also satisfies sovital social and mDrai obligations in Oitksan Wet’suwet’en society. Theseobligations eirge from the Gitksan Wet ‘suwet’ en belief (‘discussed earlierthat the territories they inhabit are “entrusted” to them by the supernaturalbeings (naxnox) who dwell there in return for inheriting rights to theselands, the Oitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en have an eternal responsibility to ensurethat the will of the original (spiritual) inhabitants is secured.Furtherrre, the GitksanWet ‘suwet ‘enbelieve that these territories willcontinue to provide people with security and well-bein only if they and alltheir inhabitants (natural and supernatural) are properly acknowledged andrespected. This is accorplished through feasting and the transfer of eternalancestral nemes to selected fumans who will assun the comnitnent to upholdthe original agreements.From a Gitksan Wet’ suwet ‘en perspective, the giving and sharing of resourcesat feasts is not sh,ly amatter of distributing wealth. The goods andservices rendered at feasts representp4 to, the Universe for its“gifts”. One author observes:The Teinehian .. .knew that they had a duty to partake of the giftsreceived from other wends and to return gifts to those rlds throughtheir fathers, who connected them to those other wer lds(Sequin, 1984:131)— 38 —As anoer•authoE notes:Ems Gitksan and wet’suwet’enj feast together and break theirrespective *alth, as the Law demands, so that again and again, now andin the ftiU a aiit wIU tcms back asny tines over (Daly,1988:643).Indeed, for the Gitksan Wet’sut’en , feasting is the neans by which theyparticipate n the uintenance of a universal system of relations (seeCove, 1982:8). Feasting is therefore not only LweratWe to the economicorder, it is seen as both morally correct and practical (see Daly, 1988:637).In its preparation and delivery, feasting activates and coordinates moltipledinsions of (3itksan Wet’suwet’en societal life . For exaule, socialrelations and their inherent obligations are affirwed. Economic activitiesare focused and political alliances reinforced. Spiritual relationships andpoiers are celebrated. 8lucational needs, including the transmission ofiiiortant moral values, societal history and cultural rldvie, are netthrough the oral tradition of story telling at feasts. As well, traditionalGitksan Wet ‘suwet’en lai are utilized to govern feasting activities andprocedures. As one author expldins:The feast a molti—faceted ceremonial institution in which, throughthe giving and receiving of objects, relationships that sinultaneouslyhave to do with law, morality, kinship, economics, politics and thepsychic and spiritual, are reaffirmed according to the style and teupoof the Gitkaan and Wet’suwet’en cultures (Daly,1988:545—6; also seemre,l972:2).It is within the context of the feasting system that traditlénal Gitksan— 39 —Wet’suwet’en resource management schemes have developed. AS 1*11, it isthrough the activity of feasting that treditional resource mana ement schemesare manifested. Indeed, ethnographic accounts suggest that the maintenance ofthe feasting system, with the fulfilment of its many nsilti-dimensiona]oblitions, is the central goal a Gitksan wet’ suwet ‘en natural resourceminagement That is, Gitksan Wet’suwet’en resource management practices otonly reflect feasting needs, but are in fact designed specifically to ensurethat the feasting system continues. The aboriginal feasting system istherefore fundamental to Gitksan Wet’suwet en resource management.Key Fntions of the Gitksan Wetsuweten FeastinQ SYstemThe iitortance and Siqnifjcance of the feasting system for GitksanWet ‘suwet’en resource management is noted around ts., key functions.1. Title to natural resource territories. including rights of access.and control over resources. is validated and legitimated whInthe..feastmci system.As stated earlier, title to property and resources, as well as rights ofaccess and control over property and resources in Oitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘ensociety is eiodied in ancestral ns• As oiezs of ancestral names, Houseshold title to specified natural resource territories. However, as one authorpoints out:Properly speing, title is not a proprietary riqht but eyidence thatsuch a right exists (Cove, 1982:12).As such, clams to titles have to be validated or “proven” by a Housea. As— 40 —well, a House waist provide evidence of its control and authority over theresource territories it claime • As the author adds:.The institution in ich evidence of this kind wes formallypresented —_- the potlach or feast (ibid).Through the production, áccxiiation and distribution of sufficient wealth tohost a feast, a House demenstrates its ability to effectively manage itsresource territories (see Sequin,1984:xiii). its title to territories as wellas its control and authority over resources is thus renewed and upheld.Also estodied in these ancestral names are sets of rights, privileqes andobligations connected to specific tracts or areas within a territory. ASoltrierS of ancestral nases, Houses are responsible for the selection ofpersons o will hold these nases. It is the recipients of ancestral namesio hold the rights of access and control over resources ot specific tractsof territory within the larger territory of a House. As name-holders areresponsible for the management of these resources, House choices in theselection of these nw-holders is therefore of fundamental inportance andsignificance to the overall welfare and status of a House . These choicesare announced and recorded at feasts, ere the leadinq chief(s) of a Houseinvite the chiefs and mewtership of other Gitksan 1*t’suwet’en Houses towitness their decisions (see MiUer,1984:28; Daly,1988:8—12,626).The inportance and role of the feast in traditional Gitksan Wet’SWt’ennatural resource management schemes is therefore crucial. For it is withinthe feast that resouzce-obming corporations (i.e. ,Houses) present theassigrwnent ot resource manag t portfolios for ratification by the Gitksan— 41 —1t ‘suwet’ en collective. Indeed, it is through the activity of feasting thatthe authority of resource oers (i • e • ,Houses) and resource managers(1. .e. ,rie-hoiders) is sustained. cly through hosting a feast, there a Housedistributes the wealth of its territories as gifts or “ants” for the‘witnessing its decisions, is its titleto resources, including rights ofcontrol and authority, legitimated (Daly,1988:iO,140,595,632—3).2, social control over natural resource territories is a inistered-through the feastina sYstemAll activities involving the use and management of resource territories aredirectly or indirectly administered through the Gitksan wet ‘5u*t enfeasting system. This administration has t primary dimensions: internal andexternal. The key focus of attention in each of these dimensions is theconduct of both Houses and nane-holders in relation to the resources theycontrol. As one author observed, the activities and practices of Houses andnaneholders, in both the preparation and hosting of a feast, are subject tointense scrutiny by the Gitksan Wet’suwet’en collective (see’ Daly,1988:chapter 8,esp.558—9).external dimensionThe external dimension of social control over the resource managementactivities of Houses exerted by the feasting system emerges from thecondition that, all Houses mist sponsor feasts:It is iwçortant to the potlach system as a thole that every House put— 42 —on a proper feast, for only in that y can reciprocation continue(M,1972:1O3; also see Daly,1988:553-4).It is therefore iuerative that every House maintain the ability to meet itsobligations to feast. Indeed, this ability is fundamental to the i*itare ofthe entire Gitksan Wet ‘suwet’ en ccnirimity. However, to host such an eventrequires a substantial anount of wealth. It is estimated that ntst majorfeasts today require at least $20,000-$30,000, some costi as high as$50,000 (Daly,1988:624). To host a feast then is a major undertaking for aHouse.As stated earlier, feasts are generally held in response to alterations orchanges to relations of property such as those brought about by marriages,births, deaths or namtnqs. As the timing of these events cannot be (tholiy)predicted, a House nvst make sure it can come up with enough wealth to host afeast at any time that it may be required. This includes being able torespond to the requests for assistance from an allied (paternal) Houseseeking to finance a feast (see Daly,1988:12,140). A House Im]st therefore becontinuously concerned with managing its resources in a wey that ensures itsability to fulfil feasting obligations. As one author notes:Those Houses IithlChdO not make great sacrifices so asto keep theirstanding high in the consTunity become perpetual receivei of foodstuffsand of feast hail money, and their social standing in local affairsremains low (Daly, 1988: 159).Thus a great deal of attention is devoted, usually by the leading housechief, to the task of aocutailating sufficient amounts of wealth and resources(see Daly, 1988: 280—5). Clearly, the demands emerging from the feastingsystem provide the primary motive and influence over (3itksan Wet’suwet’en— 43 —resoixce management activities. Indeed, it may be ar ued that it is themaintenance of the traditional feasting system that fuels GitksanWet’ sm*t ‘en erdeavours for contenq,orary resource development and increasedmarket participation (see Daly, 1988: 161—2).There is also a highly intense external dimension of control over theactivities of naseho1ders exerted by the feasting system. Attached to every(titled) nmm is a “reserved seat” in the feast ha].1 (Mane, 1973:41; Miller,1984:35) • With the receipt of a titled ne, the nameholder is expected toattend and participate in the feast:Not to pay attention to one structural position and acknowledge itthrough participation in the feasting coe,lex is to lead a lonely, ornon-native existence. .. . Young people tho claim to have no tine fortradition have aliys been adtnished by their elders to pay attentionto their social responsibilities if they nt to live “to see their ogrey hair”, People say again and again that the ,st inportant thinq isthe knowledge of belonging, both to the coiwvnity and the land, anddenonstrating this belonqinqness by fullillinq feast obligations.Either one does so, or one becomes labelled with the ignominy of beinglike slaves or iarnigrants to the land; that is, being “people ofuncertain origin” tho are around to receive gifts but never to generatewealth and pay back their Social debts (Daly, 198ê:548,561).As noted by another author:...if a person should fail to participate, he or she is talked about assomeone itho “doesn’t care”, “o never helps anybody” or *tho is“stingy”... (ane, 1973:12).— 44 —In addition to atterx2ance aid participation, all naneholders, as controllersaid managers of House wealth, are expected to make significant contributionsto House expenses of sponsoring a feast (Daly,1988:152,606,609,612—13). Theircontributions (e.g. ,money or other valued itema) becone part of the stock of“gifts” that will be distributed to quests by the hosting House (seeDaly,1988:140; also see sequin, 1984:125; also see Idam,1972:72—3). Theunt of their contributions, though proportionate to the ranked status oftheir (ancestral) n, is expected to be substantial. Indeed, the generosityof nmri,ers arid allies has tremendous bearing on the ability of a House to“properly” repay its debts. Failure to fulfil these obligations, for ateverreason thether due to financial inability or lack of participation, is causefor serious losS of social status aid approval (see dane, 1972:73; Daly,1988:548).Social control over naneholders is further intensified due to their perceivedrole in the cosmic order. Selected by their HouSe arid sanctioned within theircziity, nholders become liaisons between the wend of the sacred andthat of everi1ay ordinary existence (see Sequin,1984:117). M stated earlier,recipients of arestral names assuse responsibility for the fulfilment ofsacred obligations inherent to the original relationships- established betweenGitksan Wet’suwet ‘en ancestors and the supernatural beings i.tho inhabitGitksan Wet ‘suwet’en territories (Sequin, 1984:xiv; also see Cove, 1982:1.2).These supernatural beings demand respect and attention. For the most part,this means that namieholders mt ensure their natural resource territoriesare producinq )ealth, and that it be used to facilitate the well-being o al].— 45 —(husmn aid non—human alike). Furthermire, it mist be done in a manner thatmeets with the approval and sanction of supernatural powers. Should any ofthese obligations be ignored, the Gitksan Wetisuwetaen believe the wealthhusans enjoy may be wilthdra (see Cove, 1982:8). The conduct of nameholders,especially those with high-rankinq titles, is of extreme concern to menbezsof their House aid indeed to the entire coem.inity. Social control over theiractivities is maintained in the feast, Eere the behaviour of name-holders issubject to public evaluation and intense scrutiny.internal dimensionInternal control over the administration of House resources exerted withinthe feasting system concerns the manner in dich management decisions aremade. In the larger sense, it is the House that is the principle owner ofterritories aid as such holds ultiuite governing authority over resources.H*ver, as managing authority over specific tracts of resource territory isattached to individual “titles’, any decisions regarding the use aidmanagement of resource territories mist be made in consultation with all(titled) nameholders of the House. M one author observed, the leading Househief (s) (i . e • ,those with the hiqhest rankinq names) “.ake] counsel with theholders of ranked ns in their House or phratry in making decisions aboutresource use, succession, alliances, defence, marriages, and aU othermatters [havinj . . ,iulications for the power and prestige of the House”(Sequin,1984:xiii; also see Paly, 1986:186,294,547). Within the tzaditions ofthe feast, decisions regarding resource activities of a House are madethrough a decentralized decision-making process. In this sense, the feasting— 46 —System acts as internal measure of social control, ensurinq that decisionsput forward by a House reflect the overall interests and will of thecollective. In short, the feasting system facilitates social consensus.The feasting system also exerts tremendous internal control over theactivities of nreholders. It does this in two principle respects. Firstly,the powar and influence held by any one individual over group decisions aboutthe use and menagesient of House resources is restricted by their rank withinthe hierarchy of ancestral names. As well, their o activities concerninqthe use and menagenent of the resource territories attached to their name aregoverned and regulated according to decisions nnde by the group as a iéiole.As Daly notes:iêién people participate in a feast they are not ...free agents... Theycannot freely chose iRiich relationships they wii1 define and express...These relationshipe are e-ordained by kinship, and by the collectivedecision-meking within the House as to ich ne and status they willhold. ,. .Every meiez of the society imist work from within the contextof these constraints (1988:555).Secondly, the feasting system also inoses an internal dimension of controlover the resource activities of individual nameholders in that it requiresnameholders to conduct their activities according to the (perceived) lawe ofnature • This means that all nholders, particularly those holding “greater”or “titled” nasme, are obligated to familiarize thenselves with their owiterritories. They mist know its specific boundaries, physicalcharacteristics, spiritual properties as well as the many natural— 47 —elemi ta/resources it contains.. They naist also know treditioaal GitksanWet ‘suwat ‘en nythoiogy, learning the songs, stories, histories and powersand how these relate to their specific territories. In general, naneholdersmast educate themeelves in the ways of the natural irld and OitksanWet ‘suwet ‘en people. In the Gitksan Wet’ suet • en view, only through respectfor the natural order of things will the continuity of wealth arid ‘ell-beinbe assured. mie way of deamstrating this respect was the hosting of a fea5t(Mane, 1972: 43 )Traditionally, the responsibilities arid tasks of naneholders centred aroundprotecting aid ensuring the welfare of not only the territory attached totheir n, t securing the safety and well-being of all inhabitants andvisitors (human aid non-human) of those territories (see Sequin, 1984:xiv).In terns of resource management, Daly notes that a significant part anameholder’s activities involved:the calculation of goods arid services potentially available to theHouse ... [so as to allow it] .. . to fulfil its obligations, orcontrihote to the hosting of a maioz feast(1988:280).ile many of the actual tasks involved in conterrorary management aredifferent from those of earlier times, the essence of social responsibilitiesaid metal obligations assumed by present nameholders remains the sane. Forexale, as one author notes, present-day nameholders mast continue:to secure the title to their lands, aid spearhead plans for the medernuse, development arid conservation of these lands in a way that willensure general wall—being of the people of the area (Daly, 1988:287).— 48 —This author *tes further that:the chief is necessarily engaged in broad political and legal actionsregarding the land; In economic feasibility planning; .. . in trying tosecure well-paid work for hinmeif - so he will be able to spearhead thenecessary fund-raising for his House feasts - and for other Houseui,ers; and to nmke sure that by means of give and take, all familiesIn the ccsminities have the amarm to survive periodic crises of dailylife and prepare for a brighter, self-directed, economic future(ibid).He adds that “The authority for these developnmnts is still given and renewedin the feast (ibid:288).The ret powerful source of social control, in both external and internaldinermions, over Gitksan Wet’suwet’en resource nmnagement exerted by thefeasting system is that held by the Gitksan Wet ‘su*t’efl collective. Invitedas guests by a hasting House, the chiefs, ranked naneholders and generalmeiers of other Houses becc,ne lithe audience” at the feast from Eom thehosts seek ratification and sanction of its decisions and activities • Theyare representatives of “the ithole” before .kiom the claim and conduct of bothHouses and nanmholders are presented and validated aThe role of the collective or “audience” is essential to the overalladministration of resource activities. For exaiie, the announcement ofsuccessors to House names is always accc*lpanied by a cosplete delineation oflocations and boundaries of the specific territories attached to these names.Argusents and reasons concezning the “worthiness” or suitability of-49-individuals a House has they selected to hold a particular nase are putforird. Hoever, these matters, particularly territorial boundaries, areoften the subject of dispute. To substantiate its claism, the hosting Housepresents mythS, songs and stories included in its oral tradition and history,inviting ‘ers of the audience to put forzd .thatever evidence of they nayhold to resolve these matters . The legitimacy n “correctness” ofclaime presented by each party will be evaluated by the audience at the feast(Daly,1988:628,also see 618—22,629; Cove,1982:13—4). Thus, as one authorpoints out, “The absence of a proper audience prevents the orderlycontinuation of a tradition” (Hiller,1984:33).In this sense then, the feast flay be accurately described as a “businessmeeting” beti*en resource-oiming corporate groups seeking to reaffirm theirJurisdiction ard authority over specific resource territories and properties(see klaia, 1973:vi). As one author notes:¶ the extent that the feast operates across House boundaries it is anevent no less formal and diplomatic than a series of social, politicaland economic susinit meetings beti*en nations (Daly, J988:559;also see156,622—3).It is in this role as “the audience” that the (3itksan Wet’suwet ‘encollective exerts the mst poerful measure of social control over the useand management of resource territories.The discussion of these t primary functions of the feast clearlydennstrate that the feasting system is a central cononent in traditionalGttksan Wet,sw*t,en resource management schemes. For it is within the— 50 -context of the feast that the po*z and authority over resources held by eachof the various groupings within Gitksan wet ‘su*t’ en social structure 15explicitly nifested and publicly legitimated. It is within the feast thatproperty rights governing ownership, control and user rights over GitksanWet’siet’en reSources are socially validated and collectively sanctioned.It is through the feasting system that Gitksan Wet ‘su*t en values andpractices concerning the use and manageant of natural resources areilenented. The feast coordinates resource activities, governs the conductof principle resource players, and synchronizes overall resource nenagenentwith the needs and goals of the Gitksan Wet’su*t’en coimamity as a ioie.— 51 —PARTICIPATICt4 IN ThE QJNI ORARY IlNKET rrING:benefitspf a sicier rate of develojijThe Gitksan *t’suwet’en are proposing to administer contenporary landmanagement and resource activities within the market setting throughtraditional management systems, based on traditional philosophy, values andpractices. Rigtitsto marketable resources will be distributed through theaboriginal property system. authority and control over comeercia]. operationswill be established by the hierarchy of ranked nass within the feastingsystem. Conteq,orary resource activities will be governed by traditionalGitksan t‘sui*t ‘en la • As ll, the distribution of market-generatedprofit and wealth will be organized according toGitksanWet’suwetentraditions of reciprocity. In short, the Gitksan Wet’suwet’en are proposingan alternative strategy for natural resource management and development eretraditional structures and systems will provide the framework forcontenorary market-oriented endeavours (see Daly, 1988: 287-90; seePinkerton, 1987:254).It will be argued that, from the perspective of Gitksan Wet’suwet’en society,the use of this proposed strategy holds certain iiortant benefits.Discussions in this thesis will concentrate around two central arguments:(1) The use of traditional structures and systems as the basis ofconteuçcrary resource management will slow the rate of Gitksan 1*t’suwet’market development to a pace that can be socially accomdated. Disruptions— 52 —to traditional lifeways often associated with increased market participationmay therefore be avoided; and(2) dnistezing contenorary resource operations in accordance withpriorities emerging from the traditional Gitksan Wet’suwat’en social systemwill synchronize ccemercial market developments with the social needs andgoals of Gitksan Wet’suwet’en society. Destruction to traditional socialinstitutions and limited resce base of this small aboriginal ccmmmity maytherefore be minimized.This chapter will, be devoted to an examination of the first argument posed bythis thesis. Following a brief look at some of current (]itksan Wet’suwat’enresource activities and initiatives, discussion will focus on three distinctfeatures of the traditional Oitksan Wet ‘suwat ‘en management system that mayserve to restrict the rate of Gitksan Wet’suwet’en development in the marketecono’. It will be sho’m that in meeting the ineratives of this traditionalsystem, the rate of Gitksan Wet ‘suwet’er, development will not be permitted toexceed the rate of social adjustment. The major benefits to the Gi tksanWet’suwet ‘en cc ity afforded by a sloier rate of development, will beoutlined. This chapter conclndes with a critical assessment of some of thepotential disadvantages this process nay incur in a market setting.The second argument posed by this thesis will be addressed in the followingchapter.— 53 —current Oitksan Wetsuwet,en Resourcektivities and Init.iativescurrent Gitksan Wet’suwet’en resource activities and initiatives have largelybeen directed at preparing to inpiement their proposed resource managementplan. Specifically, this has involved updating traditional manaementtechniques and practices in order to acconiicdate the demands of resourcedevelatmant in a market setting. An insightful examination of this process isprovided by Richard Daly (1988).Daly observes that Gitksan t‘suwet’ en preparations have involved twoprimary sets of activities. The first is the consolidation andsystematization of House information pertaining to their past histories andspecific cultural traditions. A significant part of this has been therecording of. ada’oxs (traditional sacred n’ths) belonging to each Gitksant’suwet’en House, including the particular genealogies, histories andinterconnections of their meit*er clans and lineages. Another inportantconponent of this ‘m,rk has involved the cataloguing of traditional crests,poles and ceres*,nial regalia. Daly notes that *dle in the past thisrecording = totally oral, today it is increasingly carried. out by thewritten word and the conputer (1988:289).The second. set of activities involved in updating Oitksan Wet’suwet’enmanagement techniques and practices is the conpreherisive surveying anddocunentaton of Oitksan Wet’suwet’en territories and their ecologicalconditions. Of particular significance is a reconnaissance study recentlyinitiated by House chiefs to conpile scientific data needed to evaluate the— 54 —resource potential in the Oitksan Wet’suwet’en territories. Key elements ofthis stidy include the mapping and inventory of specific resource tracts andthe estabUstnt of wetershed management units (discussed earlier - seechapter One). well, this work involves collecting information on fishbiology in the river systeme and lakes of Gitksari Wets suwet’ en territories,variations in soil coi,osition, micro-climatic characteristics, and otherecologically-related data. Information on archeological settlement patternsas well as paleo-ecoloqica]. data on historical climatic and vegetationalchanges pertaining to Gitksan Wet ‘suwet’en territories is also being gathered(1988:290). -Daly points out that nich of this survey work is being done in coniunctionwith the various House groups’ knowledge of the specific histories andecoiogicl conditions of their zespective territories.The chiefs and those tho regularly use the House lands are providinginformation on the life-cycle, habitat and ecology, and seasonal rangeof each species so as to plan for future controlled and balanced use(1988:287).Throui the coitsination of these two sets of activities, the GitksanWet ‘suwet ‘en have articulated a resource management plan which incorporatesboth the principles of traditional Gitksan Wet’sui*t’en philosophy arid ndernscientific research. Utilizing selected market practices and institutions, aswell as their oei history, patterns of owiership/inheritance arid syatenm ofsocial exchange and control, the Oitksan Wet’ suwet ‘en are proposing aresource strategy that will allow them to participate in the market econcwqy— 55 -with minimal damage to their traditional litmmys.ConteI4)orary Gitksan Wet’ suwet’en initiatives for natural resource managementwithin the market setting are an outgrowth of traditional goals andobjectives. As trustees of the lands they inherited from supernatural beings,the Gitksan Wet • suwet ‘en are norally bound to ensure that the needs andinterests of all inhabitants of these territories are adequately met. Asthese needs and. interests change with conditions of the times, the tasks ofmeeting these needS and interests may also change. To maintain theirtraditional obligations and responsibilities, the Oitksan Wet’suwet’en Ewstadapt to the conditions of the coriteeporary setting in which they findthemeelves. That is, each generation rest find new weys of meeting olddemands. This may mean developing new techniques, learning new skills and/orperforming new tasks • As Daly notes, “In the eyes of the chiefs, the• management of resources today -entails not only protecting forest and riverecosysteem but also finding conteeporary weys of utilizing them for thesubsistence needs of the coum2nities, even to developing market possibilitiesin Canada and internationally” (1988:287).ftcm a Gitksan Wet teuweti en perspective then, conterrporary resourcedevelopment initiatives are less of a response to opportunities created bymarket conditions than they are an attenpt to meet the eternal obligationsand responsibilities within the social order of Oitksan 1*t’suwet’en society.indeed, Daly argues that -Gi-tksan Wet’suwet’en -participation in the marketeconoqy is not principally an effort to maximize material gain or turn aprofit, but rather to meet feasting obligations and maintain owiership of the— 56 —lands there Gitksan Wet’suwet’en ancestors have e their living for manygenerations (1988:113,161—62).It is in reference to these obligations and responsibilities that we discoverthe rationale behind Gitksan Wet ‘suet’ en endeavours to use their traditionalstzuctures and systema as a strategy for resource management and developmentin a market setting. For according to traditional Gitksan Wet’suwet’enbeliefs, a vital part of satisfying these obligations and responsibilities isthe y in thich they are mat. Using the proposed strategy not only allowethe Gitksan Wet’suwet’en to meet their obligations and responsibilities astrustees of the ‘land, it also ensures that these obligations andresponsibilities will be ‘mat in a wey that meets. with sacred (i.e.,supernatural) approval. Prom this perspective, contenporary management anddevelopment of resource territories based on traditional values, practicesand systees can be seen as an atteept by the (Jitksan Wet’suwet’ en to continuetheir traditional role in the maintenance Of a; universal ‘5ysten ofrelationsi1e participating in the non—traditional, market econoy.The possibility of using traditional values, practices and systene as astrategy for conteuporary resource management uid. seem to depend on tfundarntal factors: first, the degree to thich the traditional GitksanWet’ suwet ‘en system remains intact, and second, the adaptability of thissystem to conditions and demands of the contenpozary market setting. Indeed,these t factors are iwitually supportive, and together provide a practicalreflection of the resilience of the traditional Gitksan Wet’ suwet ‘en system.— 57 —Considering the first of these factors, most authors aqree that beyond somominor acco,dations, traditional Gitksan Wet’suwet’en practices and systemoessentially remain intact. For exatle, in his examination of the traditionaloitksan system of relations to their lands, Cove (1962:14) notes thatalthough some traditional Gitksan conceptualizations have been eroded bacculturation, many of the more concrete features of this system still exist.Myths, names, crests, songs, feasts and Houses are integral conponents ofcontesporary Gitksan culture, as are traditional patterns of resourceexploitation on House territories. Focusing on the feasting system, Miller(1984 38—9) observes that all of the key features traditionally attributed tothe pre-izistian feast, if-not the event itself, are still visibly operativeng the Taimohian. Na-tities and ranks are perpetuated, food and giftsare exchanged, changes are witnessed, the elite are accorded special places,and coners continue to form allegiances. Indeed, Miller argues that i1esome iotant adjustmonts have been made in response to present dayneeds, the Gitksan Wet’suiet’en system has been maintained in all of itslogical integrity.The persistence of Gitksan Wet • suwet ‘en Systene and culture into the presentday occurs in spite of the many pressures exerted by mainstream marketsociety that might have caused significant beakdos and societal change.Daly (1988) points out that ccqetitive feasting activities byentrepreneurial, profit-seeking “trader” chiefs have, at tines, inflated theparameters of the traditional system. Tremendous increases in the deqree ofcoiTscditization of feasting goods, as well as the introduction of irrportedfoods and manufactured luxury itene, have also placed considerable stress on-58-the Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en feasting system. ile these factors have had ahighly significant inpact on the Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en system, Daly notes thatexternal forces have been unable to smash the basic economic euçhasis uponsubsistence ard reciprocity. Indeed, he argues that government administrationand missionary zeal have exerted nze pressure upon the sccio—econcmic systemthan straightforwerd market relations.The resiliency of the traditional Gitksan Wet’suwet’en system is largelyattributed to its adaptability to changing conditions, the second factor tobe ccmsidered here. For exanpie, Miller (1984:38-9) notes that with declinesin the availability of indigenous products, the Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en havemaintained traditional exchange networks through store bought goods. Others(see fn. 1) point to Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en responses to probleam posed bydepopulation and the introduction of nultiple nmne-holding, adoption, and/orthe borrowing of “outsiders” (i • e. ,non—House maiers) to fill vacant Housenemes. As well, Daly (1988:576) cites theintroduction of stateóf arttechnology, incloding conputerization and video display terminals, to keepthe ancient feast business transaction records up to date. Indeed, mostobservers agree that the Gitksan Wet’suwet’en system, particularly thefeasting system, is highly adaptive, able to accomeodated wege work,technological changes, as well as various residential and educationalchanges. Yet its basic reciprocal nature remains constant.The fact that the traditional Gitksan Wet’suwet’en system has remained intactis testimony of Its ability to adapt to chanqing social conditions. Thiswould seem to s t that Gitksan Wet’suwet’en intentions to use this system— 59 —as the basis of contetçorary resource management within the market setting isa reasonable proposition. Indeed, it will be argued that, from a GitksanWet’suwet’en perspective, the use of this system holds sose very distinctbeefits for Gitksan Wet’suwet’en society.Key Features of the Traditional Gitksan Wet’suwet’en Nanaewii SystemThe remainder of this chapter will be devoted to an analysis of the firstargument posed by this thesis. This argmmnt states that using the proposedGitksan Wet’suwet’en strategy:The rate of conteuçorary Gitksan Wet’ suwet ‘en res edevelocment wilLbe held to the pace allos2 for by the traditional system. Potentialdisruptions, to Gitksan Wet ‘suwet’ en societal order and liteweys due toincreased market participation may therefore be minimized.It will be shcnm that, constrained by three principal features of thetraditional management system, contenporary Gitksan Wet ‘suet ‘en resourcedevelopment will be significantly slower than that found in the mainstreemmarket setting. As a result, the Gitksan Wet’ suwet ‘en may be able to avoidsome of the devastating social consequences associated With the rapid ratedevelopment 4iich characterized the historical emergence of market society.With traditional values, practices and systenm remaining intact, changingconditions brought about by market-oriented activities can be rs>re easilyaccix1ated. In short, the proposed strategy neáns that the tenpo ofconteorary Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en resource development may be held to pace*ich is social]y bearable. However, a slower rate of development may alsopose certain probleme, restricting Oitksan Wet ‘suwet’ en ability to respond to— 60 —fluctuating market opportunities and/or conditions emerging from marketrelationships. Hence, this proposed strategy may serve to inhibitconteuorary Oitksan Wet ‘suwet’ participation in the market economy.As stated earlier in this chapter, the use of traditional values, practicesand systeme a a conteuorary management strategy means that resourcedevelopment by the Gitksan Wet’suwet’en in the market setting will beaninistezed according to traditional philosophy, processes and structures.It also neans that conteuçorary resource development activities by theGitksan Wet’suwet’en will be constrained by ineratives of the traditionalmanagement system. Fur.therare, unlike other market players those endeavoursare governed by market forces, Gitksan Wet ‘suwet’ en activities will beorganized according to the rhytI and patterns of a tradition-based society.This means that even though conteirorary Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en resourcedevelopment activities are market-oriented, the tenpo of these developmentswi]]. be established by non-market structures. Hece it may be arc ued that therate of contenporary Gitksan Wet’ suet’ resource deveipment in the. marketeconomy will, be held to a pace permitted within the traditional setting.Support for this argusent is gained through an exanination of three majorfeatures of the traditional Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en resource management system:(a) the process by thich resource activities are sanctioned and validated,(b) the inpetus or reason behind resource activities, and (C) the rules to4ilch these activities ifast adhere.—61-(a) the process of sanction and validatiosAs resources are o’med in coamon by the nmnters of ancestral Houses, andrights goverriñg the authority, control and use of these resources belong todifferent social groupings, all activities concerning the management and useof these resources uaist be sanctioned and validated by the conminity as awhole. Furtherwre, and nst inortantly, this sanction and validation irstoccur before any activity concerning the use of resources can take place. Inother words, intended activities for the development of resources in themerket economy nest be receive the consensus of the Oitksan Wetesuweteenccflmanity as a whole, ‘prior to their inpiementation.Securing the necessary sanction and validation and achieving the socialconsensus of the whole is a highly coeplex and expensive task. It involves anailtitude of activities, beginning with those involved in the developeent ofa resource proposal by the resource owners • In the Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘ensystem this uld be done by Houses. As noted in the previous chapter, thisproposal would need to include a long—term management plan, a conpleteinventory of all natural elements and features of the resource areas to bedeveloped, and a conprehensive outline of all intended activities for eachstage of development. As well, bee these resources are owned in conrrrjn,this ‘proposal would also ‘need to include an anticipated schedule andprocedure for the social distributions of wealth generated from theseactivities. Furthermcre, as all Gitksan Wet’suwet’en territories areinterconnected (mythicauy and physically), a resource deveippnent proposalby any one House would necessarily need to acknowledge the inpact of its own— 62 —activities on the territories of other Houses. Indeed, the developmont ofsuch a resource proposal represents a large and costly endeavour.Having done this, the House weuld then need to have their conpleted resourceproposal sanctioned and validated by the Gitksan Wet suwet en coeimnity as athole • In the Gitksan Wet ‘suwet’ en system, this is acconpi ished throughsponsoring a feast • Here the hosting House culd present its resourcedeveloj*nent proposal to meniers of guest Houses. Through this process, theHouse will atteit to achieve the consensus of the ithole.However, like the resource developient proposal, sponsoring a feastrepresents a large endeavour. To neet the costs of hosting a modern dayfeast, a House nimt be able to mobilize trenendous enKunts of wealth(e.g.,perhape $30,000 to $50,000). As well, sponsoring a feast involves amoltitude of activities, both in its preparation and delivery. In hisexemination of a pole—raising feast, Daly (1988:577—623,157 & 629) notes thatpreparations for a feast often bein months in advance of the event, and insce instances even years. Several activities, for exanpie, obtaining andstoring “gifts” that will be distributed to the guests, as well as thegathering ar4preparing of special fond stuffs (especially traditionalvarieties). tO be shared at a feast, ny require as such as a full seasonalrotmd (ie.,one full year) to conplete.Cmce these preliminary preparations are ccmpleted, a House Imst extend formalinvitations to other Houses, according to a highly defined order ofprecedence. As well, all feast activities are carefully planned.— 63 —•tertainent segments (e.g. skits, comical dances, satirical songs) arerehearsed. Seating arrangements are draim up,. placing each uest according totheir ranked position in the ancestral order. As the actual day of the feastapproaches, the feast hail is decorated, food preparations are coepleted,songs are practised, and the protocol for receiving and seatirig auests isreviewed.The event of the feast itself is also intensely organized. It opens with aformal prayer or blessing by a “qualified” elder, after 4iich the food isserved, again according to rank. This is followed by the distribution ofgifts to guests, pant of debts for goods and services contributed to thefeast, entertairnt, and nwne ceremonies. The latter part of the feast isdevoted to business matters, including the formalization of inportant Housedecisions, plans, and the settling of possible disputes. The feast concludeswith a closing prayer. Host feasts are conpieted in one day.Clearly, receiving the appropriate sanction, validation and social consensusrequired for the inpiementat ion of proposed resource developments is no smalltask. Both the resource proposal and the feast axe elaborate undertakings,involving the coordination of great aTcunts of planning, research andexpertise (traditionaland scientific), as well as money and enerqy. Ofparticular inportance is the element of time required to successfullycoordinate and conplete all of these activities and events. Indeed, themagnitude of the tasks involved inpose considerable restraint on the pace orrate of conteuporary Oitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en resource develo*ent in the marketsetting.— 64 —(b) the iqet for resource activiIn the traditional view, lands the Gitksan Wet’ suwet’ en hold were “inherited”from the supernatural beings 4o originally inhabited the earth. In returnfor this inheritance and the right to e the Earth’s resources, the GitksanWet’suwet’en are morally obligated to ensure that the needs and interests ofall inhabitants of these lands (hman and non-human, natural andsupernatural) are adequately net • In practical terne, this means the GitksanWet’suwet’en most ensure that their lands are producing the wealth requiredto meet the needs of the 4ole and that resources are managed for thebetterment of all. Within this ccmtext, social need and convcnity well-beingare the main iuetus or reasons behind resource activity.Conteiorary Gitksari Wet’ suwet ‘en resource develoments within the marketeconoiw are an extension of these conditions and obligations. Increasintheir participation in the market setting, the Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en seek tomeet social needs and interests of the Gitksan Wet’suwet’en connunity inposedby present day life in the larger market society. Towerds this end, the(Jitksan Wet’ suwet’ are proposing several market-oriented activities,primarily in the areas of fisheries, forestry, mining, manufacturing andtourism. In sane cases, this will involve the coumercialization oftraditional resource activities, ithere production will be expanded beyondsubeistenc.e levels to include a portion for market exchange. In other casesit means the introduction of new activities or the expansion of presentmarket operations.— 65 —For the Gitksan Wet’ swet ‘en, these market encleavours represent contenoraryefforts to meet the traditional obligation of maintaining the productivity ofGitksan Wet’suwet’en resource territories and ensurin the well-beinq of theole. The sale of marketable resources will significantly increase the flowof money (e.g., weges and revenues) throuh an aspects of the GitksanWet ‘suwet ‘en comminity. Proposed conmercial operations Wi 11 generatetremendous enloyment for ccnnunity nesers. The demand for increased skillsi,osed by these operations will create nrnerous educational opportunities.From a Gitksan Wet’ suwet ‘en perspective then, conteupozary developments inthe market setting are a wey of generating sufficient wealth to meet themodern needs and interests of (3itksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en couminities.Quite clearly then, managing and developing their resources in response tosocial need will have a significant ijract on the rate of development by theGitksan Wet ‘suwet’ en • For it means that the pace of Oitksan Wet’ suwet ‘endevelopment will directly correspond to the pace of change in social needsand conditions within the Gitksan Wet’suwet’en coniwnity. in other rds, therate of Gitksan Wet ‘suwet’ en resource developnent will be constrained tolevels required to meet the social needs and interests of contençoraryGitksan Wet’suwet ‘en society.In pgactical terma, this means there may be tines .*ien Gltksan Wet ‘suwet’ endeveloçnmnt comes to a standstill. ere no social need exists and/or no newneeds emerge, further development is not required. The pace of GitksanWet ‘suwet ‘en development may therefore become stationary for a given periodof tine. Furthermore, in the determination of social need, the welfare of— 66 —Gitksan Wet’suwet’en resource territories will be a maior consideration.Dependent on the maintenance of a limited resource base, a key social need inGitksan Wet ‘suwet’ en society is sustainable resource nmnaement. where thepace of development may Jeopardise the sustainability of Gitksan Wet suwet’enresources, it may be restrained or even coipletely halted. Thus, unlike therate of development conmenly found in the market setting, developent ngthe Gitksan Wet’suwet’en nay be intermittent. As well, it will likely notinvolve the continuous “growth” or the on-going expansion of resourceconstnrption characteristic of market patterns.(c) the rules governing resource activitiesA fundesmntal asswpticn ifl traditional Gitksan Wet’sui*t’en philosophy isthat Nature inherently operates towerds the continuity and preservation of’the ihole, ere all elements are constantly meving in the direction ofperpetual harmny. Out of this condition emerges a set of natural lawe. Thesela provide the rules that govern the relationships between all participantswithin the natural order.Entrusted to care for the lands on behalf of the supernatural beings thooriginally claimed them, the Oitksan Wet • suiet’en naist ensure their conductin relation to these lands measures up to the standards established by theiroriginal. caretakers. In short, this means Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en acti’itiesinvolving the production and marketing of natural resources rust acknowledgenatural lawe. These activities will not be permitted to alter establishedrelationships between Nature’s elements or (permanently) disturb the natural— 67 —order and balance. According to Gitksan Wet su*t ‘en philosophy, failure toadhere to these natural lawe and rules has serious iu lications for the oleof Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en society, including a drastic decline in the wealthsupplied by Nature, In the Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en view, this uld mean theinevitable destruction of the Gitksan Wet’ suwet’ peoples.As noted: In the previous chapter, the Gitksan Wet ‘suwet’ are proposin aresource menagement strategy designed to avert this danqer and minimize therisks of such destruction. For exanpie, resource activities, including thosegeared tozd the production of merketable goods, will be scheduled accordingto the natural seasonal rounds and rhyth ich traditionally regulate allG1tksan Wet’ suwet ‘en activities. Development of resources can proceed onlyafter appropriate measures have been taken to preserve the balance of theecosystem. Through these means, the Gitksan Wet ‘suwet’ en have atteirpted tofacilitate the continuity of the natural order they view as sacred, ilemeeting the contenporary needs and interests of seif-sufficienc in a marketsetting.Conducting resource activities within the rules of nature will have asignificant influence on the rate of contenorary development by the GitksanWet ‘suwet ‘en. It means that the pace of Gitksan Wet ‘suwet’ en developmentswill be established by such things as the fluctuations in natural patternsand cycles of marketable resources, the availability and feasibility ofappropriate technologies for harvesting these resources, and thepossibilities revealed through long-term planning. In short, developing theirnatural resources in accordance with the rules of nature means that the rate— 68 —of Gitksan Wet’suwet’en resource develbpment will be held to that allowed forby Gitksan Wet • sus*t’ en perceptions of the natural order (i.e., a balancedeco-system of interconnected, interdependent parts).E,cinatlon of these three features of the traditional Gitksan Wet suwet •enmenagement system is sufficient to show that the intended use of this systemas a strategy for contenporary resource development will. iiose considerablerestraints on the rate of Gitksari Wet ‘suwet’en development within the marketsetting. The net effect of these restraints is that the rate of GitksanWet ‘smet ‘en development will be slower than that characteristic of themarket econoq. For exanple, the process of constructing conprehensiveresource proposals (through public involvement and decentralizeddecision-making) and hosting feasts, will require considerably m,re time thanthe preparatory activities characteristic of the site-based market approach,where resource development is governed b highly centralized decisions andthe singular (twinetary) interests of individual private owners.As well, development on the basis of social need means that, unlike in themarket situation where developnent is a response to economic factors (e.g.,fluctuations in supply and demand, production costs and consuuptionpossibilities), Gitksan Wet’ suwet’ en resource develo*rent will meve no fasterthan that required to neet the collectively reco nized social requirements ofGitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en society as a whole. Furthernore, synchronizing resourceactivities with the rhyt1, cycles and patterns of the natural world means,for exasple, that both the type and asounts of resources targeted for marketproduction as well as the methods by which these resources can be transfor— 69 -into saleable goods will beseriously restricted. As weU, unlike the singlepurpose approach cc,nly enployed by mainstream market players, GiticsanWet’suwet’en development cannot proceed without prior assurances about thelong-term consequences of intended activities. Indeed, 4ere the naturalorder muld be ieopardized or appropriate production-rn thods cannot be found,Gitksan Wet’suwet’en developemnt cannot occur at all.In short, the use of traditional values, practices and systeme as aconteorary strategy means that Gitksan Wet ‘suet ‘en resource developmentscan occur only as fast as traditional mechanisme will allow. For the mostpart this means that the rate of development by the Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en willbe slower than that of mainstream market players. However, from theperspective of Gitksan Wet’suwet’en society, a slower rate of developmentwill, be a tremendous benefit.Possible Benefits and Probleme: a critical discussionThe principal benefit of slower development is that the Gitksan Wet’suwet’enmay be able to avoid some of the devastating social consequences associatedwith the rapid rate of development Ithich characterized the historicalemergence of market society. Examining the “great transformation” ofpre-industrial British/European societies into market societies, Karl PolanyiU975) identifies a fltitude of socidl probiene that emerged as a result ofabrupt changes in the social conditions. created by opportunities availablethrough the growing presence of continuous or perpetual markets 2 thedemand for resources greatly increased. n atncsphere of urgency, previously— 70 —not present, had taken hold. The need for greater spontaneity energed asmarket players sought to capitalize on fleeting opportunities. To facilitatethese needs and demands, resources (typically lands) previously held incan bec increasingly enclo5ed under private omership. Relieved ofobligations for comaon welfare, resource activities were now a response toneeds generated by the market.Under these conditions, the rate of development greatly accelerated.k,cording to Po]anyi, developient advanced at a pace Ear in excess of thati’Edch could be socially acconidated • He argues this led to mass culturaldegradation. Displaced from their lands, the coarnon people were forced tohuddle together in shanty toms surrounding industrial centres. Ancient lawand custoeie broke doiam as traditional societal institutions crunbled underthe weight of new market conditions. Traditional values gave way tosecularized interests, creating massive gaps in the social fabric of society.Zn the absence of a settled urban middle class, a respectable pett••. bourgeois, or even a nucleus of artisans and craftsman, Polanyi argues:The industrial tom .. .was a cultural wmsteland; its sluss merelyreflected its lack of tradition and civic self-respect. Ued intothis bleak slough of misery, the izwnigrant peasant or even the formeryeoman... soon transformed into a nondescript animal of the mire.It was not that he was paid too little, or even that he laboured toolong . . .bat that he was now existing under physical conditions 4iichdenied the human shape of life. As long as a man had a status to holdon to, a pattern set by his kin or fellowa, he could fight for it, andregain his soul” (1975:98—99).— 71 —InPolanyi’s estimetion, thisdisnml state of hiximn affairs the directconsequence of rapid developnent. The succession of private interests oversocial needs had quickened the pace of change, leading to the uprooting of anentire civilization The cultural void that follo*d generated vast socialdegeneration and societal disharmony, merked by tremendous human sufferingand misery. cordinq to Polanyi, the results of rapid development representnothing short of a social catastrophe.It is izortant to note ho*ver, that Polanyi attributes this catastrophe notto development itself (though it too bears some blame) but rather to the rateat i4iich it occurred. He argues, for exanple, that thile the economicbenefits of Kngland’s progress leading up to the Industrial Revolution cannot be denied, the rate at which this economic progress occurred threatenedto turn the entire process into a degenerative event. For it s (nainly) therate of development that determined “whether the dispossessed could adjustthenmelves to changed conditions without fatally danaging their subetance,huean and economic, physical and mral” (1975:37). in short, Polanyi argues,“The rate of change is often of no less iwortance than the direction of thechange itself ‘ (1975:36—7).Purthermore, Polanyi suggests that in determining the social value ofdevelopment, an essential element in the equation nist be the rate at whichthis development occurs • M he states:The time-rate of change coçared with the time-rate of adJustment willdecide what is to be regarded as the net effect of the change.... If— 72 —the inniediate effect of a change is deleterious, then, until proof tothe contrary, the final effect is deleterious. (1975:38).Thus *dle resource development may be a vital couponent of economich,rovement in, any society, its overall value will, be determined by the rateat ithich it is allowed to proceed. In Polanyi’s view, if development is totruly bring “inçrovement”, it mast be held or slowed to a pace that Issocially bearable.Based on these arguments, the intention to use their traditional values,practices and systeme as a strategy for resource development in theconteuorary market econony iuld seem to hold tremendous benefits forGitksan Wet’suwet’en society. Slowed to the pace allowed for by thetraditional system, resource develormmnt will provide the GitksanWet ‘suiet ‘en with a source of greatly needed economic inrovement, thileminimizing the damage to Gitksan Wet’ suwet’en socetai structures andinstitutions. With traditional lawe, custcme, relationships and obligationsstill intact, changes brought about by nsrket—oziented development can benre easily accodated. In short, it may be possible for the GitksanWet ‘suwet ‘en to advance their economic position through increasedparticipation in the market econoITy, while preserving the cultural integrityand distinctiveness of their society.In presenting the possible benefits that may be associated with a slower rateof development, It is ijortant to examine some disadvantages that mayaccoany this approach. One group of disadvantages are those which mayemerge in relation to the magnitude and intensity of tasks Involved In— 73 —securing the necessary sanction and consensus fox Gitksan Wet ‘sui*t ‘enresource development. The conpleUon of co4,rehensive resource proposals andthe sponsoring of feasts are very large and conlex undertakings. Thispresents ti fundamental probleem in a market setting. Firstly, both thesetasks will incur vast unt5• of tine, energy and expense. For exairçle, thesuccess of ccnprehensive resource planning increasingly depends on both thequantity and quality of the docusentation of House information andscientific-based ecological data. cquirinq such information and datahovez, means a House most be able to mobilize considerable asounts of timeand resources (i . e • ,people and capital ). Similar arguments can be made withregard to the sponsoz ing of feasts. As mentioned earlier, coordinating Houseactivities and resources to hold a feast (particularly in the modern day>requires a great deal of tine and money. The problem is that in the tineneeded to cc,lete these tasks, the Gitksan Wet’sut’en may lose inportantmarket opportunities. This is perhaps most problematic for smaller and/orpoorer 01 tksan Wet ‘suiet ‘en Houses ‘do may take consi4erably longer togenerate the necessary revenues and resources.The second problem is that the success of contenporary Oitksan Wet sumt’enresource development may (initially) depend on joint ventures with othermarket players. kcustoned to operating within the larqer market economy,Eiere tine and iwrney are key factors of success, mainstream market playersmay not be prepared, or perhaps cannot afford, to ait for the OitksanWet’swet’en to coeplete their tine-consuming traditional activities. Astraditional Gitksan Wet’su*ten law states that these tasks most becoepleted before resource activities can occur, from the perspective of other—14—market players, the Gitksan Wet su*t en may be seen as unatt±active businesspartners. Yet without the capital investment and resource skills of theseventure partners, Gitksan Wet suwet ‘en development potential nay not berealized. In short, without the spontaneity and ready capital held by othermarket players, the Gitksan Wet’suwet’en could face some serious loses ofopportunity.Another set of disadvantaqes nay arise around the use of social need as themain inpetus for resource development. Wei le this has the advantage ofconstraining development to a pace that is socially bearable within the theGttksan Wet’suwet’en ccnmmity, it may pose other problens, particularly inthe area of returns on capital investment. The development of naturalresources in the market econonw typically involves substantial investments incapital, including expensive machinery for harvesting and manufacturingmarketable products. The costs of this machinery and other capital cannot beredeemed unless they are iflvolved in productive use. In the GitksanWet’suwet’en case, ere development wiii occur in response to social need,there nay be tines then further development is not required. This may meanecpensiv nachtnery will lie idle. Yet the costs of this machinery will notremain idle. In short, the Gitksan Wet ‘suwet’en may have to continue payingfor capital that is not being utilized. In a market setting 4iere economicsuccess (i.e.capital recovery costs) depends on continuous production, aslower rate of development (such as that dictated by social need) may be verycostly to the (3itksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en.The problene of development according to social need may present additional— 75 —difficulties in the establishment of ioint ventures with other marketplayers. For reasons stated above, mainstreas market players may not be in aposition to allow expensive machinery and other capital to lay idle.Ccspeting within the larger market context, where economic success depends onadherence to economic (not social) needs and principles, market players nayexpect (and perhaps require) resource development activities to respond tomarket fluctuations such as those caused by supply and demand. There nay betimes when these expectations are clearly at odds with Gitksan Wet’suwet’enpriorities based on social need and/or slower rates of resource development.kain, from the vieoint of mainstreem merket players, these differences inpriorities and the differinq rates of development they inly, nay meanbusiness with the Gitksan 4t’suWet’en involves undesirable risks This inturn could mean significant losses in development opportwitty for the GitksanWet • su*t ‘en.A third set of disadvantages to be considered are those which may emerge fromtime and expense required to ensure that (3itksan Wet * suwet ‘en resourcedevelopment is conducted in accordance with the rules of nature. For exaule,delaying or discontinuing resource harvesting activities when conditions aredeemed less than optimal (e.g., due to climatic changes,, terrain variations,ecological ialances, etc.) may mean potentially marketable GitksanWet’suweten resources are not utilied. As well, devisinq or obtainingmethods of developing resources that will allow for the preservation of thetezzhed as a whole may require considerably more time than thesiAgle-purpose approach often enployed in the market economy. Followingmarket principles of supply and demand, the resource technologies most— 76 —readily available will be those in greatest demand by the largest rnwrber ofconstuiers • Since these consiurs are predominantly mainstream market players,the production of resource technologies will be geared to developnentpriorities In the market econcq’. Technologies appropriate to iresourcedevelopment according to traditional Gitksaii Wet ‘suwet ‘en standards may notbe as readily available. Obtaining such technologies may therefore involveextra tine and expense by the Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en, thich may result in lostoppOrtunities for development.F’urthernere, iihile these measures are something the Gitksan Wet’smet’encarmot escape if they intend to sustain thenuielves on the limited resourcebase they have, the delays and lost opportunities that could occur due topreservation efforts may render the Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en unattractive topotential mainstream basiness partners áro are not prepared/forced to nakesimilar short-term sarifices. In view of development opportunities that maybe available ere operating conditions and rules of conduct are noreconducive to market priorities, (i.e.,maximizing profits, productionefficiency, etc.), potential venture pattners may opt not to invest inGitksan Wet ‘suwet’ en resources. Without the capital and other opportunitiesthese venture partners could offer, Gitksan Wet’ suwet ‘en developmentendeavours may be seriously inpaired.Thus, it seeme there may be some inportant disadvantages associated with theintended Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en approach and the slower pace of devëlopnent itiuplieè. Indeed, in some cases this strategy may prove to inhibit GitksanWet • suwet’ en resource development. However, considering its overall— 77 —advantages, from the perspective of Gitksan Wet ‘su*t society as a whole,the proposed use of traditional values, practices and systen as aconteiçorary strategy for resource develomnt in the market setting wouldseem to be highly beneficial.— 78 —SLY CONtRC11.) (1C Frr:the benefits of cri property oiiaership in a market econo’This chapter wifi provide an analysis of the second argment posed by thisthesis. This argment states that using the proposed Gitksan Wet ‘suwet’enstrategy:çjçrv eswcsainistered according to priorities rgina from the traditionalsystes of social oiership. Risks to the social welfare and resourceterritories of Gltksan Wet’suwet’en society that could arise fromincreased participation in tie market econo arid the uursuit ofeconomic interests may therefore be reduced.It will be sho.i that, unlike market involvnt by some othez aboriginalgroups dich led to the breakdown of traditional institutions and practices,Gitksan Wet ‘suwet’en participation in the market econcuy will provide a meansof preserving traditional structures arid systema. As a result, the pursuit ofeconomic interests in a market setting will all the Gltksan Wet’suwet’en tosatisfy their traditional obligations of securing the prosperity of theirresource territories and ensuring the ‘social well-being of the 4ioleEvaluating the performance of coirnon property systema within a marketsetting, the proposed Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en strategy offers some irortantbenefits. Its lawn of balanced reciprocity and collective control willprovide the Gitksan Wet ‘smet ‘e with a measure of protection from thedestructive market forces of coietitive individualism arid resource— 79 —depletions. However, as many of its institutions and practices are foreign toa market setting, this strategy may also hold several disadvantages. Businessrelations with mainstream market players may be strained, contributions byindividuals may be limited and/or not fully utilized, and market fluctuationscould have broad social consequences for the entire itksan Wet ‘suwet ‘enccnminity.Priorities and Goals of the Gitksan Wet ‘suiet ‘en Wenagenent SystemThe leading priority within the traUtional Gitksan Wet’suwet’en managesentsystem is to ensure the prospEzity of Gitkaan Wet ‘suwet’ en territories ardthe well-being of all inhabitants of these territories. This priority restson the fx)mienta1 assimtion in Gitksan Wet’suwet’en philosophy that allinhabitants (husan and non-husan alike) of Gitksan Wet’suwet’en territoriesplay a vital role in the continuity of “the sacred ithole” (i.e., theuniverse) aM therefore have an “inherent” right to a maañs of survival.In terma of managing resources, this maans the Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en Jm]stensure that their resource territories are producing sufficient amounts ofwealth to maet the needs of ‘Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en society as a whole. Thetasks of ensuring this prosperity and well-being are the ptijipalobligations aM responsibilities of Houses nd their nameholders. itrustedby the supernatural beings to secure the social welfare of all inhabitants,the highest value and prestige is awerded to Houses and naneholders who areindustrious and self-reliant. For it is they who are best able to ensure thewelfare of the whole, and hence satisfy their irai obligations and— 80 —responsibilities to the supernatural powers.It is in response to these priorities and principles that the GitksanWet ‘suwet ‘en are endeavour ing to increase their participation in the marketeconoitr. Proposing to expand their resource activities into market-oriented,corcia1 ventures, the Gitksan Wet’suwet’en are seeking to enhance theproductive capacity of their territories. A key ingredient of thesedevelopments will be the pursuit of economic gains (e.g,profits) and theproductiàn of sufficient wealth to meet the growing needs of GitksanWetsuwet’en Society living in the conteqorary market setting.Ci these counts, the Gitksan Wet’ sui*t’en are similar to ist other marketplayers. Contençorary resource developnts rm,st be profitable. To thisextent, proposed Gitksan Wet ‘sui*t ‘en strategies for development n.mtacknowledge not only the inperatives of the traditional Gi tksan Wet’suwet ‘ensystem, but also those of the market econoiry. In other rds, GitksanWet ‘suwet’en development activities canflot ignore factors such as costefficiency of production, interdependent relations of production,fluctuations in consimr demands and production supplies, etc. Indeed, thesuccess of Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en market endeavours depends on their attentionto these factors.Ho*ver, unlike other market participants, the primary goal of GitkaanWet’suimt’en resource activities will be to enhance the social well-being ofGltksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en society as a thole. That is, the Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘enwill seek economic gains within a market context in order to satisfy—81—obligations of the Git.ksan Wet ‘suwet’en social order. This means that thedirection of Gitksan t’suimt’en resource development, both in the shortterm and the long term, iast be Consistent witfr the social needs of theGitksan Wet ‘su*t’ en coimeinity. Furthernore, it means that both the tpe ofresource activities, as sell as the maimer in 4iich these tivities arecarried out will, be. established by social nmchanisne within the traditionalGitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en resource management system. Thus, unlike nost marketplayers ose activities are governed by market principles and privateeconomic interests, Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en resource development will begoverned by social priorities and obligations emerging within the traditionalGitksan Wet’su*t ‘en social system.9m9tOe&Gkr tsutenThis strategy may hold some iiortant advantages for the GitksanWet ‘suwet’ en. The first set of advantages is that through the use of theiro’i traditional institutions, contenpozary Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en resourceactivities will remain synchronized with the social needs and conditions ofthe Gitksan Wet ‘suet ‘en ceemmity As a result, the Oitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en maybe able to inçrove their economic foundations, but reduce scam of the risksto the social welfare of their ccmaiinity often associated with increasedmarket participation.Some insight into these social risks is gained from Nelson Graburn’s (1971)examination of the history of market participation by eastern Arctic Inuitccummities along Hudson’s Bay. (kaburn showe how increased Inuit interactionwith the market econcurj led to an irreversible process of economic and social—82—acculturation and the coulete transformation of traditional tnuitinstitutions. I*iile Graburn tends to ençhasize the economic inprovemantsincurred kq this process, his imrk also reveals soma of the social risks andconsequences associated with increased market participation bytraditionbased groups.Pointing to the fur trade period in the early 1900’s, Graburn notes thatinuit social netwerks started to shrink as increasing nimbers of people beganto pursue individual opportunities available in the irket (cash) econoiqy.Traditional economic patterns and seasonal activities, suctras the largeannual winter hunt, steadily declined as new concentrations of effort weredevoted to the trapping of saleable furs. Increased ancunts of cash, madeavailable through credit systen, wege enploynent, social welfare, fasilyallowences and old-age pension, etc., enabled the [nuit to purchase ncreconsErcially traded goods and foods. All of these factors led to an erosionof nutual interdependencies and reciprocal patterns of sharing betweencooperative kinship groups. Graburn notes that the Inuit did not feel obligedto share the cash or goods earned from their comaercial tradinq As well,many case to believe their matérial security ‘.me better advanced throughcombections to the larger unts and• greater quality of goods available atthe trading posts than through the maintenance of traditional kinshiprelations. As Oraburn observed:The advent of ccnmercialism gradually but inexorably changed thedirections of dependence from reciprocal in-canp ties to Eskin-traderbonds (1971:119).Graburn indicates that within 60 years tremendous changes had occurred,— 83 —including the ccilete ncnetarization and comeiercialization of economicactivities. Traditional mutt institutions based on kinship ties am]reciprocal obligations had bàken doiii under the weight of individualism andcommercialism. They were replaced by market-based institutions and practices.In particular, Graburn notes the emergence of producer and consmr V“cooperatives”, initiated to facilitate mutt market interactions. Though hefocuses primarily on their economic benefits, Graburn acknowledges some ofthe social consequences linked to the rise of these comeercial entities • Forexanple, he points out that cooperatives often magnified the rivalry betweenpolitical factions within the Thuit comitinity. Suspicions of nepotism andaccusations of entezzlement by cooperative management V had become the sourceof internal coemmity disputes. As well, intense conpetition for positions ofpower and prestige within the cooperative further eubittered ailing relationsbetween comziity me,ers.Graburn ‘s examination suggests that. Ithile participation in the market economybrings some definite economic benefits, it also ia*oses certain social risksfor tradition-based societies. Particularly Iniportant are the risks totraditional patterns arid institutions premised on’ collective interests andsocial oblIgations. As well, the introduction of market institutions andpractices, based on im2ividualism.and private gain, may Increase the risks ofsocial divisiveness within connunities traditionally organized aroundcooperation. In short, it seeren increased market participation increases therisk of social instability.Karl PoIanyi (1975) arrived at similar conclusions. Pointing to the— 84 —experiences of various Mrican and North knerican aboriginal societies,Polanyt argues that cultural contact with colonial society and the marketecoflor has invariably led to the vast destruction of traditional nativeinstitutions and lifmays (1975:151—164). Polanyi observes that in each casethis pattern of destruction is very nach the sase, and a1’ays for the samereasons. It occurs through the process of creating the three essentialelements of market production: labour, land and money.At the root of this process is a set of needs ‘aàiich emerges with theintroduction of expensive machinery into the production process. In order toensure that these machines are profitable and hence a bearable investmentrisk, all elements needed to keep them operable most be available inreasonably constant supply. This means that all factors of production,primarily labour, land and money, had to become “coimodities”, produced forsale. Furthermore, they most be organized into markets, where supply anddrK1 for these factors is governed solely by price (1975:41,68-69,75).Ho*ver, as Polanyi points out, such conditions i.muld not naturally be givenin a society (1975:41). Labour is only another n for tuman activity whichgoes with life itself and cannot be detached from the ret of life, land isonly another name for nature, and money is merely a token of purchasingpolmr, or in its broader sense, the pomr of accmeilation (1975:72). None ofthese things is actually “produced” for sale. Nor does theiz existencenaturally euiody any particular price. Furthermore, the availability of thesefactors is not established by forces and conditions external to their naturalsettings. Indeed, he argues, labour, land and money are not truly—85—cc*Tsidities, but in fact integral aspects of life and society as a whole.The societal conditions needed for market production st therefore becreated. In practice, this smans the “factorã of production” have to be *sêparatèd from other aspects of life and reorganized according to market laiteof supply and demand. As *ll, these factors have to beccmm n,bile andtransportable to locations where they are m,st required for production.According to Polanyl, this can be accorplished only when labour, land and thepoers of accunilation are freed from their traditional state. To free them,hoever, maans the social institutions to which they are traditionally boundimist be destroyed and prevented from re-forming.Herein, Polanyi argues, iIe the perils to aboriginal societies, or anytradition-based society, interacting in the market economy. For in creatingthe societal conditions required for market production, traditionalaboriginal institutions are dismantled or rendered dysfunctional. Polanyiargues, for exle, that to generate a source of “free” labour, traditionalinstitutions based on non-contractual organizations of kinship and coewnityhave to be liquidated since they claim the allegiance of the individual andthus restrain their freedom (1975:163). Reorganized under principles offreedom of contract, m’rrbers of traditional. societies, will be arrangedaccording to market institutions based on autonomy and individualism(1975:163). As *1l, ntives for labour which traditionally esrge out ofpressures for collective participation and. subsistence imist be substitutedfor private self—interest and the insatiable pursuit of economià gain(1975:41,55); Forthernre, in order to create a “willing” labour force6— 86 —Polanyi argues the nativeimist be forced to make a living by selling hislabour or face nature’s penalty: hunger.To this end their traditional institutions uaist be destroyed andprevented from re-forming, since, as a rule, the individual inprimitive society is not threatened by starvation unless the ccmmunityas a 4ole is in a like predicament (1975:163,165).Similarly, with respect to the creation of land markets, Polanyi notes thatin traditional societies, land is an element of nature inextricablyinterwoven with htan social institutions, tied up with the organization ofkinship and cowniinity (1975:178). In this setting, land and labour are notseparated, but instead form an articulate rko1e. Indeed, landinvests men’s life with stability; it is the site of his habitation; itis a condition of his physical safety; it is the landscape and theseasons (1975:178)-In order to generate the real-estate markets required for market production,Polanyi argues “...the social am] cultural system of native life mst firstbe shattered” (1975:178). Traditional land tenure systens nust be liquidated,thereby eliminating all dame by ccnmmity and kinship organizations“...i4ich exeit land from coumerce and nurtgage” (1975:179). Furthernxe,human beings nit be detached from the soil and the economic body dissolvedinto its elements “...so that each element could be fit into that part of thesystem ‘diere it s mast useful” (1975:179). In short, Polanyi. argues thatthe comeercialization of the soil has meant the ordered transference of landinto the hands of private individuals and, in turn, the subordination of theplanet’s surface to the needs of industrial society (1975:179—80).— 87 —The creation of money in the context of aboriginal society typically requiresthe disruption of traditional institutions based on reciprocity, sharing andredistribution. These institutions control the po*rs of accimulation andhence the distribution Of goods (and services) within the neuiership oftraditional society Based on Polanyi ‘a analysis of the market econoiqy(1975:68—69,195), poers of acc.dation nust be based on Incomes.Furthermore, all incomes most be derived t’ the sale of something (1975:41).This condition emerges from the fact that the costs of producing goods can beredeemed (and thus made bearable) only through the sale of these goods on themarket.:4ftaditional institutions based on reciprocity, sharing andredistribution enable the accmailatIon of goods through nonmerketmechanisme, and thereby Inhibit the orderly functioning of the market. Aswell, these nechanisma are generally enmeshed in social relationships andhence are not regulated by economic forces and principles (i.e.,prices,supply and deinaxyl, etc.). As such, the possibility of redeeming the costs ofproduction becomes an unbearable risk. Traditional institutions that allowthe aoctmulation of goods (particularly the “necessities of life) to occuroutside market foram mist therefore be dismantled • As Polanyl argues:all transactions waist be transformed into money transactions, and theseIn turn require that a iwadius of exchange be introduced in everyarticulation of...life (1975:41).The imrks of Grabiirn (1971) and Polanyl (1975) suggest that participation inthe market econcey poses some very real social risks for aboriginal(tradition-based) societies. The greatest risk is that, In the face of market—88—forces and pressures, traditional institutions may break doim. Iliether theabsence of these institutions leads to a process of acculturation andsuccessful adaptation or a social calasity characterized by cultural decayand misery may be a matter of perspective. Ho*ver, i4at is clear is that thedecline of traditional institutions ar the emargence of market pattexisleads to the separation of economic and social life into tira very distinctspheres of hw.an experience, here economic concerns beccem the central focusof attention. To this extent, risks to social welfare may be increased.The Gitksan Wet’suwet’en are proposing a strateg’ for market participationthat creates the possibility of a very different scenario. Ling their oimresource agement systeme arid practices as a framework fox the commercialdevelopment of natural resources, Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en participation in themarket econcu’ will be filtered through traditional institutions rather thanoccurring outs ide of them. This means that conteorary Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘eneconomic arid social experiences will remain integrated: as opposed to beingseparated into distInct spheres of existence. Under these conditions,increased attention to economic concerns iaposed by the market econo’ will• not lead to the subordination of- soctaipriorities. Instead, conteuporaryGitksan Wet’suwet’en econamic actIvities will retain their traditional goals:to secure the social welfare of Gitksan Wet’suwet’en society as a thole.Thus, unlike the aboriginal societies discussed by Graburn arid Polanyi ihezemarket involvement meant a decline in traditional practices and systeme,Gitksan Wet’ suwet ‘en participation in the market econciqy may lead to thepreservation and continuity of tradition-based institutions • The greatbenefit is that the Gitksan Wet ‘suwet’en may be able to increase their- 89 -economic *ll-being with substantially less risk to the social i*lfare oftheir society.A 5econd set of advantages 4iLch amy emerge from the proposed GitksanWet ‘su*t’ en strategy is that through the use of resource managementinstitutions based on ccn property ership and collective socialcontrol, Gitksan Wet’sui*t’en resource activities in the market econoiqy willremain consistent with traditional Gitksan Wet ‘smet ‘en goals of ste’ardshipand sustainable resource management. With the crucial ability to controlresource constmption, the Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en may be able to avoid sane ofthe risks of depletion often associated with the development of a limitedresource base within the market context.In the Gitksan Wet’suwet’en tradition, property and resources are owned inccemrcn by the collective. This concept of ownership is premised on theassttion (discussed earfler) that all inhabitants of Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘enterritories have an inherent right to a means of survival. In accordance withthis right, all inhabitants (bimian and non—human alike) hold “a share” in theownership of land, as well as a measure of control over the managennt anduse of the land. kcording to OitksanWet’suet’en philosophy, these rightswere “given” to all inhabitants of Gitksan Wet suwet ‘en territories by thesupernatural beings 4io first claimed the lands. In the Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘enview then, “property” is a sacred and intrinsic right to a means of survival.As this right is something all beings hold in coemi,n, the ráeans to survival(1,e,prop&ty and resources) is also held in cmDn in Uitksan Wet-’suwet’ers.society, the ownership of property and resources is held by the collective of— 90 -a Houe.In the Gitksan Wet ‘mt’en system, rights to property and resources areatthed to a specific, defineable location or “territory”. That is, theintrinsic rights of all individuals to a aans of survival is restricted to acertain set of properties and resources . In the Gitksan Wet’su’et’enview, these rights are transportable to other locations; they are fixedto properties resources within Gitksan Wet’suwet’en territories. Thus,àiile “property” is an intrinsic right, it is intrinsic only to a specifiedarea. The inherent rights to property and resourceS held by mebers ofGitksan Wet ‘sueten. society are therefore eflforceable only within GitksanWet’sutet’en territories. From this traditional perspective, GitksanWet’suwet’en rights to property, and hence their rights to a nans ofsurvival, do not exist outside Gitksan Wet’suwet’en territories. Theboundaries of these territories re established during the thicalbegirmings of (3itksan Wet’suwet’en society, en Gltksan Wet’sut’enancestors inherited sterdship of the lands fran supernatural beings i*ooriginally inhabited the Earth. The physical paraiters of these territoriesare offically recorded in traditional Ôitksan Wet’su*t’ensacred ftyths (seeearlier discussion in Chapter One, fn. 2).Furthermore, rights to property and resources within Gitksan Wet’ suwet ‘enterritories are restricted to miLers of Gitksan Wet’ sui*t en society.Neeership, in turn, is restricted to the “natural” inhabitants ,of theseterritories • From a Gitksan Wet • sus*t ‘en perspective “natural” inhabitantsare those individuals perceived es being “born” of Gitksan Wet • suwet ‘en— 91 —lands. Evidence of such a birth is enhodied in the ancestral nwae(s) anIndividual inherits 2 Individuals eligible to inherit an ancestral namemist be menters of the Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en House to thiCh the particularne(s) belonge. As discussed earlier (see øapter One, pages 30-35), Housemeibership is generally restricted to persons born of nmtrilineal descent or“outsiders” adopted into the nership of a House, usually or thepurposes of holding an )irortant nmae (see (iapter 1%, En. 1). The onlymeans of entering the traditional Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en system of propertyrights is through the receipt of an ancestral nase. There are no(traditional) relationships to Gitksan Wet’suwet’en property and resourcesoutside of these nws. In this wey, only natural (or naturalized) meuLers ofGitksan Wet’suet’en territories have a valid, claim to Gitksan Wet’suwet’enresources.Contertorary resource development based on the traditional GitksanWet ‘suwet ‘en ‘system of ccsmn property oership means that aU meithers ofGitkswi Wet ‘suwet ‘en society are entitled to a share in the wealth generatedby cosmercial market activities. Furthermere, as the Gitksan Wet’Suwet’enperceive their survival (as a society) to be intrinsically dependent on (andlimited to) the welfare of their territories, prosperity and sustainableresource management resein the central considerations governing conteirçozaryresource activities • As such, the use of this iwdel as a strategy forresource development in the contesporary market economy may be verybeneficial to the Gitksan Wet’suwet’en.’This argiment runs counter to contenporary economic theory thich assmes that- 92 -the use of coaon property systen6 within a market setting will leadinevitably to resource decline and depletion. In an arg*ment referred to as• “the tragedy of the couns”, Garrett Hardin (1977, original 1968) predictsthat comon property arrangeients will fail to restrict accàs to limitedresources, resulting in the over-exploitation of vital’ resources, Theconsequence wiil be total ruin, of both the resources and the societydependent on them. In short, this theory argues that coemon property systemaof resource ownership will not sustain a society in the market setting.lccording to Hardin, the tragedy of the cons is the consequence of the“remorseless working of thi” defined by two inescale conditions. Thefirst is that a finite world can only support a finite population. That is; alimited set of resources can only sustain a limited population. As humanpopulations are perpetually increasing, Hardin argus the per-capita share ofa finite supply of resources will decline. Once the carrying capacity of thelard is reached, an individual’s share of limited/required goods can onlydecrease. Short of population growth rates remaining at zero, a state Hardindeclares no prosperous culture has ever reached, this situation poses aninsoluble dileema.This dileirna is further coirpounded by the fact that all individualsinherently seek to maximize ‘their own self-interests. This is the secondcondition responsible for the tragedy of the ccirnns. In Hardin’s’formolation, rthen resources are “cmon” and open to all, it is to beexpected that’ each user will appropriate as moch of the resource as they areable. As each user can initially secure sufficient resources to aset theirneeds, coman access has the appearance of providing “the greatest good for- 93 -the greatest ntmber”. However, Hardin argues, over tine these arrangementswill inevitably lead to disaster. For an individual amer of the coemons willdiscover they can iove their o situation by increasing their consuirptionof the resource. Seeking to meximize their orn gain, they now cons*ai theiroriginal share +1. me total cost to the cons (i.e.,-1) incurred by thisact will be divided equally ng all users of the comeons. Thus byappropriating one extra unit of the conmons, the individual user gains thefull benefit of an additional unit, düle suffering only a fraction of thetotal cost • As a rational being, the individual concludes this is the mostsensible course of action.However, Hardin points Out, this is the conclusion reached by each and everyuser sharing the conens • Herein lies the tragedy of the conIns • For eachindividual will increase their wr Share by one, and then another, andanother, until the limited resources supplied by the canmons have beenexceeded. As this pattern Of coflsnTption does not change even then thecarrying capacity of the land has been reached, such a course of actioninevitably results in the coeplete desecration of a resource base. ThusHardin conclwles, ‘Freedom in a coumons brings ruin to all” (1977:20).From Hardin’s perspective, conmon property systeme will fail as a strategyfor resource management and developaient in a market setting. He argues thatdespite optimism about the powers of the market’s invisible hand leadingindividualS to pronte public interests, individuals will make decisions thatultimately maximize their oi’m self gain. In the context of the coneons andunlimited access, this can only lead to resource decline, For even if— 94 —individuals were to conserve their c*’m use of the coemons, they could notguartee that others uld do the s or that their conservation will bearthem future benefits; others may in fact consume these conserved portions,Hence, individual users of the cotmns have no incentive to conserve theirconsmption, even 1then they nay be aware that these resources are limited(see Wilson, 1975:97,99,109). Hardin proposes that the only means Of avertingthe tragedy of the ccimns is to restrict the use of resources throughinstitutions of private property and n*itual coercion (i.e.,law). As rmch asthese institutions infringe on personal liberty and however unjust oriçerfect they may be, Hardin conclUdes such measures are preferable to the‘horrifying” alternative of the ccenns.The arginnt put forward by this thesis directly opposes Hardin’sforrmilation. Indeed, it is argued that coamon property systenm of resourceoiaiership in a market setting will lead to resource stability andmaintenance. Due to the fact that resources are o’.xied in ccitncn, control overaccess to these resources wi].1 be exercised by all mewIers of the owningcollective. As aresult, the overall consi.mption of valued resources will berestricted to levels required to preserve the coemn good of both theresource and all resource owners. Thus, instead of leading to resourcedepletions, conmn property systeem will protect valued resources from thedestructive forces of conpetition within the market econoiqy, creating thepossibility of sustainable resource use.Closer exnination reveals both theoretical and practical probleiw withHardin’s argmnt. Indeed, some argue that Kardin’s fornulation is both— 95 —logically flawed and factually false (Marchak, 1988-89; also seeCiriacy—ntrup & Bishop, 1975). At the theoretical level, the majordifficulties with Kardin’s argLunent centre around the definition andasssptions lirplied by his usage (or misuage) of the terra “connon property”.At the practical level, prob]ema arise primarily from the lack of errpiricalsupport needed to validate key conditic*is and conclusions of Hardin’s theory.The central argeñt advanced by Hardin (and supported by many conteuporaryeconomic theorists) is that en natural resources are regarded as HCproperty”, no one can claim oership of these resources and hence no one canbe excluded from access to the coisnons. The conséqience is a free-for-allbetween individual users coirpeting for an increasingly greater share ofresources, resulting in the inevitable depletion of the resource base uponthLch a society depends. There are however, soem theoretical difficultieswith this equation. The first has to do with the definition of coemrnproperty it irlies. In the construction of his arg.mnt, Hardin assmescoeson property t everybody’s -property, and that because it is everybody’sproperty, it Is nobody’s property. In other rdz, commn property Isnobody’s pEoperty, Yet the term ‘con” suggests the presence of some body,a social entity consisting of nnltiple Individuals. Furthernre, If theseresources don’t belong to anyone, they are not property. In short, Hardin’sdefinition of ccn property represents a coirplete contradiction, and istherefore meaningless and void.At the heart of this contradiction lies a second theoretical problem. Theterm “coimm property”, as defined by Hardin, irrplies that property is a- 96 -thing Used in this fashion, property (in this case, natural resources)becomes indistinguishable horn irnentary possessions secured by the threat ofphysical force. Yet if “property” is not more than mere possessions, there isno need for the (added) notion of “property”; the idea of “possession” u1dbe sufficient. However, as C.B. MacPherson (1978:3-4) argues, property is nota thing. Rather, it is a right to the use and benefit of something. It is arelationship established between users and benefactors of something createdthrough law, custom and/or convention ithich is upheld by a social body.Property is therefore more than the sijrple possession of things securedthrough physical force. It is a socially constructed and enforceable claim tothe use and benefit of something, guaranteed by social force within aspecific social body.Relating this to Hardin’s definition of cannon property, again the termbecomes meaningless. For if property is an enforceable claim, and cannonproperty is nobody’s property, it is a situation in iich nobody has anenforceable claim. In other rds, according to Hardin, con propertyinvolves a non-enforceable claim. Based on Hardin’s definition, cannonproperty is therefore not property at all,. Yet. the fact that a group ofindividuals is using and benefiting from a set of resources in an organizedmanner suggests the presence of some kind of socially constructed enforceableclaim. Thus, contrary to Hardin’s assunptions, cannon property “property”.Hardin’s usage of the term cannon property is therefore inaccurate andmisleading. As such, Hardin’s theory becomes highly problematic.In addition to being contradictory, inaccurate and misleading, Hardin’sdefinition of coninon property is inconsistent With other usages of this— 97 —concept. For extie, C.B. MacPherson (1978:3-6) argues that connn propertyis the socially constructed, though not unlimited, right (i.e.,enforceableclaim) created by the guarantee to each individual within a social body thathe/she will not be excluded from the use or benefit of something. In thisview, coninon property is the nonexciusive individual right of access.Hover, without provisions for the right to exclude, this concept of comanproperty is subject to many of the theoretical criticisn aimed at Hardin’sargLunent.In contrast, S.V. Ciriacy-ntrup & Richard C. Bishop (1975:714-15) arguethat coirmen property refers to a bundle of rights in resources in thich anuuber of mtmers are co-equal in their rights to use the resource, .therenon-mend,ers of this co-o’aiing group can be excluded. Used in this fashion,the term refers to collective rights 9there the collectivity can excludeoutsiders. Based on the historical usage of the term, Patricia Harchak(1988—89 & 1989) argues that in addition to exclusion rights, com propertyhas involved enforceable co-management rights and obligations anng users ofa resource on Nhich all nmnters (of a definable group) depend for theirlivelihood. From this perspective, cdflIn property is actually coirmmallymanaged property, where all oiiers eriioy (roughly) equal access to resourcesof a given delimited territory and non-meiEers of the group can beexcluded.None of these definitions and interpretations of coen property accord withHardin’s idea that comeon property is everybody’s property. Indeed, it seemeHardin’s notion of comexn property, though widely accepted in— 98 —conteçorary economic theory and management policy on natural resources (seeHarchak, 1988—89), is not only theoretically problematic, it is clearly atodds with the long-standing meaning of the term.Hardin’s definitions and asswçtions are also at odds with the GitksanWet ‘suwet ‘en concept of colmon property. First of all, inplying that coenonproperty is everybody’s property, Hardin uses the term “coenon” to mean“free” • In the Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en concept, however, “ccenon” means“shared”. Furthernore, with respect to property, Hardin’s definition (asdiscussed earlier) inplies that property is a thing, a possession. In theGitksan Wet’ suwet ‘en view, based on traditional philosophy, property is anintrinsic right, a sacred relationship. In Hardin’s fornulation then, cononproperty refers to “free thin” or public goods, From the GitksanWet ‘suwet ‘en perspective, it means “shared rights” and collectiveresponsibility. The distinction between these twe notions is critical, foreach ilies very different iwplications for natural resource management(ithich will be discussed in the concluding chapter of this thesis).Irthile the Gitksan Wet’ suwet ‘en notion of coenon property incorporates thecentral ideas of both MacPherson ‘s and Cit iacy-Wantrup & Bishop’sdefinitions, the Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en concept iuld seem to be mostconsistent with Harchak’s argiant about connon property being conal.pràperty . In the Gitksan Wet’suwet’en system, property rights are ownedin coenn by the House and distributed ng maubers of a House through thetransmission of the ancestral nasms it holds. Attached to each ancestral nameis a set of rights conveying both access to and management responsibility for—99—a specific resource territory. As several nanes are usually connected to anygiven territory, scre than one individual has rights to/control over the saiset of resources. However, only this group of nemeholders has rights withinthis territory. In this wey, the Gltksan tsuwet’en system of ccm,nproperty is accurately described as one based on cor&inal oinership, ‘theremanagenent rIghts and obligations are shared by co-users and non-menters canbe excluded.Beyond the theoretical difficulties and incongruences of Hardin’s analysis,there are also soma practical problema with his argmmnt. Hardin asserts thatcaqetition between ers of a ccmn resource will naturally leed eachindividual (as a rational being) to const ever larger portions of theresource, until it has been depleted. As no one can unilaterally control theresource and hence stop this tragic course of action, the conmons will bedestroyed. Hardin concludes that the only neans of averting the tragedy ofthe conS and hence pire5erve the rld’s natural resources is throughprivatization and the instItution of lae that allow individual o,ers toexclude all other potential users of these resources. The problem with thisargwaent is that it asstws the existence of certain euizical conditions4tch may not be present in all cases. Furthermore, historical evidencesuggests that, contrary to preserving the irld’s natural resources, privateoirnership and state regulation have often led to resource decline anddestruction.Fikret Berkes (1983) argues that in order for the tragedy of the cce’rsnons tooccur, three conditions rust be fulfilled. First, users of the conmons rust— 100 —be selfish and able to pursue private gains without concern for conwamityinterests. As well, individuals mist be able to avoid the pressures of socialdisapproval that• nay be directed at their actions leeding to the depletion ofvital reSources. Second, the biological productivity of the resource mist befinite in quantity. As well, the patterns of resource use mist nake itpossible to exploit the resource faster than it can naturally replenishitself. The third condition that mist exist in order for the tragedy of theconeons to occur is that the resource mist be owned in conncn by a group ofpeople or a society and freely open to any and all users (i.e., open access).That is, there mist be unrestricted use of the resource, even during itsdecline from over use.To test the existence of these three conditions, Berkes ecamined threedifferent coununities ere comn property stene govern local fisheries, asubsistence fishery asng the Cree Indians of James Bay, Quebec, a ccrrnexàialfishery on Lake Erie, Citario and a mixed coimercial/subsistence fisheryasong the Nishga (also known as the Nisga’a) of northwestern BritishColunbia. Based on the data collected, Berkes found that the threeprerequisites of the conincns parable could not be substantiated,First, he found littleevidence that fishermen acted selfishly in theirconstwptioñ of the fisheries resource. Instead, mist fishermen shared theircatóh, and in sane cases their equipment and fishing sites. Furthermore,individual fishermen in all three ccwmunities were very concerned aboutpreserving their coemminities’ interests in the fisheries. Tremendousattention wes given to the use of “proper” fishing methods and equint, as- 101 -1*11 as the maintenance of customary forma of respect between individualfisheriMn (e.g.,distance allowences, informal territories, etc.). As well,Herkes found that it wes kçossible fox individual fisherman to avoid thesocial disapproval and the wetchful- eye of the ccm1ty. The activities,practices and volusms of catch by each fishera were carefully scrutinizedby other fisherman and the coewnity as a ole. Indeed, Berkes found thateven in areas (e.g.,the Nishga and Lake. Erie ccmaezcial fisheries) itheregovernment licensing and- quota systeme were in place, social pressures provedto be the stronger and more effective regulator of resource cóñsmption.Second, Berkes found that, on the t*ole, the rates of exploitation did notexceed the rates of resource renewebility. Stable catches have been recordedin all three ccmmities for many years, molding ixst sectors of the Hishgaand Lake Erie comaercial fisheries. As well, patterns of resource use did notharvest the fish faster than they could reproduce. In fact, social mechanisnsin each conminity (e.g., quotas -legal and social, govezrment and/or bandlicences, closed seasons, etc.) effectively prevented the formation of suchpatterns .The third condition of the cons argment wes also refuted. In all threecoiiiminities, the fisheries were o’(ied in coe*non by either the coenrimity orthe society at large. However, Berkes foe1 that in no case were thesefisheries freely open to any user. kcess to fish limited through avariety of social mechanisme such as those mentioned earlier. He also notesthat thether or not qoverrmant licenses, quotas and closed seasons werepresent, it wes social enforcemonts by the colTmanity that e restrictions- 102 —on access to fish effective. Violations of the “fishing norma” of eachconmmity s’re niet with vast social disapproval.In short, Berkes found that the three conditions necessary for the tragedy ofthe coin to occur could not be enpiricauy validated. To dismiss connnproperty systenm as a viable market strategy for resource management iouldtherefore be unjustified. Indeed, there is evidence to suggest that propertysytees based on coimn oership have been a very effective neans ofmanaging valuable resources within a market economy.Examining the history of the connns, S.V. Ciriacy-ntrup and Richard Bishop(1975) found that coneon ownership of resources has been a key factor in theprosperity of many societies. For exazrple, these authors•point to severaltreditional hunting and gathering societies, often noted for their aEf1unceand abundance, .Iio have effectively managed their resources on asustained-yield basis. They argue that coneon ownership of resources has beena central ingredient in the maintenance of this condition. thing a greatvariety of resource-regulating institutions and practices (e.g.,custone,taboos, kinship, group fission, enforced closed seasons, seasonal nrbility,etc.), these societies s*re capable of existing over long periods of time inequilibrius within a definite geographical area. Furthernre, Ciriacy-ntrup& Bishop argue that due to the ençhasis on sharing an*ng nenters of thegroup, coirugnal ownership systene tend to discourage accUnulaton and reducethe incentive to deplete resources for individual gain’.— 103 -Ciriacy-zitrup & Bishop also cite exanles in Britain, Switzerland, Germany,Austria and other parts of rope ere millions of acres of grazing landsand forests have been successfully managed as ccmeui property resources formany centuries. For exauple, they point out that strong controls regulatingaccess to ccmn grazing lands, through practices such as seasonal closures,home-base feed requirements, and assigned quotas of grazing stock (sometimesreferred to as “stinting”) have prevented the aggregate use of theseresources from exceeding the max1uim sustainable yield. Similar results haveoccurred with respect to village-oimed forest lands, there thrbez use hasbeen restricted through limited Ucenses. kcording to these authors, thecontinued success and high productivity, for i4ich these lands have becomekno, can be attributed to the use of ccmecn property institutions. Inshort, Ciriacy-Wantrup & Bishop conclude that COHfl property systenm (andthe institutional regulations they iuçly) represent an effective strategy forthe management of natural resources in a market economy.The irks of both Berkes and Ciriacy-Wantrup & Bishop clearly suggest thatthe tragedy of comrns hypothesis does not present an accurate or coirpletedescription of the practical consequences associated with comen propertysystese. In part, the lack of enpirical support for the comens pazadign maybe due to the fact that it is based on t overriding assimptions ilch maynot hold true in all cases. First, it asss, as Bezkes (1983) points out,that all users of ccn property resources are operating in the westerncapitalistic node of thinking: maximize short-term individual gains withoutregard for the long-term viability of the resource or the welfare of theirccena2nity. Second, it assuas that conminities have no influence or control- 104 -over the behaviours and resource activities of their maniers. In short, theconmons argusent assues a state of colete individualism and social.isolation, ttere human beings act solely on the basis of pure economicmotives. Ho*ver, this state cannot be assuned to exist, particularly intradition-based societies and small-scale conminities where kinship tiesand/or social obligations remain a fundnta1 ingredient of daily life. Evenin a market society where (if anywhere) such conditions might have thegreatest chance of occurring, their presence cannot be asstnmal. For as oneauthor observes, economic motives (per se) are notoriously less effectivewith most people than social and emotional ones (Polanyi,1975:218-19 andelsewhere).In addition to criticisus regarding its unqualified assuitions andcorditions the conclusIons of the coemons paradigm have been seriouslyquestioned. Particularly problematic are the ideas that privatization andstate regulation of resources are necessary to preserve the rld s naturalresources or that such neasures represent adequate solutions to presentresource problene. Indeed, there is considerable evidence to the contrary.Exanining the history of Great Britain and Europe, Cii iacy-Wantrup & Bishop(1975) point out that where the ccemam have been divided and appropriatedunder private ow)ership, problene have often ocurred. For exanle, theyobserved that with the increasing profitability of tiuber and theintensification of agriculture created by expanding markets, greater portionsof coemon forests and open fields *ré enclosed and assigned to privateindividuals. However, the allotments were often too small for efficient— 105 -management, leading to a decline in resource productivity. s i*ll, withexpanding market opportwdties based on the e*hange oL production ekwplusccuçetition between pit ivate omers has often led to the overuse of resources.ikKler these conditions, private oimership renders resource consuution anchmere difficult to control, often resulting in the degeneration of valuableresources. Thus, as these authors point out, historical evidence indicatesthat the consequences for resource management associated with privateomership are exactly the opposite to predictions made by the conmens theory.However, i*iere the counons have remained intact, for exanpie, in some partsof western rmany and Switzerland, they are noted ameng the best exauples ofprogressive, resource management.serkes (1983) provides a similar argtnt with respect to state regulation ofCanadian fisheries. In his study (discussed earlier), Berkes found that theconns parable did not accurately portray the fisheries situation becausecoimainities had developed various social aechanisne to alter the open-accessnature of the resource. However, it become relevant when open-accessconditions were forcibly created. That is, ‘Eien unlimited access wes nedepossible by formalized lawe and state regulations, depletion of the comn,nshas occurred. Thus, contrary to solutions proposed by the comeons argment,Berkes concludes that fisheries management in post-industrial societies wulddo well to reseile fisheries management in traditional societies, whereresource use is organized flQt. on the basis of private individualself-interest enforced by state regulation, but through methods ofself-regulation and social control already existing within thecomainity.— 106 —Further evidence of the inadequacies associated with privatization and stateregulation of. natural resources is provided by Patricia Harchak (1988-89).Exasining the fishing and forestry. industries of British Colusbia (Canada),this author illustrates how the excessive exploitation and subsequentdepletion of resources for these industries is direcUy connected to pi ivateccemmrcial activities coerbined with statemanagement. For exrple, in thefisheries industry, state regulation alloe private fish processing cceipaniesto purchase unlimited unts of fish. At the s time, the state hasgranted isre fishing licences than the fisheries resource can sustain.Private fishers, heavily indebted to banks and goverrmients for loans thatcould be paid off only if they caught large asounts of fish, are forced tocoiete for a limited resource. Thus Harchak argues declining fish stocks arenot the consequence of their ccimn property statuS (as so often assmmd byeconomic theorists and resource policy-mekers), but the result of thepotential ccdity value fish have within a ccpetitive nmrket setting terestate regulation is designed to enhance the profits of private capitalO’’eYS.Similar arments against privatizaion and state regulation are nmde withrespect to the B.C. forestry industry, *iere tinter resources are oimed andmanaged by the State and harvesting licenses are issued to private cciirçanies.Under present regulations and licensing agreements, private conpanies claimfull profits from the sale of forestry resources, paying a portion(i.e.,stLmçage fees) to the State, kio, in turn, assuses the majority ofresponsibility for reforestation, silviculture and forestry manageáent.However, as Harchak indicates, throughout the history of the forestry- 107 -• industry, these stwrage fees have been very low, and do not cover the costsof replenishing the resources harvested, This has created a situation ereresource use exceeds the rate of renmmbility. As a consequence, forestryresources are becoming steadily depleted. Facing shrinking profits, privateccirçaflies exit the B.C. forest industry in search’of more lucrativeopportunities, leaving dependent local populations and supporting industriesin a desperate struggle to find another means of survival.4archak’s findings clearly indicate that private oership and stateregulation are not necessary for the preservation of natural resources aspredicted by the coum,ns theory. To the contrary, these factors seem to beinstrusental in the decline of’ resources. Furthermore, Marchak ‘S analysiSsuggests that, in many instances, private ownership and state regulation mayactually inhibit the emergence of social mechanisme that have traditionallyprotected natural resources under cc,mvnal co—management systeem. Indeed,Harchak concludes:‘4aen conservation of our resources is not the priority, there privateprofits are paramount, 4iere private interests in the comicdificationof resources dictate resource policies, then resources will bedepleted. It is not because they are con property that they havesuffer tragedies, 1*t on the contrary, because private property hassuperseded the comea (1988-89:23)In short, an exas,ination of the “tragedy of the coemons” argument proposed byGarrett Hardin and advanced by conteuorary economic theory reveals little orno theoretical support or practical evidence to suggest that connion property— 108 -systema lead to a decline in resources. Neither is there any reason tobelieve that these systen8 will fail as managesnt strategy in the marketeconoiry. To the contrary, there is substantial evidence to suggest thatcoun ownership systen8 may play a socially beneficial role in themanagnt of natural resources within a market context. Operating throughinstitutions based on co-management and social control, these systeme allowfor the enforceability of resource conservation practices, a key factor inany sustainable management system. As such, ccn property systeem lead notto tragedy but to the preservation of essential resources. Indeed, soneobeervers suggest that comeon property institutions may hold great promise inhelping to resolve many contençorary resource probleam facing both developedand developing countries.Based on the evidence presented, one might conclude that the GitksanWet’su*t ‘en intention to use traditional property systeme, based on coen*,n(comeunal) ownership and social control,, in a market setting uld be aparticularly valuable resource strategy. The argLmnt posed by this thesis isthat the proposed Gitksan Wet ‘süwet’en idel will facilitate greater socialcontrol over market-oriented resOurce activities. ThirOugh the traditionalinstitutions of the Gitksan Wet ‘suwet’ system (e.g. ,the feastingsystem), resource consLnrption and conservation wit], be enforceable, therebyreducing the risks Of resource depletion in the pursuit of. opportunities inthe contençorary market econon’. As such, the proposed strategy offers theGitksan Wet ‘suwet’ en some iitportant benefits.— 109 -Possible Benefits and Problens: a critical exinationThe first key benefit of using a traditional management system is that, withits e,hasis on sharing and reciproóal social obligations, the GitksanWet ‘su*t’en coftwpsnity may be insulated from the destructive market forn8 ofindividualism and self-interest. Though individualism and self-interest havealways been a part of traditional Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en experience, unlikemarket forme based on autonomous’ coqetition and private gain, OitksanWet’suwet’en expressions of individualism and self-interest are largely theinternalized collective interests of the social groupings ithich define theidentity of each individual (see Daly,3988:638). lidle Gitksan Wet’suwet’enresource management in the market economy will depend heavily on individualinitiative and no doubt enhance interpersonal colEpetition, thtough the use oftraditional mechanisme, this initiative and conpetttion will be channelledand limited by the collective demands of the Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en casmonity.The iqortance of this is that, unlike those by individual market players,the direction and form of resource activities by individual GitksanWet ‘suwet’en players in the market economy remain social controlled by thecollective. As such, social oership and control means that the GitksanWet’sta*t’en pattern of development will be socially defined and thus morethan a refIèx response to market demands.The second, and perhaps most significant benefit emerging. from the use of accn fl ship strate is that it will pride the Gitksan Wet ‘st‘enwith an opportunity for sustainable resource management and developsent in amarket setting. Based on cvmmmity participation and social control, GitksanWet’suwet’en resources wi].1 be utilized according to traditional values and— 110 —goals. These values and goals are intimately linked with Gitksan Wet’suwet’enperceptions about their collective role as stewerds and trustees of the land.In this role, as revealed in traditional nqthology, the Gitksan Wet ‘suwet’enare obligated to preserve the eternal order of the wend. In terme ofcontenporary resource management and development, this means the GitksanWet ‘suwet ‘en uist remain attentive to the natural rhythn and lai, ensuringthat their activities do not alter or disrupt Nature’s “sacred” balance.t*Eier the close scrutiny and control of the social body, Gitksan Wet’ suwet’ enresource activities and management decisions, will be organized to preservethe continuity and well-being of a]], aspects of the 4iole. In short, the useof a connon ownership strategy offers the Gitksan Wet’ suwet ‘en a means ofensuring the prosperity of their resource territories while avoiding thedepletions and degradation which often characterize market patterns ofnatural resource management and development. This is indeed a tremendousbenefit for a small aboriginal coenesnity, i’thoee welfare and identity isconnected to a fixed and limited resource base.Clearly, a resource strategy based on collective ownership arxl social controloffers s crucial benefits to the Gitksan Wet’suwet’en. However, thisstrategy may also hold several very real disadvantages. C*’e key disadvantageis that many of the institutions and practices characteristic of a socialownership system are foreign to those of the market econony. Their use in amarket setting could therefore pose certain problesm. Of particularinportance are those which nay coup] icate business relations between theGitksan Wet’suwet’en and other market players. For exiple, in his briefexamination of the irending settlement of Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en land elaineand the transfer of ownership control to the Gitksan Wet’.suwet’en peoples,—111—Keith Watt (1990) notes the increasing nervoUsness of some resource conçariies‘tao presently hold a large stake in Gitksan Wet’su*t’en resources. Concernedabout the future of their capital investments, several conçanies are uneasyabout the inplications of operating under Gitksan Wet’sut’en managementsysteme, philosophies and priorities.In particular, Watt points to the apprehensions of forestry coanies withsubstantial investment interests in Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en territories. Underpresent tenure arrangements, forestry conpanies deal. with one or t,&centralized government institutions of authority o establish the parametersof their development activities. With the transfer of resource oimership tothe Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en, these conpanies are .xrried about the dynidcs ofhaving to negotiate separate deals with each individual resource oming unitand the difficulties this poses for the standardization of termaconditions surrounding venture agreements. As well, in terme of thenegotiations themeelves, forestry carçanies express some skepticism about thesuccess of reaching agreements with the Gitksan Wet’suwet’en. Headed byprivate individual oiiers, these market-based coçanies enter the negotiationprocess equipped with total authority and decision-flaking powers over theactivities of their couçanies. In the Gitksan Wet’suwet’en system, based onsocial oiership and control, authority and decision-making power over theuse of resources is held by the collective. Gitksan Wet’suwet’en delegatesentering the negotiation process with market-based conçanies ntist thereforereturn to the Gitksan Wet’suwet’en collective, in an effort to gain socialconsensus on the terme and conditions that uld be acceptable. Theseresource agreements will then be discussed and finally decided upon through apublic process. At various points throughout this process, Gitksan— 112 —Wet ‘5uwet’ en delegates could change, negotiations could breakdom anti/oragreement could dissolve. As a result, all parties involved, particularlymarket-based coepany oers, may become very frustrated by the great loss oftime ami energy.Wett also observed that sone resource conpanies are apprehensive about theinpi icat ions of Gitksan Wet’suit’en resource management priorities andgoals. Operating under market conditions, resource ccwrçanies are accustomedto responding to economic forces and principles, focusing their efforts onmaximizing profits and production efficiency. Using a social owershipsystem, the Gitksan Wet’su*t’en respond to social needs and obligations,placing greater e*asis on creating local opportunities for enploient andbusiness. Sone coirpanies are concerned that if they are forced to operate inaccordance with increasing social demands, their economic Investments inG1tksan Wet’ suwet ‘en territories may become considerably less profitable.Wett ‘s observations are cinsistent with those of an earlier rk by FrankCassidy and Norman Dale (1988). Examining the iwçlications of native landdame settlements (in general), these authors found that i’ll le mostnon-native participants across many sectors of B.C. ‘s natural resourceindustries indicate considerable interest in doing business with nativeresource omers, they share sane similar concerns about the establishment ofpotential partnerships with native groups. These concern generally focusedaround three major - themes.(1) native preparedness. Some mainstream market participants expressedconcerns about the ability of native groups to fulfil the tasks of becoming—113—full partners in market resource developments, arguing that many nativegroups do not have enough financial security, industrial experience arid/ormarketing skills to adequately carry out this role. In the establishment ofresource agreements, some native groups are demanding more enploymentopportunities arid equal participation in management decisions. However,Cassidy & Dale point out that many resource coerçanies perceive native groupsas lacking the skills and habits, as well as the level of training andeducation required for success in these positions. As well, some marketplayers, particularly in the forestry and non-reneweble resource industries,feel that native groups are not sufficiently organized to be dependabledevelopment partners.(2) non-standardized ninistrations. Cassidy & Dale observed that oneof the greatest concerns among market participants across all sectors is thepotential inconsistencies in resource management which may occur as a resultof balkanization. t4any resource coeanies fear that moitiple Jurisdictionscreated through the establistmieñt of independent native resource-inggroups may lead to fragmented resource adeinistration and highly variableresource regulations. Some have argued that with too many small arid differentregimes, which change at brief and irregular intervals, expensive resourcedevelopments involving native groups may pose an unreasonable risk.(3) Dreservationist bias. A coman concern artwng market participants isthat potential resource initiatives with native groups may be encimered byconditions and guarantees for the preservation of their resource territories.Many anticipate that resource developsents with native groups will involvemore extensive and costly environmental regulations which could stuntpotential profit margins. Forrn exale, Cassidy & Dale note that some forest— 114 —coepanies worry tighter controls over the use of herbicides, insecticides,road construction and stream setbacks could hinder market productionefficiency. As well, others fear that marketable resources in areas deemad“sacred” by native custama and beliefs may be exeupted from developmant.In short, these works suggest that the use of a tradition-based managementsystem for market participation may generate great uncertainty andapprehension among potential investment partners .Iio are unfamiliar with orunprepared for Gitksan Wet’suwet ‘en resource management processes. This couldresult in serious losses In developnent opportunities for the GitksanWet’suwet’en, particularly in the,critical initial phases of their proposeddevelolment plans.A second set of disadvantages that may emerge as a consequence of using asocial o*ership system for market participation centre around thelimitations on individual initiatives for developnent. This may have severaldimensions. First, individual resource oers or holders are able to makedecisions nre quickly, allowing them to seize develoi*nent opportunities noreeasily. In a setting, such as the market economy characterized by fluctuatingsupply and demand0 individuals may be better equipped to capitalize onmmentary opportunities. Isipeded by the process Of securing social consensus,certain development opportunities nay missed, aloág with the potentialprofits and social benefits to the conminity they may have generated. Fromthis perspective, these loses aust be seen as social costs of collectiveresource oership and control.— 115 —Social restrictions on individual initiatives may also thwart theexpression(s) of potential talents of “business-wise” nthers of thecollective. Unable to secure positions of direct authority and power overresources held by the social group, individual methers with superiorabilities or knowledge that could enhance the benefits gained throughdevelopant may not get the opportunity to use them. This has particularsignificance in Gitksan Wet’suiet’en society where control over resourcedevelopment is organized through the hierarchy of ancestral ns. Talentedindividuals who are not able to “inherit” a high rias-title or position ofauthority in a resource-owning House may not have the opportunity to servethe best interests of their coinmmity. The potential benefits to theccemvnity that may have been obtained through the expression of theirabilities and knowledge iuld thus remain dormant. Wain, this weuld have tobe seen as e social cost of collective resource omezsh1p an ctro].In short, while the use of a collective resource ownership system in themarket setting generally protects the social group from the dangers ofindividual pursuits for self-gain, it may also reduce the potentialadvantages that could be obtained through the initiatives of individualmeu*,ers. [n the context of the market econcuy, where conditions surroundingresource develoiment are particularly conducive to individual opportunities,the losses to Gitksan Wet’ suwet ‘en society may be considerable.A third disadvantage to Gitksan Wet • suwet ‘en society that may be associatedwith the use of a collective ownership strategy arises from its vulnerabilityto “negative” fluctuations in the market econouy. In general, the— 116 —management arid develcipnent of natural resources in the market econmry isgoverned by fluctuations of supply and demand for these resources • Based onprivate property ownership, the irçact of these fluctuations is bokeri downinto a Wide range of consequences for autononzxis individuals participating indifferent sectors of the economy. Put siuly, private ownership means privateconsequences. However, using a collective property ownership system as thebasis of resource management arid developient Within the market setting meansthat the inpact of fluctuations in the supply arid demand for resources mayhave consequences for the thole group. In other rds, collective ownershipmeans collective consequences • *ien these consequences are favourable, theuse of collective ownership systeme in a market context holds tremendousbenefits for the coesiminity as a whole. However, when these consequences areunfavourable, collective ownership systeesm may carry some distinctdisadvantages.This is largely due to the fact that even though market conditionssurrounding both private arid collective resource owners are similar,collective resource owners may be less able to protect themeelves fromnegative market fluctuations, particularly rapid fluctuations. *ille manyprivate individual resource owners can often avert the inact of negativemarket fluctuations by diversifying or changing their development activities,collective resource owners may be less able to diversify or change due toshared patterns of resource use within a finite area. For exarple, if aGitksan Wet • suwet en House has collectively decided to use their territoriesfor tourism, then the welfare of all mesrbers of that House is staked ontourism. Individual menters of that House are not at liberty to engage in— 117 —other forma of resource activities, unless perhaps their activities would notJeopardize the collective effort. Homver, it is unlikely that an individualmaer would be permitted, for extple, to develop a logging operation in thes territory.As well, unlike ist private resource omers, collective resource oimers -(usually) do not have the advantage of moving their capital and inveetmantefforts to -differe locations in search of better opportunities. This wouldseem to be particularly the case for aboriginal societies like the GitksanWet’suwet’en 4,o are bound to a specific, and often limited, resource base.For exairple, if the demand for British Coli.nthia tker in the market econcnyfalls to levels iàiich render logging in Gitksan Wet’suwet’en forestsunprofitable, the Gitksan Wet’suwet’en, unlike private resource conpanies inthe sama area, cannot nove their forestry operations to areas 4ere themarket may offer better opportunities. They have little choice but todiscontinue their operations or go on operating but at loss in profit.Similar argtnnts can be made for other sectors of Gitksan Wet’suwet ‘enresource developmant such as fisheries, mining, tourism, etc.In short, the use of social oership systen8 within a marketsetting couldnean the Gitksan Wet’suwet’en öollective will endure greater social uu(actsthat may be brought about by market changes aid fluctuations. Without s ofthe advantages of a wider and more diverse field of developsent opportunity,the Gitksan Wet’suwet’en might be subject to harsh swings of market highs andlowe,with little chance for escape.— 11.8 —I1tIG11 $g vrjt Benf’.The central problem addressed by this thesis is the Gitksan We’suwet ‘enproposal to use their traditional values, practices and systema as the basisof a strategy for contenorary resource nanagenent and developnent in themarket econc’. Instead of adopting a market-based approach, the GitksanWet’suwet’en intend to use the traditional institUtions and stzuàtures oftheir society as a fri*rk for coemarcial resource operations. ContenoraryGitksan Wet’suwet’en initiatives to increase their participation in themarket econoy are an outgrowth of traditional goals and objectives forprosperity and self—reliance. In an effort to preserve their perceived rolein the maintenance of the universal order, the Gitksan Wet’ sui*t’en havedevised a strategy that will enable them to conduct market-oriented resourceactivities in accordance with the traditional la and customa of theirancestors. This choice clearly represents an alternative strategy for them3nagemant and deve]oent of natural resources in a market setting.C3apter Cie exasined Gitksan Wet’suwet’en traditions and conteuoraryproposals relating to resource managesent in the market economy. Informad bytxaditional Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en philosophy and perceptions of hmmnrelationships with nature, the Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en strategy for resourcedevelcpnent is based on t fundmnental principles. The first has to do withGitksan Wet’ suwet ‘en perceptions about their inseparability from the land • Inthe Gitksan Wet’suwet’en view, htmmns are intrinsically part of the land and—119—cannot be detached from it. Innately bonded with all elements of the landsthey occupy, hmarm are coonents of the “natural living whole”. The secondprinciple pertains to their perceived role of stewards of the lands. Throughrelationships established between supernatural beings and the originalancestors of their society, the Gitksari Wet’ suwet’ en have become trustees ofthe land. In return for the use of the land’s resources, they accept the(mQral) obligations and responsibilities of securing the welfare of the landand all its inhabitants (husan and non-htman, natural and supernatural).These arrangements are reinforced by traditional Gitksan Wet’suwet’ en beliefsthat failure to satisfy these obligations and responsibilities will insultsupernatural beings, causing them it bring about serious declines inresources upon which the Gitksan Wet’suwet ‘en depend for survival. In termaof resource management in a market setting, the practical application ofthese twe principles means twe things: one, contenorary Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘endevelopment activities nvst integrate human (i.e.,Gitksan Wet’suwet’en) needswith those of the land and all its elements; and t, these activities n*istbe directed at maintaining the prosperity and well-being of GitksanWet • suwet ‘en territories and society as a whole.Traditional Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en philosophy generates some iiortant valueswith respect to the construction of a conteiorary resource managementstrategy Of particular significance is the ‘value of preservation. kcordingto Oitkañ Wetsuwet’en beliefs, the relationships between the elements ofnature are organized to ensure the continuity of all aspects of the whole.Being an intrinsic part of this whole, as well as trustees of the land, theGitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en wvst ensure that resource development activities do not— 120 —disturb the natural order. inother inportant value governing contenporaryCitksan Wet’suiet’en resource activities, is respect. As equals within nature,the Gitksan Wet ‘suet ‘en imst respect all elements of nature, ensuE ing thathusan interests do not dominate or Jeopardize the interests of the whole.Consensus is thus another key value in conteirporary GitksanWet ‘suwet’ en resource management. To that ensure the interests aix] needs ofthe whole are ccmsidezed and protected, Gitksan Wet ‘suet’ en resourcedevelopment activities iwst gain the consensus of the larger dole(syrrbolically represented by the Gitksan Wet ‘suwet’ en collective).Incorporating traditional Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en philosophy and values into aconteirporary resource management strategy has led to the construction of whatmay’ be referred to as an “eco-based land use nr3del”. The principal goal ofthis ncdel is sustainable resource development. To achieve this goal in amarket setting, the Gitksan Wet’suwet’en propose several distinct practicesand policies. First, contenporary resource managemert will involve extensivelông-term planning. Detailed mapping of a]]. Gitksan Wet’suwet’en territoriesand ccmplete resource inventories of each tershed area will facilitate thealignment of development activities with the long-term needs and interests ofthe Gitksan Wet’ suwet ‘en coirtrunity as a i.Eiole. Second, using traditional landuse patterns, market-oriented activities will be absorbed into the annual“seasonal ‘rounds” which govern meat activities, in Gitksan Wet’suwet’ensociety. Synchronized with the natural rhythns and cyeles of the land, theseactivities will remain consistent with traditional Gitksan Wet’suwet’en goalsof àonservation. And third, conteirporary resource management will be based ondecentralized decision—making involving participation by the Gitksan— 121 —Wet’suwet’en collective (i.e.,”the public”). The distribution of auth&ityand control over resources will be organized through the traditional GitksanWet ‘suwet ‘en property system, with Houses, naneholders and general Houseir.*ership each playing a significant role in developing resources accordingto the social consensus of the ihole.The traditional Gitksan Wet’suwet ‘en property system is based on co.mn(cosmmal) omerShip, and operates within an eàonomic order governed by laweof balanced reciprocity. Rights of omership, control and access overresources are established through the hierarchy of Gitksan wet ‘suwet ‘enancestral names • The mechanism through ddch these and rights aremaintained is the feasting system. The feasting system is therefore afundamental co.Tponent of Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en resource management. Its roleis exmflined around t key functions. First, title over resource territoriesis validated and legitimized within the feasting system. Clams toterritories made by resource oi’mers (i.e. ,Houses) nast be sanctioned by theGitksan Wet’suiet’en collective. As *ll, decisions made regarding theselection of resource managers (i.e. ,naholders) anst be publicly witnessed.The feast is the forus through which these clams and decisions are sociallyratified and recorded by the Gitksan Wet’ suwet ‘en comtvnity.Second, social control over resource territories and activities isadministered thr6ugh the feasting system. This administration has twe primarydimensions: external and internal. The external dimension of social controlarises from the m,ral obligation of jj Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en resource usersto maintain their resource rights through participation in the feasting- 122 -system. To satisfy their feasting obligations resource users nust coordinatetheir resource activities to ensure that Gitksan Wet’suwet’en territoriesremain prosperous and able to generate vast anunts of wealth. The internaldimansion of social control energes from the decentralized manner in ihichresource managenent decisions are aade and the inçortance of securing socialconsensus. Decisions regarding the use of Gitksan t‘suwet’ resources areto be made in consultation with naneholders, those resource activities are,in turn, constrained by decisions of the group. As well, it is within thefeast that the activities of all resource users are subjected to the scrutinyand authority of the Gitksan Wet’suwet’en collective.The traditional feasting systeffi is the central institution through whichcontenorary Gitksan Wet’suwet’en market developnents will be administered.access to marketable resources will be distributed through the hierarchy ofancestral ns and validated within the feasting system. As there are notraditional relationships to Gitksan t‘suwet’en resources outside thesenanes, this access will be restricted to those 4io have inherited anancestral nane. Likewise, power and authority over marketable resources willbe held by naneholders. However, to maintain the legitimacy of their powerand authority, each nemeholder will be required to acknowledge and uphold theparticular feasting obligations and responsibilities attached to their nane.Failure to actively participate in or regularly contribute to the feastingsystem will be net with itmense social disapproval, resulting in a seriousdecline in the power and authority over resources held by those nameholders.Furthernere, contenporary resource management proposals generated by each— 123 -House utst be presented to and sanctioned by the Gitksan Wet’sut’encollective at feasts. Within this forus, the market activities of GitksanWet’su*t’en resource owning groupè will be evaluated by the coanunity as a‘ihole. in this stay, the direction and process of market-based GitksanWet’suwet’en developmant will be bated on social consensus. In short, it isthrough the feasting system that traditional Gitksan Wet’su*t’en philosophy,values, practices and property systema will be coordinated into aconteqorary strategy for resource developmant In the market economy.The principal task of this thesis has been to examine the potential benefitsof this proposed strategy. Argumants have focused around t mainpropositions:(1) Using the proposed strategy in a market setting will hold the rate ofGltksan Wet’suwet’en market developmant to the pace allowed by thetraditional system. The result is that the process of conterrçoraryGltksan Wet • suwet ‘en developmant WIll be slower than thatcharacteristic of the market economy, reducing the potentialdisruptions to the Gitksan Wet’suwet’en social order 1 lifeweys. Withtraditional structures and institutions remaining intact, socialchanges brought about by increased market involvement may be ncreeasily accciuinodated by the Gitksan Wet’suwet’en coemmity.. The keybenefit is that the Gitksan Wet’su6*ten may be able to inprove theireconomic foundations, while preserving the cultural integrity anddistinctness of their society.(2) Mministering contenporary resource develonnents according to— 124 —priorities enmrging from the traditional Gitksan Wet’suwet’en socialsystem will synchronize market-oriented economic activities with thesocial needs and goals of the Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en conennity. As aresult, destruction of traditional Gitksan Wet °suwet’en socialinstitutions and resource territories may be minimized. Through themaintenance of traditional institutions, increased attention toeconomic pursuits often associated with participation in the marketecono’ may not lead to reduced concerns for social welfare. The keybenefit here is that the Gitksan Wet’ suwet ‘en may be able to enhancetheir economic well-being without substantial risks to the stability oftheir society or resource territories.Chapter 1%’ examined the first of these propositions, focusing on threefeatures of the traditional Gitksan Wet ‘suwet’en managenent system that willrestrict the pace of conterrçorary resource developmant. The first feature ofthis system is the cclffçlex process of securing collective sanction andvalidation as a prerequisite to the initiation of resource developmantactivity. Beginning with the construction of a conehensive resourceproposal, which nust then be socially ratified through the sponsoring of afeast, this, process represents a very large undertaking requiringconsiderable tine and expense to colete. The second feature concerns theiuetus for initiating resource activity. Premised on traditional GitksanWet’suwet’en notions about their m,ral obligation to secure the welfare ofinhabitants of the lands entrusted to them, Gitksan Wet’ suwet ‘en resourceactivity is a response to social need and conuamity well-being. The rate ofGitksan Wet ‘suwet’ en market develoment will therefore be constrained to— 125 —levels needed for subsistence in the contençorary setting, proceeding nofaster than that required to meet the cóUective flëéds of GitksanWet ‘suet’ en society as a 4ole. The third feature of the GitksanWet’ suwet’ en system that will constrain the pace of contenorary marketdevelopment pertains to the set of rules governing resource activities.Viewing thenee]ves as participants and caretakers of a natural orderinherently tving towerds continuity, the Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en nsjst ensurethat their resource activities are consistent with the natural lawe upon4ich this order is perceived to depend. kljusting resource activities tofluctuations in natural patterns and cycles of marketable resources or theavailability of appropriate technologies means that the rate of GitksanWet’suwet’en development will be constrained to that allowed for byconditions of nature.As a result of these three features, the use of the proposed GitksanWet ‘suet’en strategy suggests that the rate of conteTrçorary Gi tksanWet’suwet’en development will be slower than that characteristic of themarket econony. As such, this strategy may be highly beneficial to theGitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en. One of the greatest benefits is that the GitksanWet ‘suwet ‘en may be able to avoid some of the devastating social consequencesof rapid development experienced during the historil emergence of marketsociety. In the urgency to take advantage of expanding market opportunitiescreated in the weke of the Industrial Revolution, the rate. of developmentgreatly exceeded the pace of social adjustment. In spite of the economicadvances that occurred, the rapid rate of devélcnt led to serious declinesin social welfare. Traditional custone, lawe and values broke dom.— 126 —Traditional institutions gave ‘ay. The result wee vast cultural degradation.This suggests that a key ingredient in determining the overall value ofeconomic development may be the rate at tiiCh it is allowed to occur. Indeed,for Gitksan Wet’suiet’en resource development to bring true “irovement”, itntist not exceed the rate that can be accoinsdated by the Gitksan Wet’ suwet’comeunity. Thus, from a Gitksan Wet’suwet’ en perspective, the use of astrategy based on traditional structures and systeme in a market setting, andthe slower rate of development it inplies, may be advantageous.However, a slower rate of development nay also pose certain zoblena for theGitksan Wet’suwet’en. For exanple, valuable time could be lost insuccessfully conpieting coHprehensive resource proposals and sponsoringfeasts required to secure the necessary sanction and consensus for resourcedevelopment. As well, the time-consuming nature of these tasks coulddiscourage potential investment partnerships with mainstream market playersdio are accustomed to a faster pace of developeant. Similarly, the slowerrate of development associated with responding to social needs may pose someproblena such as those arising from expensive capital remaining idle duringtimes 4ien development is not required. Potential venture partners, io aregeared to respond to economic (not social) opportunities created by themarket, may be unprepared to accept the lose of profits that could beassociated with these conditions. Problens may also occur as a result ofefforts to ensure that resource activities remain consistent with (3itksanWet’suwet’en perceptions of the laws of nature. Devising and obtainingmethods of developing resources that preserve the wetershed as a iEhole mayrequire considerably more time and expense than those characteristic of a— 127 —market approach. In same cases, it say mean develomant activities aredelayed or even abandoned. qain, for mainstream market players withopportunities available there operating conditions are more favourable tomarket priorities, development ventures with the (Jitkean Wet’suw6t.’en mayseem less attractive • In short, a slower pace of developuient may mean somelosses in market opportunity for the Gitksan Wet’sui’et’en.Chapter Three examined the second proposition put forwerd by this thesis,focusing on the benefits of conmon (conmonal) oimership in a market setting.Hotivated by traditional priorities to enhance the prosperity and well-beingof Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en territories and cceminity, the pursuit of economicgain through market-based development is a contenporazy Gitksan Wet • suwet ‘eneffort to satisfy traditional social obligations. However, the GitksanWet’suwet’eri are responsible to insure that the manner in thich theseobligations are met remains consistent with ancient lawe and customa of thetraditional social order. To ensure that these obligations aix]responsibilities are fulfilled, the Gitksan Wet’suweten are proposing to usetheir traditional institutions and systenm based on comeon resource o.mershipas a strategy for participation in the market setting.This strategy may hold ease iuportaiit benefits for the Gitksan Wet’ suwet ‘en.The first set of benefits is that Gitksan Wet’suwet’en market activities willbe synchronized with the social needs and conditions of Gitksan Wet’ suwet ‘ensociety. As a consequence, the Gitksan Wet ‘suwet’ en say be able to reducemany of the social risks encountered by other traditional societies involvedin the market econair4y. It has been noted that under the pressure of market— 128 —• forces, traditional patterns of reciprocity and sharing often gave wey toindividualism and conpetition. Motivations for private gain replaced thosebased on collective interests. Traditional institutions based on kinshipobligation and cooperation were di5mntled, Increasing attention to economicconcerns led to the subordination of social priorities, resulting insignificant declines in social welfare. The strategy proposed by the GitksanWet’suwet’en creates the possibility of a very different scenario. Filteringmarket activities through their oi institutions arid systema, traditionalGitksan Wet’süwet’en practices of reciprocity will be preserved.Individualism and conpetition will be channelled towerd the satisfaction ofcollective interests. Social obligations arid kinship ties will remain intact.In this wey, contenporary Gitksan Wet’suwet’en economic initiatives willretain their traditional goals for securing the social welfare of (3it-ksanWet’suwet’en society as a whole.A second set of benefits associated with the use Of the proposed GitksanWet ‘suwet ‘en strategy centre around the preservation of the limited resourcebase of Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en society. Based on a system of ccnuñ (conneinal)oership, Gitksan Wet’suwet’en developmant of resources in tthe nirket.setting will be socially controlled Mministered though the feasting system,all resource activities will be iw,nitored by the Gitksan Wet’suwet’encomiunity. Governed by a process of decentralized decision-making, the marketactivities of individual resource users will be constrained by collectivegoals and interests. As the authority to initiate proposed developments isbased on social consensus, the direction and pattern of Ciitksan Wet’suwet’enresource development in the market econony will be defined by the social— 129 —interests and goals ofGitksan Wet’suwet’en society. As well, utilizingresources according to traditional Gitksan We’suwet ‘en values and practices,the integrity of resource base will be preserved as thole. This may allow theGitksan Wet’suwet ‘en to avoid the risks of resource depletion oftenassociated with market-based development strategies. As a result,contenporary Gitksan Wet’suwet’en resource activities will remain consistentwith traditional responsibilities of stewerdship and goals of sustainableresource management.Clearly then, the Gitksan Wet’suwet’en proposal to use their traditionalsyetenm of resource management as a strategy for conteuporary marketdevelont offers some potential benefits for the Gitksan Wet’ suwet ‘en.However, this strategy may also hold some inportant disadvantages. One keydisadvantage is that many of the institutions and practices of the GitksanWet’ suwet ‘en resource management syetem are foreign to those of the marketeconoi’. This may pose probleme, particularly in terme of business relationsbetween the Gltksan Wet’ suwet’ en and mainstream market players. Differencesin management philosophy, develoizient priorities, authority structures anddecision-making procedures may generate tension between potential businesspartners that could lead to lost development opportunities for the GitksanWet’suwet’efl.Another disadvantage is that group-ixrposed restrictions and limitations onindividual initiatives for development could mean a loss of potentialbenefits to the Gitksan Wet’suwet’en collective. This is particularly thecase i4iere “business-wise” individuals may be unable to secure a position of— 130 —authority in the Gitksan Wet’suwet’en hierarchy of names. nd finally, thethird disadvantage is that collective oimership systeme may be zrevulnerable to the iaacts of negative market fluctuations. ‘ned to alimited/fixed resource base and ccinnitted to collective patterns of resourceuse, the Gitksan Wet’ su*t’ en lack the options of other market players .ihocan diversify or nove their operations in order to avoid the negativeconsequences of falling market demand fcc their products.The central position advanced by this thesis is that Gitksan Wet’srn*t’enintentions to use their traditional property systene and management practicesas a strategy for the development of natural resources in a contenporarymarket setting will be advantageous to the Gitksan Wet’suwet’en. thile someiirçortant disadvantages nust be acknowledged, it is argued that, overall,these are outweighed by the potential benefits associated with this approach.Perhaps the single greatest benefit is that it creates the possibility forsocially guided resource management within the market economy. Based onconlnQn (comaiinal) ownership and collective social control, this strategy mayprotect the Gitksan Wet’ suwet ‘en from the destructive forces of individualismand ccnetition found in the market economy, allowing them to preserve thecultural integrity and distinctiveness of their society. s *ll, with thecritical ability to socially control both the rate at 4üch developmentoccurs and the direction in which it proceeds, the (Jitksafl Wót’fiuwet’en canmaintain greater social stability while responding to the changing socialneeds within their connunity. In short, the proposed strategy for marketparticipation offers the Gitksan Wet’suwet’en an opportunity to substantiallyinrove their economic foundations, with minimal risks to the social welfare— 131 —or resource territories of their society.The argument put fonrd by this thesis is supported by a theoreticalanalysis of the Gitksan Wet’suwet’en proposal and its inplications andsignificance for the management of natural resources in a market econo’. Aswell, this argument is posed within the constraints of some iuçortantpractical conditions and considerations ithich may influence the success ofthe Gitksan Wet’suwet’en management system in the contenporary marketsetting. The remainder of this thesis will be devoted to these t particularareas of exasination.The Gltksan Wet’ suwet’en Proposal: Theoretical Iiçlications and SignificanceThe evaluation of connn property management systema and their performance inthe market econony has given rise to t main positions. The first is thatadvanced by contenporary economic theory 4ilch argues comen property systemewill fail in the management of valuable resources within a market setting. Inan argument known as the “tragedy of the co*nnons”, it is reasoned that in acoupetitive market situation, the lack of access restrictions under cannonproperty ownership pronotes consuaption patterns anong individual resourceusers that will eventually (and inevitably) lead to the depletion of a finiteset of resàurces. The central idea here is that 4ien people can exploit aresource together, and no one can unilaterally control this resource and/orexclnde others from its use, the resource will be abused. Furthernore, it isargued that as all individuals naturally seek to preserve their ownself-interests, the only means of averting this tragedy of the connons is— 132 —through privatization and state regulation of resources, providingindividuals with both the incentive and power to conserve precious resources.The second position to emerge argues that coia,n property systene provide ahighly successful resource management strategy in a market econoqy. Based oncomr*mal ownership, resource Users Share co-management rights, obligationsand responsibilities over resources. Consunption of resources Is controlledthrough various resource-regulating institutions which (generally) preventthe aggregate use (i.e. ,by. the group as a whole) from exceeding the levelrequired to fflaintain a sustainable resource base. As well, collectivepatterns of resource exploitation and group sharing practices discourageindividual accmsrailation, coirpetition and other behaviours based on privateself-interests which may lead to resource depletions. kDcess to resources is(roughly) equal among co-owners of the coiuiaons, where other potentialresource urs who are not mewbers of this definable group c-an be excluded.Indeed, it has been argued that the social control nechanisma inherent toconrszial property management systeme provide a society and its resources withsome effective measures of protection from destructive forces of the marketecono’.An analysis of the proposed (3itksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en strategy for contenporaryresource management reveals a property system which most closely resentlesthe situation outlined in the second position. In the Gitksan Wet’suwet’ensystem, property and resources are owned in con by the House, wheremeirbers share rights, obligations and responsibilities to its resources. Thedistribution of specific rights, obligations and responsibilities to property— 133 —are organized through the hierarchy of traditional ancestral r’s belongingto each House. Attached to each of these names are rights of access tospecific locatable sets of resources (i.e.,territories). thile severalindividuals typically share rights to the same set of resources, only thosewith nrs connected to a given territory have access to its resources. Otherpotential resource users, such as other nameholders, non-House menters and/ornon-Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en are Houtsideren and can be excluded. In addition toguaranteeing rights of access, names function as management portfolios,providing naneholders with an outline of their particular obligations,responsibilities and authority over Gitksan Wet’suwet’en resources. In theGitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en system, there are no relationships to resources outsideof these nanms,’ and all meuters of a House receive at least one neme.In the Gitksan Wet’ suwet ‘en system, the social mechanism i.*ich coordinatesall rights, obligations and responsibilities associated with the managementand use of comon resources is the feasting system. The feasting system is aseries of public gatherings attended by the collective mentership of GitksanWet ‘suwet ‘en society, which are sponsored by re5ource-oi.ming units(i.e.,Houses) seeking social ratification and validation of its decisions. Itis through this institution that all Gitksan Wet’suwet’en resourceactivities, including proposed market development initiatives, are sociallycontrolled and sanctioned. This system operates on reôiprocal kinship ties(obligations) and group sharing practices which obligate all resource usersto redistribute wealth generated by territories under their managementcontrol and channels individual ccqetition towards the accolisheent ofgroup ob3ectives. Decisions regarding the constmtion and patterns of— 134 —resource use are made through a decentralized decision-making process basedon social consensus, with the activities of individuals being restricted bythe collective oimership group. The central goal of this management system isthe preservation and sustainability of the delimited resource base uponGitksan Wet’suwet ‘en society as a i.thole depends.The evaluation of comeon property systens put forward by these t mainpositions clearly conflict. A substantial part of this conflict may be theresult of very different concepts of “coninon property”. First of all, in thetragedy argument, for exançle, the term “crw.n” is used to denote asituation of free and unlimited access, ere no one individual or group caninhibLt the resource activities of another. Secondly, with respect to“property”, the tragedy argument inplies that property is a thing, an entityich can be physically possessed. Used in this way, property is a set ofgoods over ich oi*ership imist be constantly reasserted and maintained.Ccnbining these t terme, “conmnon property” is “free things” or publicgoods, open to use by anyone, without obligation.In the Gitksan Wet’suwat’en exarçle, Which is most consistent with the secondargmnt, the term “comeon” is used to describe a situation of shared access,there meuers of a limited group can exclude other potential resource users,M s*ll, the concept of property is defined as a set of rights to the use orbénefit of something, a claim that is enforceable within a particular socialbody. In this scenario, property is a socially constructed relationship Whichexists in perpetuity betweefl meners of a specific group. Here the concept of“couwon property” refers to “shared rights”, belonging exclusively to merrbers—135—of a defined group, with obligations and responsibilities for the managementof a certain set of resources • For the Gitksan Wet’suwet • en, these rights,obligations and responsibilities are perceived to be sacred and nralccirçonento of t.heir role as steirds and “natural” inhabitants of the landsthey inherited..The distinction between these two concepts of cciwaon property is critical, aseach inplies some very different inplications for the management and use ofcoein resources. For exLmple, in the tragedy argusent, ere ecunrnresources are perceived as free goods, open to everyone without limitationsor obligations, resource consustion is unrestricted. That is, individualusers are free to take as irach as they are able. In a market setting, eresurplus production can be exchanged for a profit, it may be expected thatmarketable resources will be overused. As weU, in the tragedy argusent,Irthere individual resource users. ccnçete with each other for their means ofsurvival, short term goals that advance the accimulation of private wealthtend to dominate over the long—term interests of the society. Again, thispresents a powerful incentive to overuse marketable resources • In short, it• is reasonable that in a situation iiere individual resource users bear noresponsibility for each other or the welfare of the resources they exploit,“free” amy mean abase. kder this system of management (or lack ofmanagement), reneweble resources may be exploited at a rate *hich exceedsreplenistmaents. This may lead to resource depletions, and even the couletedestruction of a resource base.luplications for the management and use of ccumen resources under the secondinterpretation of comen property, such as that utilized by the Gitksan— 136 —Wet ‘suwet ‘en, present the possibility of a distinctly different scenario. Forexa,le, perceived as shared rights based on social relationships existingwithin a specific group of co-oiers, the benefits derived from conncnproperty resources n*ist be distributed anaig all naers of the group and/orthe conditions under ihLch these benefits could be derived mist be imintainedfor all members. In this situation, consns oaers are protected from meny ofthe market forces i4iich ccnel individuals to ccuete with each other andaccunsilate personal wealth. As such, their resource activities are mirelikely to ccmply with exploitation patterns established by the collective.Their consuq*ton of resources will remain consistent with the levelsrequired to sustain the resource base upon t*iich the 4iole group depends. Aswell, as co-oners of resources, individual users have managementresponsibilities over the resources they exploit. It has been argued that4ien individuals have some control over the management of resources theyexploit, they are more lIkely to conserve their om rates of consunption (seeHarchak, 1988-89, Kew & Griggs, 1991). In short, it is reasonable to expectthat iEere resource users have on-going responsibilities for each other andthe resources they depend on, “shared” leads to conservation of valuedresources. Under this system of management, the rate of resource exploitationis less likely to exceed the rate of renewel. The possibility of asustainable resource base is therefore increased.In addition to their vastly different irlications for coninons management,these t concepts of cannon property generate distinctly different solutionsto resource management problerni. For exanple, the principle objective of anyresource management system is to maintain a sustainable resource base. To— [37 —accoqlish this objective, the rate and level of resource consunption uvst becontrolled. In other ixrds, there nvst be mechanisme and rules ithich governboth access to and use of valued resources. Thus, the central problem thatmist be addressed by all management steme is regulation of resource use.However, even Eien regulatory mechanisnm have been created, there is theremaining problem of enforcing the regulations and rules.In the tragedy argument, solutions to these management problem ccim fromexternal sources. That is, the mechanisme and rules governing resourcepatterns and conswrption cost from outside of the body of primary resourceusers • In nK)st market-based societies, this source is the State • Statecontrol over resource consstption usually takes the form of legislation andregulations, limited licences or quotas sold to resource users, or othermethods designed to constrain the rate and level of resource constption.Another solution proposed by the tragedy argument is the privatization ofresources, thich is actually the externally iuçosed atomization of meniers ofa coenons into detached isolated individuals. Supported by uatually coercivelawe, the benefits of particular sets of resources can be appropriated solelyby private individual o’mers o have the power to exchde other potentialresource users. It is assumed that individuals will protect their oii privateinterests by conserving the resources upon thich their personal *ll-beingdepends. To enforce State controls and the lawe of private c*mership, iiorecontrolling mechanisns and agencies mist be created. In short, the solutionsto resource management problem posed by the tragedy argument involve thedevelopment of a conplex infastructure, arid carry considerable economic andsocial expense to a society.— 138 —Mteznatively, in systeim like that used by the Gitksan Wet ‘su*t’en,solutions to resource management problems come from internal sources, thatis, from within the body of primary resource users. The principal mechanismUsed in Gitksan Wet • suwet’ en society is the feasting system, iere thepatterns of resource use and levels of consuntion by all oership groupsand managing individuals are evaluated and adjusted to achIeve the goals ofthe collective. Other Gitksan Wetsuweten regulatory practices include(d)the use of seasonal rounds to organize the timing of Gitksan Wet’suwet’enresource activities, seasonal closures to protect resource reproductivity,and the mobility of resource users to avoid site depletions. As well, accessto Gitks Wet suwet’en resources is highly controlled, with only thenteholders connected to a given territory permitted to use its resources. Interms of enforcement, all resource oaiing groups and managing naseholdersnvst publicly disclose their resource activities and management decisions inan attenpt to gain the sanction and validation of the cc*ammity. Withoutprior consensus by the collective, no resource activities can occur. As well,because access rights and authority over resources are socially derived,failure by any group or individual to co,ly with group decisions may resultin a loss of resources • In the Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en system then, resourceconsunption is regulated through social controls, 4iere coim*anity pressures,group obligations and management responsibilities provide powerful incentivesfor self-constraint among individual resource users.Evaluating the solutions proposed by thee twe positions in terms of theirpractical consequences, it may be argued that resource systems similar to— 139 —that of the Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en provide nre effective management of naturalresources in a market context. First of all, unlike the tragedy argumentthere solutions to resource probleme are inposed by external sources, in theGitksan Wet ‘suet ‘en system they are generated internally. That is, theregulation of resource use patterns and levels of consmption is an inherentfeature of the system itself. The developitent of additional mechanisma istherefore not neceseary secondly, because these solutions originate at thelocal (i.e. ,resident) level, they can be adjusted to meet the specific needsand goals of resource users rst directly involved. The result is a nreresponsive management system. And thirdly, as solutions to managementprobiene are based on social control and enforced by co-equal oers of ashared resource, these solutions tend to have a nre iimediate and intenseeffect. As a result, user patterns and overall levels of consuription ofresources have led to sustainable resource management in several societies,including those operating in a market setting.On the other hand, the regulation of resource use through privatization andstate controls have not been highly successful methods of maintaining asustainable resource base. Indeed, there is evidence to suggest that privateowiership and state regulation have been instrtanental in the decline ofvalued resources. Exairples of this are provided by the fisheries and forestryindustries, nest notably those in British Colturbia (Canada). In both theseindustries, private owership of (or rights to) resources, coithined withState regulations designed to preserve the interests of private capital, haveseriously damaged the welare of both the resources these industries dependon and the local population of resource users they supported. irish stocks- 140 -have declined and forests have beeti destroyed as a result ofover-exploitation by resource users responding to ccn,etitive market forcesarid short-term private gains. well, in many cases, state regulation hasallowed private owaers to avoid the responsibilities of replenishingresources, transferring this task (and related costs) onto the supportingsocial body. As a result, inportant- resources have been depleted. Contrary topredictions by the tragedy argi.mnt, private oiwaers do not necessarilyconserVe their resources, particularly 4ien they are not bound to a specificlocation arid are free to pursue new opportunities elsethere. Furthermore,state regulation is not sufficient to prevent the depletion of valuedresources, especially 4,eri it is geared toward the protection of profits.Indeed, some have argued that privatization and state regulation ofteninhibit the functioning of effective internal social controls that naturallyemerge between resource users of a co-oiing group.The situation and conclusions outlined by the tragedy of the coninons theoryhave often been found to be inconsistent with human experience of conmonproperty management systeme. Indeed, it is argued that the tragedy of theconmons depends on three fundamental conditions:(1) individuals reist be selfish in their use of cosmon resources and beable to avoid conreinity disapproval that may be directed at suchaction;(2) the rate of resource exploitation mist exceed the rate of resourceproductivity and renewal; and(3) the resource mist be freely open to any and all users.However, ençirical studies show that in many situations of coniion property— 141 —owership these three conditions do not exist. Users of a cce,,rns did not actselfishly in their consunption of resources, but often shared the benefitresources they utilized. As well, in iw,st cases, individuals could not escapepressures’ by the coamnity to conform to socially accepted resourcepractices. This ias particularly true in small coiin&nities dependent on adel Lint ted resource base. Furthernore, resources were not generally exploitedfaster than the rate of replenishmentS. In fact, strong social controls weredeveloped to constrain the overall consuaption of resources needed to ensurea sustainable yield. Md finally, connon omership very rarely allowed forunrestricted access to resources; in noet cases, rights of access wereexclusive to co-oming meehers of a specific group.Furthernore, the tragedy argmnt is premised on t inportant assunpt ions:(1) that all users of coemon property resources function within a westerncapitalist node of thinking, idiere individuals atteupt to maximizeshort-term private gains without regard for the long-term welfare ofthe resources or their coamonity; and(2) that camiunities have little or no influence over the behaviours andresource activities of their ment,ers.However, in many cases, especially in small-scale comuinities and/ortraditional societies, these assptions may not be present. Indeed, it hasbeen argued that even in market societies irEere such assunptions nay be nostlikely to occur, their presence cannot be taken for granted.In short, it seena the tragedy of the contaons argtwnent does not provide anaccurate evaluation of co4uwn property managenant systeme and their— 142 —performance in a market setting. However, thIs theory should not be seen asimrthless, for it has made scam extremely useful contributions to theexamination of land tenure systeam and the issues of natural resource use.For exanple, the tragedy argument drawe attention to potential consequencesfor ubiquitous resources such as air, sun energy, rain, wind and the openseas over Iiich no one has (as yet) made an enforceable exclusive claim ofowership. In view of the pollution and resource contamination probleamfacing many advanced industrial societies, this theory may be useful inpointing out some the dangers associated with the absence of effective socialcontrols over vital resources. As well, this theory has incited an Intensediscussion and examination of the various methods of resource control. Thoughcontrary to its explicit intentions, the tragedy theory may haveinadvertently brought to light many of the failures associated with theprivatization and state control of valued resources. As a result, privateoeiership and external state regulations may become increasingly difficult toJustify. As ll, in the intensifying search to find an effective means ofconserving the world’s declining supply of resources, the benefits of cdnmEnproperty systeam are receiving increasing recognition. Indeed, scam arguethat not only have ccamen property systema played a socially beneficial rolein the history of resource management, they hold great promise in helping toresolve pressing resource probleam of the modern world.It is in this light that the Gitksan Wet’suwet’en proposal for resourcedeveloçrnent gains its particular significance. Increasing nuirters ofobservers, resource policy makers and other interested parties are involvedin a collective effort to develop resource management models able to address— 143 —the growing hportance of resource conservation and sustainable resourcemanagement. The advantages offered through systeme based on social controland local conimmity involvement In resource management are being examinedmere dose1y As well, the demand for social and political equality isplacing increased pressures on centralized power structures ‘thich presentlydominate most western capitalist nations. The significance of ndels such asthat proposed by the Gitksan Wet ‘suwet’ en and the tremendous attention theseidels are currently receiving, may be attributed, at least in part, to theirsocial timing. For indeed, Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en intentions to use theirtraditional management systeme and practices in a market setting clearlyrepresents an alternative to contenporary resource development.Success of the Gitksan Wet’suwet’en Sistem: Practical Conditions andConsiderationsThis thesis has argued that Gitksan Wet’suwet’en intentions to use theirtraditional property systeme and practices as a strategy for resourcemanagement in the contençorary market setting would be beneficial to theGitksan Wet ‘sui*t’en. The theoretical basis of this position has already beenexamined, However, the practical success of (3itksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en intentions,and hence the workability of argmmnts posed by this thesiS, rest on thecondition that the Gitksan Wet’suwet’en are able to maintain effectivecontrol over their traditional resource territories. That is, in order forthe proposed Gitksan Wet ‘suwet’ en resource development strategy to work, theGitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en mist have exclusive omership or, at very least,guaranteed rights of access to lands and resources upon ithlch the Gltksan— 144 —Wet’suwet’en management system wes originally based.This condition arises from the fact that the Gitksan Wet’ suwet’ managementsystem operates on the basis of balanced reciprocity, i.there relationshipsbetween co-equal resource omers are predetermined by the social structure.This system depends on the ability of all parties being able to generatesufficient wealth to satisfy their obligations and responsibilities to otherparticipants. As such, all groups and individuals in the Gltksan Wet’suwet’ensystem are provided with rights of owership, access and managing authorityover resources. The distr ibution of these rights is organized through theassigrmierat of traditional ancestral nmis, *ich are attached to a given setof resources. Thus, the particular rights of any one group or individual areintrinsically bound to specific physical locations (i.e.,territories) andonly Houses and naièholders connected to these locations have legitimaterights to the resources within.For the Gitksan Wet’suwet’en system to continue, all names aiist be filled andall nameholders rmist be able to fulfil their reciprocal obligations andresponsibilities. The failure or inability of some nameholders to contributewill leave gaps in prearranged order of social relationships, and mayseriously disrupt the functioning of the overall system. Maintainingoimership, access and managing authority over their traditional resourceterritories is therefore essential to the success of the proposed GitksanWet’suwet ‘en strategy for contenporary developeent.Due to the influx of British/European settlement and industrial interests in— 145 — -the area over the past three centuries, the maintenance of GitksanWet’suwst’en access and authority over their traditional territories hasbecome increasingly difficult. Host iiortantly, with the introduction of thereserve system, the parasters of Gitksan Wet ‘suwst’ land holdings havebeen reduced to a minute fraction of the territorial area claimed within theancestral boundaries of Gitksan Wet ‘zuet’ en society. Under present tenurearrangements, the Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en are clustered onto a few smell parcelsof land contained within the territories belonging to a small nmter ofnaseholders. The remainder has been claimed by the Crown and placed under thejurisdiction of the provincial arki/or Canadian State. Though the GitksanWet’suwet ‘en are able to exercise scire special rights of acceès within theseCrown lands, st Gitksan Wet ‘sut ‘en resource owners have lost effectivemership and managing authority over their territories.At present, the Gitksan Wet ‘suet’ en are involved in an effort to regaincontrol over their traditional resource territories. Their objective is tohave the external parameters of territories claimed withIn the traditionalGitksan Wet ‘su*t ‘en property system formally recognized and sanctioned bythe legal institutions within the Canadian State. Through this process, theGitksan Wet’suwet’en are seeking legal “ownership” (as defined by the laws ofthe State) of their traditional lands, as well as the re-establishment offull rights of access and managing authority over these lands • The outcome ofpresent Gitksan Wet’suwet’en land claime struggles will have a direct izrpacton the werkability of the proposed Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en strategy forcontençorary development in the market economy. Indeed, without the return ofthe lands traditionally involved in the Gitksan Wet’suwet’en property system,— 146 —the success of this proposed strategy seema unlikely. At the tine of writing,the Gitksan Wet’suet’en land c]aiirs case remains unsettled.In addition to regaining control and authority over their traditionalresource territories, there are other practical considerations which mayinfluence the success of the proposed Gitksan Wet’ suwet ‘en strategy forconteaporary deve1opent. Of particular inportance are those which may arisefrom the anticipated growth of the Gitksan Wet’ suwet ‘en population. Currentsources indicate the Gitksan Wet’suwet’en population presently stands atapproximately 7000 1• Assmaing the Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en follow patternssimilar to that forecast for other Canadian native groups , the populationof Gitksan Wet’suwet’en society nay be expected to reach 13,000-14,000 withinthe next 20-25 years, nearly double its present size. *üle a portion of thismay be due to additions to Indian status resulting from changes in Statelegislation (i.e.,BU1 C—31), the greater part of this increase is expectedto be the result of natural factors.Contenporary den*graphic theory suggests that the anticipated populationincreases for Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en society are typical of developing nations.Based on the dencgraphic transition theory (see Gee, 1990), the GitksanWet’ suwet ‘en appear to have entered the second of three phases of dencgraphictransition. In this phase, generally inproved living conditions significantlyreduce nrtality rates, while the high fertility rates characteristic of thephase preceding the initiation of industrial development (phase one) remain,The result is a rapidly expanding population. However, once development hasbeen on-going for some length of tine, it is argued fertility rates will— 147 —begin to decline. Population growth will then slow doiti. This theory predictsthat in the final phase of transition (phase three), such as thatcharacterizing many western, advanced industrialized nations, populationswill becone stationary, eventually reaching zero growth rates. Thus, ikdlecoflteirçorary Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en developnent may be accoepanied by scmainitial increases in population, according to transition theory, theseincreases would be telTporary.There is also practical evidence to suggest that population increasesanticipated for Gitksan Wet ‘suet ‘en society are consistent with trends foundng other developing nations. Historical patterns indicate that, ingeneral, ithere participation in the market economy has increased, populationshave also increased. However, hat is unclear (as yet) is àiether marketparticipation provides the conditions for population growth or populationgrowth creates the inportance of increased market participation. In eithercase, ithat is clear is that rapid population growth can pose a variety ofproblene, 4ich may interfere with development goals (see Heilbroner, 1975;Gee, 1990; Lipsey et al, 1982; Braudel, 1984; and others).Of particular concern for the Gitksan Wet ‘suwet’ en are those problens i4üchmay be associated with the proposed use of traditional structures and systèmeas a strategy for managing a fixed resource base. The traditional GitksanWet’suwet’en system as originally conceived in a small scale social setting4ere cooperative kinship groups are bound together by reciprocal obligationsand shared co-management responsibilities. However, historical patternsestablished by other developing nations indicate that as population density— 148 —increases, the shared sense of responsibly characteristic of snail-scaleconnunities begins to diminish (see Heflbroner, 1975:283). It is argued thatwith increasing rnmters of people, there is a greater diversification ofvalues and needs. kder these conditions, traditional structures and systens,Eich depend largely on social consensus and informal social controlsadministered by the collective, may be placed under increasing stress.In texas of co-managing a limited resource base, the anticipated growth inthe Gitksan Wet’suwet’en population could present several difficulties. Forexple, greater nariers of peopie means there nay be a greater nunter ofdifferences to overcome in order to reach an operative consensus on resourceissues. s ll, as the volume of people increases, both the level and rangeof development needs this system nust address may be greatly expanded.Increased diversity within the Gitksan Wet esm,etlen population may also leadto reduced connunity cohesion, cteating the possibility of greater internaldivisiveness. It nay be that at a tine ithen expanding populations couldintensify demands on the Gitksan Wetsu*t’en system, the social ingredientsupon iahich this system depends nay be sinultaneously declining. In the past,this situation might have been remedied through a process of group fission,ere the population uld be broken up into smaller independent groups.However, as the resource base of the Gitksan Wet ‘su*et’ en courramity is nowlimited in size, these traditional options are no longer possible. Newlycreated groups uld sinp]y have noere to go.In addition to the potential difficulties created by growing internaldiversity, population increases may pose other practical problens for (3itksan— 149 —Wet ‘suwet ‘en resource deVeIcmient. The traditional Gitksan Wet’ suwet ‘enmanagement system operates through predetermined relationships between afinite set of resource oimers. In the Gitksan Wet’suwet’en system, resourceoership is defined by the hierarchy of ancestral names. There are norelationships to resources outside of these nes. thile it may be iuiossibleto say exactly how many ancestral names the Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en systemcontains, it is perhaps reasonable to expect that with an expandingpopulation, the nunter of resource osaiership positions could eventually beexceeded. Though solutions to this problem might be easily created (e.g.family or group-shared names as opposed to the present situation i’Rere namesare held by single individuals), there remains the difficulty of gainingaccess to “greater” (highly ranked) nases which provide more powerfulcontrols over valuable resources • With increased market participation, thedemand for names which are attached to marketable resources is likely tosignificantly increase. Purthermore, with expanding populations, the nuiriersof people seeking these names may also be expected to increase.tMder these conditions, con,etition for highly ranked names might be greatlyintensified. Beyond the obvious problema of internal conmmity derisivenessthat may arise, the struggle for positions of power within the GitksanWet ‘suwet ‘en resource management system could lead to the loss of potentiallyvaluable participants. Denied access to positions they desire, co*minitymenters with valuable skills and talents may opt out of the traditionalsystem. êile this poses no real danger in terne of lost Gitksan Wet’suwet ‘enresources (as they cannot take resources with them), it may present somedifficulties for contenporary Gitksan Wet’ suwet ‘en resource management. The— 150 —problem is that those participants most likely to depart may be the ones whopossess the greatest qualifications and abilities. That is, individuals withthe most valuable (i.e. ,marketable) skills and talents, and hence the mostuseful in terne of conteuporary Gitksan Wet ‘suwet’ en development endeavours,may be the most likely to exit. Deterred by the intense conpetition and otherinternal difficulties that could result from increased demands on thetraditional Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en system, individuals with the greatestchances for success outside the traditional system may divert their skillsand talents to business opportunities elsewhere. In view of expanding GitksanWet’suwet’en cultural integration with mainstream society and the closeproximity of the market economy, this becomes an increasingly realpossibility.[n short, population increases anticipated for Gitksan Wet’suwet ‘en societycould pose saie difficulties for proposed Gitksan Wet’suwet’en resourcedevelopment in a market setting. However, even in its expanded form, GitksanWet’suwet’en society remains a relatively small scale couwnity. Hence, whilethe problesm identified above may indeed present some real concerns, it isdoubtful that they weuld severely jeopardise the werkability of the proposedGitksan Wet’suwet’en strategy. Instead, they represent sose practicalconsiderations that may useful in the examination of Gitksan Wet’suwet’enintentions to use their traditional structures and systenm as the basis ofcontenporary resource development in the market economy. Of greaterpractical significance for the success of the intended Gitksan Wet’ suwet ‘enstrategy is the return of their traditional resource territories- 151 -A third area of consideration that may influence the practical success of theproposed Gitksan Wet’su*t’en strategy is the presence of non-nativepopulations and other groups with interests connected to traditional GitksanWet’suwet’en territories, It is estimated there are upwards of 30,000non-native people presently residing Within the territories involved intraditional Gitksan Wet’suwat’en management system (Supreme Court of B.C.,1991:11). As iel1, there is a large nuuber of non-native resource ccuanieswith substantial capital investments and interests in natural resourcescontained within Gitksañ Wet’ suwet’en territories. As Justice Allan HcEachernpointed out, C3itksan Wet’su*t’en territories are rich in agricultural,forestry, fishery and mineral resources (see Supreme Court of B.C.,1991:11—12). The presence of non-native parties and interests is thereforelikely to persist. As such, it is not something the Gitksan Wet’suwet’enuld be able to avoid. In short, an iortant ingredient in the rkabilityof the Gitksan wet ‘suwet ‘en proposal for contençorary resource managementuld be its ability to address the needs and concerns of these externalparties.The primary concerns for Gitksan Wet ‘suwat’ en resource management created bythe presence of non-Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en parties surround the issues ofjurisdiction and control over Gltksan Wet’suwet’en resource territories. Inthe Gitksan Wet’ suwet’en traditional system, the central resource managementmechanism is the feasting system. As one Gitksan Wet’suwet’en representativepoints out, the feast system is the Gitksan Wet’suwet’en seat of governeent(see Supreme Court of B.C., 1991:224). It is through this system thatconteivçorary Gitksan Wet’ suwet’ en resource actlvitiá within GitksanWet’suwet’en territories uld be organized and controlled. In terme of— 152 -jurisdiction and control over non-Gitksan Wet ‘suwet’en resource users, theuse of this system may present sce difficulties.First of all, the basic structures of the traditional Gitksan Wet’sut’ensystem originates in a historical context of relative isolation, ennon-Gitksan Wet’ suwet ‘en populations and interests were transitory and not amaJor influence in the practical exercise of managing Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘enresource territories. Within its closed system of pre-defined relationsbetween reciprocal groups, the only status (and hence relations to resource)4dch exists outside Gitksan Wet’suwet’en mauership is that of a visitor. Inaccordance with Gitksan Wet’suwet’en traditional lawe, visitors to GitksanWet ‘suwet ‘en territories imist be protected and their needs rrs]st be addressed.Indeed, conteuçorary representatives of the Gitksan Wet’ suwet ‘en have statedthey do not wish to displace other (non-meirber) resource users with interestsin Gitksan Wet’suwet’en territories and are willing to share their resourceswith “visiting” parties ‘ho do not challenge Gitksan Wet’suwet’en authority(see Cassidy & Dale, 1988:77). However, the Gitksan Wet ‘suet ‘en have alsoasserted that ultimate authority and control over Gitksan Wet’ suwet ‘enterritories and resources nvst remain with Gitksan Wet’suwet’en hereditarychiefs, on behalf of the Gitksan Wet’suwet’en people (ibid:75-79; also seeSupreme Court of B.C., 1991: 16, 214—221). As such, the proposed GitksanWet ‘suwet ‘en management system may not be well-suited to acccnraodate thedemands of permanent non-Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en residential populations andresource colipanies.A second, and related, difficulty .thich may arise in connection with the- 153 -presence of non—Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en populations, is that the proposedGitksan Wet’suwet’en strategy is based on coen property ownership, whereresource users share responsibilities and obligations for the co-managementof the Gitksan Wet’sui*t’en resource base. In order for this strategy towork, fl users of resources in Gitksan Wet’suwet’en territories n.]st conplywith the decisions made by the collective resource-owning group (i.e.,theGitksan Wet ‘suwet’ en House). However, non-natives users of resources withinGitksan Wet’suwet’en territories are not part of this collective group andthus would have no input into its decisions (other than as a visitor).Furthernore, non-native property rights attached to resources involved in thetraditional Gitksan Wet’ suwet ‘en management system are based on institutionsexternal to Gitksan Wet’suwet’en society (e.g.,the provincial or federalStates). This presents the potential difficulty of overlapping jurisdictionsof authority. s a result, the resource activities of non-GitksanWet’suwet’en parties may not be wholly controllable by the GitksanWet’suwet’en, and hence may not be consistent with Gitksan Wet’suwet’enmanagement objectives. What remains unclear is how these issues would bepractically resolved.A central coiiponent of the present Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en land clainm struggleis to re-establish sovereign Jurisdiction over both their traditionalresource territories and all peoples within it. However, even if successfulin this endeavour, without the inplementation of a riutually acknowledgedauthority structure that has effective control over afl users of resourceswithin Gitksan Wet’suwet’en territories, the problem of enforcing proposedGitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en directives and goals for contenporary resource— 154 —management renain The presence of non-Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en parties andinterests within Gitksan Wet’suwat’en territories is therefore an inportantpractical consideration in an attenpt to evaluate the potential success ofthe traditional Gitksan Wet’ suwet’ management system as a strategy forconteiiporary resource development.Closing RemarksThroughout the examination of the Gitksan Wet’suwet’en resource managementsystem and proposed development strategy, it was observed that, in general,the key benefits of this strategy were primarily social, while the majordisadvantages tended to be economic. Indeed, though attentive to economicneeds, the proposed Gitksan Wet’suwet’en strategy is very clearly gearedtowards the attainment of social objectives. This is perhaps its greateststrength. at the Gitksan Wet’suwet ‘en are proposing is the management ofmaterial, resources for the advancement of social goals. From a GitksanWet’auwet’en perspective, participation in the market setting is not an endin itself, but rather a means to an end. The larger significance of theproposed Gitksan Wet’suwet’en model is that it presents a distinct, buthighly viable alternative to the natural resource management strategiescharacteristic of the mainstream market econony. Rooted in an ancientideological tradition where humans are part of the natural harmony of giveand take between equals within a greater whole, the Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘enmodel may offer inportant contributions to the search for solutions togrowing resource probleme in the larger sector.— 155 —And finally, it most be stated that arguents and conclusions advanced Inthis thesis pertain to the proposed Gitksan Wet’suwet’en model, and not tothe actual or perceived resource activities that may occur among the GitksanWet’suwet’en people. It has been argued there may be certain benefits to theGitksan Wet ‘su*t’en associätèd with the use of their traditional values,practices and systema as the basis of a conteeporary strategy for naturalresource developmant in the market econouy. However, this thesiS arguesthese benefits can occur only if the model is actually inpiemanted asproposed. This thesis does y say that the ndel will be iuplenented exactlyas proposed. Furthermore, this thesis does not argue that those resourceactivities E1ch actually occur ng the Gitksan Wet’suwet’en are theconsequence of this proposed model. Indeed there may be a discrepancy betweenthe theoretical possibilities suggested by the model itself and thepractical manifestations of hmian atteuts to use it. In other rds, there- may be a distinction between 1tthat is proposed ar ‘ihat actual occurs. Theparanmters of the argments and conclusions presented in this thesis aretherefore restricted to the Gitksan Wet’suwet’en model, as a theoreticalconstruction and an approach to resource management . This thesis does notconnent on the resource activities that may actually occur or have alreadyoccurred nq the Gitksan Wet’ suwet’ enThe scenario presented in this thesis is therefore an ideal state. It is anargusent about 4at Gitksan Wet’suwet’en resource management might look likeif the proposed resource model is inpiemented to its fullest. As such, thisthesis does not pretend to provide an accurate portrayal or prediction of thepractical realities which could emerge concerning Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en— 156 —resource develo*nent. Indeed, like any other resource nx1el, the ability ofthe Gitksan Wet’suwet’en model to produce the affects or achieve the goalsdesired of it will be a function of how well the Gitksan Wet’suwet’en ithis model. In short, the possibility of achieving the potential benefitsoffered by the Gitksan Wet’suwet ‘en model greatly depends on the peopleoperating this model.In addition to the practical conditions and considerations already discussed,the success of the proposed Gitksan Wet’suwet ‘en resource model may besignificantly influenced by several factors existing within conteqoraryGitksan Wet’suwet’en society. One obvious factor may be the level of skilland ability the Gitkswi Wet ‘suwet ‘en are able to bring to the positionswithin their resource nanagenmnt system. In the contenporary context, thislargely depends on the quality of besiness education, induettial expertiseand marketing knowledge the Gitksan Wet’suwet’en are able to develop oreffectively utilize. A factor of even greater inportance and one that mayultimately separate Gitksan Wet’suwet’en resource initiatives from those ofmainstreem market players, is the degree of coninitment and adherence by theGitksan Wet’suwet’en to their om traditional philosophy, values, practicesand systeme governing resource use. That is to say, even if the GitksanWet’suwet’en are able to regain effective control over their traditionalresource territories, acccniiulate a growing population and ensure residentnon-native coirpl iance with traditional Gitksan Wet’ suwet ‘en resource goals,the success of the proposed Gitksan Wet’suwet’en model will be equallyinfluenced by the ability of the Gitksan Wet’suwet’en to maintain effectivesocial control over resource activities by meniiers of their o society.— 157 —Clearly, the Gitksan Wet’suwet’en ndel offers real promise in this capacity,but ultimately it is the Gitksan Wet’sut’en people using this ndel thatwill bring forth the potential benefits it holds.In closing, this author recognizes t;here may be a wide variety of othervariables and factors involved in the ccnteuorary managenent of naturalresources thich have not been aidressed by this thesis but ikdch couldsignificantly alter the outcome of proposed Oitksan Wet ‘suwet’ en intentionsfor resource develoçnent in a market setting. At the time of writing, theproposed. Gitksan Wet ‘suwet’en model is exactly that: a proposal. Iziplementingthis proposal will involve a highly ccqilex process. Indeed, a result ofGitksan Wet ‘suwet’ efforts towards this endeavour, moch may be learned andgained by all concerned.— 158 —Nt - Introductionkcess ari permission to use this unpublished source i’as provided tone through the Gitksan t,suwet’en Tribal Council, also knom as the Councilof Gitksan Wet’suwet’en Hereditary C2iiefs.159 -Notes— Capter OneThe reference to property as a “thing” in this quotation does notreflect conteiporary sociological thought on the concept of “property”. It isused here as part of an effort by the Gitksan Wet ‘su*t ‘en to address the keydistinction bebmen their o traditional perspective of human relationshipswith nature and the one they perceive to be held by participants ofmainstream market society. In the context of this quotation, the GitksanWet’suwet’en argue that business-oriented industry and governments view theland and its resources as “real estate”, as something humans are removed orseparated from. They argue that when the land becomes “property”, it becomesa “thing” which can be possessed, bought and sold according to human desires.The central point they are trying to make here is that this view of the landas real estate stands in direct opposition to the traditional GitksanWet ‘su’et’ en perspective where humans cannot be detached from the lands theyoccupy, but instead are inherent co,onents QL. it. The Gitksan Wet’sui*t’enconcept of property will be discussed in more detail later, see CliapterThree, pages 90-92.The articulation of Gitksan Wet’suwet’en territories (mapping),inc]nding the identification of individual resource tracts, is based largelyon sacred traditional myths (see Cove, 1982:14). An inortant ingredient inthe accounts of adventures bet*en supernatural beings and GitksanWet’suwet’en ancestors during the mythical beginnings of GitksanWet’su.et’eri society is the disclose of established (sacred) boundaries ofspecific territories of claim. The paraneters of these territories areidentified using natural divisions such as rivers, streane, mountains,valleys and other features found in the physical terrain. For the GitksanWet’su*t’en, these myths represent the official record of territoriallocations and boundaries. As such they play a central role in theconteorary mapping process, firstly, by providing the neans by whichspecific Gitksan Wet’suwet’en territories and boundaries axe identified(i.e., using natural divisions). Secondly, these myths supply none rationalefor the manner in Gitksan Wet’suwet’en territories are organized intomanagement units C i . e. ,nailtiple resource zones referred to as “tersheds”).21n his examination of traditional Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en land use,Daly notes that:The Gitksan and Wet’suwet’en system of oiership and authority isclosely linked to the seasonal round of economic activities which havefor a very long tine occupied the peoples and informed their values,lais and rldview. The calendar of economic activities in the Gitksanand Wet ‘suwet ‘en territories has been geared to the harvesting 0species necessary for sustaining human life. This harvesting isgenerally carried out when these species are in their prime. Thecalendar of activities is based upon the changing round of the seasons,and the cycles of birth and growth on the land and wateri.ays (1988:362).- 160Daly also points out that thi1e many Gitksan Wet’suwet’en now depend onwege-labouring werk and other market-oriented activities to supportthemeelves, “the general tra3ectory of the annual economic cycle has remainedin place” (1988:364,363). Indeed, market activities are “...all fitted intothe seasonal round...” (ibid:364). Daly adds further that:In general, an annual round of stumier fishing, fall berry-picking andhunting, and winter trapping, is pattern of life r1hiCh all Gitksan andWet’suwet’en cherish and düch many participate through the changingseasons (1988:366—7).‘In the encounters with supernatural beings or “spirits” (naxnox)during the mythical beginnings of Gitksan Wet’su*t’en society, certainGitksan Wet • suwet’ en ancestors became designated “trustees” of specificterritories originally inhabited (or claimed) by these supernatural beings.These ancestors were given both the responsibility and the necessaryspiritual powers to secure the safety and well-being of all elements of the4ole (tummn and non—human) of that territory (see Sequin,1984:xiv; also seeHarris, 1974). These ancestral names have been passed down through thegenerations of Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en society, through a process ofreincarnation (examined in more detail later). Subsequent holders(i.ë.,reincarnates) of these nass assuse the responsibilities and powers ofthe original relationship, i4iich they then administer on behalf of GitksanWet ‘suwet ‘en society as a ithole (see mane, 1973-30).“A more detailed examination of the process involved will be providedin Ciapter ¶1% (the process of sanction and validation).“The traditional Gitksan Wet’suwet’en notion of property “ownership”is aligned with Gitksan Wet’suwet’en philosophical principles of stewerdshipand reciprocal trust relationships discussed earlier. As such it takes theform of “title” to territory rather than the kind outright ownership connonlyperceived in the market context.‘The four Gitksan Wet’suwet’en Houses are: Wolf, Frog, Eagle andFireweed (see Sequin, 1984:x).“House property includes various things such as hunting territories,berry-picking grounds, fishing spots, traplines, and in recent years, miningand tinter sites (Mane,1973:7;also see Cove,1982:5). Other propertiesinclude songs, myths, stories, dances, and crests • All of these things play asignificant but varied role in the Gitksan Wet’suwet’en use and managementof natural resources.“The assignment of individuals to a House requires someclarification. klam (1973) states that people are assigned at birth to theirmother’s House. However, other sources indicate that as children, individuals- -are actually meu*ers of their father’s House. Mills (1988:401-2) states thata child is the responsibility of their father’s House where they will livefrom the time of birth until adolescence. %4hen they are eligible to beginassuming positions of inheritance (usually at the age of puberty), they“travel” to their “oem” House, their mother’s House. Here they will assumemeiership under the House authority of their maternal uncle. In this sensethen, individuals in Gitksan Wet’suwet’en society are “assigned” to theirmother’s House and this is indeed something acknowledged at birth. Ho1*ver,this assigrmeflt does not come into active affect until individuals reach thestage of active participation in the Gitksan Wet’sui*t’en social system.Mama’ statement is therefore not wrong, but Mills’ statement is moreaccurate. This issue of House mentership, including the shift from one’spaternal to maternal House, has great inportance for the distribution ofproperty rights and public authority over Gitksan Wet’suwet’en resources tobe discussed later.‘°In the Gitksan Wet’su*t’en tradition, “lineages” are made up ofpeople who can claim a mother’s mother in comecn (see Mans, 1973:27).The notion of “related” families used here refers to perceivedaffinial ties based not only on biological relationships but also thoseestablished through aboriginal practices of adoption and GitksanWet’suiet’en beliefs iii reincarnation (see ama,1973-27,30).Unable to n a chief as a grandparent, these lineages are peoplewho have no crests, . . . people who rk for the chief (Mama, 1973:38). Assuch, they cannot assume “title names”, the greater names, of a House whichprovide control over its resource territories. Their status in the GitksanWet ‘suwet’en system is restricted to that afforded by lesser names of aHouse (see next footnote ).The ancestral names of a House may be divided into t basiccategories: greater names and lesser names • “Greater names” are namesassociated with special supernatural pc*rs (naxnox) and provide controllingtitle to resource territories (to be discussed later). These names areusually held by manters of a chiefly lineage of a House and may be assumedonly upon reaching adulthood. “Lesser names” are those names holding variable(though lesser) degrees of supernatural por but generally are notassociated with significant control over resource territories. These namesare usually held by adult menters of non-chiefly lineages who make up thebulk of general House meiership and/or the resident (paternal) children of aHouse prior to their movement to their oi (maternal) House (see earlierfootnote Pt 10). The inportance of this distinction beten greater and lessernames will become apparent in later discussions.To the extent that all ancestral ns provide access to Gitksan- .162 -Wet’suwet’en resources, all nameholders have some measure of authority andcontrol over Gitksan Wet’ suwet’ resources. However, this section Willfocus on the special rights of authority and control held by “greater”nameholders, as it is they who are principle managers of resourceterritories. The authority and powers of lesser nameholders will be discussedunder general House mantership.z8&cording to Gitksan Wet’suwet’en beliefs in reincarnation, thespirits of decreased (maternal) grandparents “come back” in younger mantersof a lineage (Mama,1973:27 & 30). In an effort to uphold the eternalcoiimitnents and obligations established within the original ancestralrelationship, these reincarnates are supposed to take on the sase names andprivileges they had before.1’Criteria for entry into the general mentership of GitksanWet ‘suwet’en Houses will be examined in nre detail in Chapter Three, pages1However, these rights of access are subiect to the control andauthority of persons holding title (i.e.,”greater” name-holders) to thespecific properties and territories (see Mame,1973:17,35;also seeCove,1982:6) which will be discussed in nre detail later.aFor the Gitksan Wet’suwet’en, the significance of assigningancestral names, including baby names, is that they locate a person withinthe eternal order of things. In the process of assuming a name, a person is“healed”, and thereby transformed into “real people”. People who have nonames cannot be linked to the past. They have not been healed and aretherefore not real. They are seen as deviant, existing outside the naturalorder and meral condition to which Gitksan Wet’suwet’en society is bound(see Halpin,1984:59—60; Cove, 1982:9—12).As well, the receipt of ancestral names has a profound social iuçortance. Asone author notes, “In the minds of the elder...,nass are of ultimate socialvalue. “Names make you heavy”. After one has received an inportant n, itis no longer appropriate to “flit around”, to behave irresponsibly” (Miller,1984:59). Once a name has been acquired, the holder anst live up to itsexpectations or suffer great criticism. This is especially true for thoseholding chiefly names. Chiefs jrist earn their names “...by being “hardrking”, “kind”, “helping”, and by “feeding the people” (ibid). Uien a chiefreceives a nasa he “..jmst be able to connand wealth and to distribute it tothe benefit of his tribesman and to the renom of his people”. For in theGitksan Wet’suwet’en tradition, it is the chiefly name—holders who mistass.une the responsibility of ensuring the well-being of all inhabitants ofGitksan Wet’suwet’en lands (human and non-human alike) as wes originallyprovided by the supernatural beings from whom these name-holders wereinherited. This is seen not only as a social responsibility but also as a- 163 -moral obligation.“The use of the term “covrlnon property” is surrounded by considerablecontroversy and debate. This issue, as i*l1 as the Gitksan Wet’suwet’enconcept of cc* on property, will be discussed in Chapter Three.201n sane cases, particularly among high-ranking nenters of thechiefly lineages, an individual may hold several names sinultaneously. Asnaves are titles (i.e., rights) to territories and resources, the wealth andpower of nultiple naiveholders is significantly increased (dane,l973:42; alsosee Hiller,1984:38). However, as nameholders are ultimately responsible forthe overall welfare of these territories and all their inhabitants (human andnon-human alike), the assvmption of nultiple naves is seen as a tremendousburden. Thus, as one author notes, it is something most people try to put offor avoid if at all possible (see Mane, 1973:42).22For a good descriptive account of a feast in Gitksan Wet’suwet’ensociety, see Daly 1988, Chapter VIII, pages 545-643. This accountsillustrates the manner in thich every aspect of Gitksan Wet’ suwet ‘enconminity life is draim into the activity of feasting.22AS mentioned earlier, names are transferred through a process ofreincarnation. As the presence of a reincarnated spirit may be “recognized”or “suspected” in several individuals, there nay be several candidates toinherit any one nave. As a result, covTpetition between potential nave holdersoften develops (kimie,1973:30,32—3). Selection of the “best” candidate doesnot occur until these individuals reach maturity. At this tine, the finaldecision is made by high ranking lineage merrbers, 4ao will assess eachcandidate based on the quality of their training as well as their ability tomake a suitable contribution to the coun&vnity. counts of ancestral contactwith supernatural beings are often an integral part of assuming a nave (ibid;Sequin,1984:xiv,117; also see Cove,1982:11). However, individuals also haveto earn the names they seek through “...generous, industrious and moralbehaviour” (see Halpin,1984:63; also see Cove,1982:l1). Thus as one authorargues:Traditional Tsmishian Ci.e.,Gitksan Wet’suwet’erJ social structureentodies a fundamental paradox: naves, property, and spiritual powerswere both inherited and merited. . . .One had to earn the right toinherit what wes already his or hers by birth (Halpin,1984:63).22This is why a substantial portion of the gifts a House distributesat a feast mist be derived from the natural resources of the territories heldby the hosting House (see Daly, 1988:285). For it is these gifts that signifylegitimate title of a House to specific resources territories. As well, these“gifts from the land” testify to effective access to and control of theseresource territories by the House and naneholders attached to them.- 164 -24 stories, songs and qyt.hs are the exclusive property of aparticular House, only the “oixing” House can publicly present them. Noperson or House is permitted to use (i.e.,present) the stories, songs andmyths belonging to another House.- 165Notes - Chapter TThe most significant adjustments to the Gttksan Wet’sui*t’en systemcentre around the assigrwent of ancestral name—titles. For exairple, in orderto ensure House naims are protected from “outsiders” (i.e. ,non-Houseae,*ers), Miller notes that it is common practice for ment,ers of noblelineages to bear mere than one name, for men to hold men’s names for atime, or for a respectful child to be borro*d by another crest to hold oneof their nass (1984:38). These practices are also noted among otherTsinmhian groups (see klame,1973:104, Halpin, 1984:62—4). Miller also pointsout that in modern feasts, high-titled names, formerly held only by noblesnoted for their unblemished reputations, are often occupied by coamimityelders. He argues that this shift of elders, many of whom have beencoimoners, into the positions of nobles is a strategy i.arked out to deal withthe consequences of depopulation (1984:33). Other strategies have also beenobserved. For exariple, where a lineage is unable to supply a “rthy”successor to a name-title (most often due to resident population shortages),a suitable holder may be “adopted” from another lineage or House (see Sequin,1984: 114—15). Typically, a chief uld adopt one of his owi children fromtheir maternal House or a niece or nephew from an allied paternal House (seekmim,1973:32; Halpin, 1984:62—3, & others). These adjustments in namingpractices are vital to the maintenance of the Gitksan Wet’suwet’en system.For as one author explains, “Only if these names continue to be held can thesystem continue... There mast al’eys aliys be people in the Houses for thereciprocity to continue” (Maie,l73:97).2Po].anyi (1975) notes that prior to the existence of continuousmarkets which only became possible with the adoption of the gold standard asthe basis of exchange, the production of goods for market exchange *relimited to what could be absorbed by localized or sporadic markets. Underthese conditions, the rate Of development s held to that needed to satisfylocalized demands and hence mach slower.- 166 -Notes- diaUter Three‘As outlined in C1apter One, in Gitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en society, theparticular set of properties and resources to which each individual hasrights is enbodied in the ancestral name(s) they hold. See pages 30-31 ofthis thesis for nre discussion.2kcording to Gitksan Wet’ suwet ‘en beliefs, ancestral names chose theindividual they desire to hold their neme. That is, people do not “take”ancestral nasEs; the names take the people (see Miller, 1984:29; also seeSequin, 1984:110-133). kknowledging the choice of the n, a person is saidto “put on the name”. Through this process, the individual is perceived asbeing “born” of the territory and hence inherits a particular set of propertyrights within the territory their inhabits.In nest cases, “outsiders” adopted into a House are menters ofGitksan Wet ‘suwet ‘en society that belong to another House. However, thiscategory would also include individuals from outside Gitksan Wet’su*t’ensociety, for exasple, non-natives who become the spouse of a GitksanWet’suwet’en House meeter or who are (ceremenially) adopted into the (3itksanWet’suwet’en coneemity. In all cases, however, these individuals are“naturalized” through the assignment of a name (from the appropriateexoganus House), and as such are brought into the traditional GitksanWet’ suwet ‘en property system.‘The definition of Gitksan Wet’suwet’en connion property as “ccmsrunalproperty” is the product of social scientific (anthropological) evaluationand classification, and may not be consistent with the Gitksan Wet’suwet’eninterpretation of land ownership. Indeed, from the practical life perspectiveof menters of Gitksan Wet’suwet’en society, the ownership of GitksanWet’suwet’en territories is not generally perceived as coemminal. Instead,Gitksan Wet’suwet’en territories are viewed as the property of specificchiefs (high ranking titled naneho].ders). This situation wes noted by JusticeAllan NcEachern in his judgesent on the Gitksan Wet’suwet’en land claim:I do not understand the plaintiffs to allege or claim any “people-wide”collective or ccunamál ownership interest in any of the Gitksan orWet’suwet’en territories, that is to say each chief claime ownership ofspecific territory or territories, and none of them claim any interestin any other other territory (Supreme Court of B.C., 1991:15).However, as this thesis is a social scientific exercise in applied sociology,the definition of Gitksan Wet’suwet’en conmen property (as comminal property)asstuned by this thesis will remain consistent with academic interpretations.In the two instances where some over fishing did seem to haveoccurred, both were in the gillnet sectors of the comnercial salnon fisheries(one in Lake Erie and the other on the Nass River in northern British- 167 -Colunbia) where cut-throat conpetition between highly mobile non-Nativefishermen me social controls inpossible to enforce.These authors also note that while contact with the market econonyhas sometimes led hunting and gathering societies to overuse their resourcesin order to acquire market products, this is not a consequence of conmono.aiership per se.7The term “negative” fluctuation will be used here to refer to thesituation when market demand for a particular type of good(s) (e.g., salmon,raw logs) declines. 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