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Negotiating the nature of nature : a cultural models approach to meaning, motivation and cooperative… Washbrook, Kevin 1996

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NEGOTIATING THE NATURE OF NATURE: A CULTURAL MODELS APPROACH TO MEANING, MOTIVATION AND COOPERATIVE RESOURCE MANAGEMENT IN THE YUKON, by KEVIN WASHBROOK B.A., The University of British Columbia, 1994 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS IN THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Anthropology and Sociology) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA August 1996 ® Kevin Washbrook, 1996 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date -6 (2/88) Abstract Yukon land claims settlements mandate that First Nations and the territorial government cooperatively manage renewable resources. As these groups are brought together in decision making, developing an understanding of culturally specific constructions of the non-human world and the ways in which these motivate managers will be necessary if conflict in management is to be avoided. This paper explores the usefulness of a cognitive approach for clarifying the ways in which shared cultural models for the environment motivate individuals to pursue different actions in resource management. In the Yukon, important, motivating models for First Nations and non-First Nations individuals appear to be, respectively, that Nature is a set of social relationships and Nature is a system akin to the economy. The influence of these models upon resource management is examined through the case study of an interaction over catch-and-release fishing regulations. Understanding the operation of these models in the north, where First Nations are situated as embedded communities in the larger non-Native society, requires a framework such as that provided by a distributive model of culture. This paper uses such a model to examine the production, dissemination and patterns of distribution of schemas for Nature in the north, and the ways in which local and scientific knowledge compliment and conflict in the negotiation of meaning. This examination points out that models for Nature are used not only to interpret the non-human world, but also to mark identity and to resist or promote incorporation into the larger society. Though it cannot provide complete explanations for behaviour or decision making, a cultural models approach to cross-cultural resource management is capable of providing insight into the motivations which underlie the actions of managers and resource users. More generally, the approach provides a framework within which to examine the distribution and contestation of meaning in society, and the ways in which these meanings motivate individuals. As a result, it allows anthropology to study society and culture without creating false dichotomies between individual and social meaning and without relying upon conceptualizations of culture as an overly coherent system. 11 Table of Contents Abstract ii Table of Contents iii INTRODUCTION 1 Part One: Models for Nature Anthropological approaches to the environment, decision making, and motivation 6 A cognitive approach to meaning and motivation 9 Models for Nature 14 Models in management: conflict over catch-and-release 19 Models in management: negotiating competing understandings of Nature 23 Part Two: Models in society The production and distribution of models 27 The dissemination of models at the local level 31 Local knowledge, scientific knowledge 33 Translation and identity: the politicization of models 36 Part Three: Conclusions Management through models? 38 Individuals, meaning, and society 41 Bibliography 43 Appendix 1 50 iii 1 Introduction In July of 1994, on a hot, sunny day at a hunting camp on the shore of Teslin Lake in the Yukon, Native Elders from various First Nations gathered to share their perspectives on justice, youth and the environment. This Elders' conference was moderated by a facilitator and the proceedings are recorded by the Council for Yukon Indians as part of its Elders Documentation Project. Late in the afternoon a fisheries biologist from the territorial government asked permission to address the group to explain the purpose of recently established sport fishing regulations. He presented an argument to the Elders which encouraged them to support the live-release of fish of certain sizes and species which government biologists had determined were crucial to the reproduction and long-term maintenance of the fish resource. The biologist made his argument in large part through reference to controlled scientific studies, which he claimed show that, using these methods, trout have been caught and released up to 12 times in other locations without harm to the fish. The assembled Elders made comments that suggested they were not in support of live-release fishing, and asked what appeared to me to be sceptical questions of these scientific studies, especially regarding their effects on the fish. At one point an Elder stated that "God put them [the fish] there to eat" - a comment which was met with wide spread murmurs of agreement among the audience. After further commentary by the biologist, another Elder stood and related part of a traditional narrative about a boy who insulted fish and as a result had to live with them. Many of those Elders present were no doubt directly familiar with this narrative, as its discussion again brought nods of agreement and murmurs of assent from the audience. None of the assembled Elders expressed support for the new regulations, and the exchange wound down as people began to ask other unrelated questions about fish and fishing. Eventually the biologist thanked the Elders for their time and left. It appeared that they had agreed to disagree on the topic of catch-and-release fishing that afternoon. Witnessing this exchange on the second day of a month long visit to the Yukon left me with questions that I would return to repeatedly during the next year. What was going on during the 2 exchange between the biologist and the Elders at Teslin Lake? Why wouldn't the Elders show support for a government policy which aimed to conserve fish stocks? Do Natives and non-Natives in the north talk about Nature and relationships with Nature in different ways, and if so, is this reflected in different approaches to decision making about resource management? Was there an anthropological approach that could be used to make sense of this interaction? The chance to investigate these questions more thoroughly arose the following summer, when I returned to the Yukon to undertake a research project with Mundessa Development Corporation (MDC), the economic development corporation for the Ta'an Kwach'an First Nation. I initially approached Mundessa in the fall of 1994 with a research proposal because their production of video recordings on such topics as toxic contamination and risk assessment (Ta 'an Environmental Summit, M D C 1994), and Native perspectives on renewable resource management {Living with Mother Earth, M D C 1993) suggested that they were also interested in understanding how individuals and groups from different cultural backgrounds represent and translate knowledge about proper relationships with Nature. Through conversations over the next several months I learned that the Ta'an were specifically interested in documenting the traditional resource management skills and knowledge of their own people, and in discovering ways to make the legitimacy of that knowledge known to the non-Native society. As a result of these early discussions, we agreed that, along with a member of the Ta'an community, I would interview a number of individuals - environmentalists, resource users, Native and non-Native government representatives, and Native Elders - about their opinions on and experiences with the impact of land claims settlements and self-government agreements on cooperative renewable resource management in the Yukon.1 The information gleaned from these interviews 'Hereafter I will refer to the interviews arising from this project as MDC (Mundessa Development Corporation) research project interview no. n. The first time I quote from an informant I will identify them with a brief biographical sketch, such as "female Native Elder", "male representative of environmental group", etc. The recordings and transcripts from these interviews are held by Mundessa Development Corporation in Whitehorse, and access to them is at their discretion. 3 would give the Ta'an Kwach'an government the chance to benefit from the experience of others in planning for their own post-land claims resource management, and it would give me the chance to hear individuals from a number of different backgrounds talk indirectly about their understandings of relationships with Nature. Together with information collected from a variety of other sources - the dialogue of public hearings, and the written and video publications of government, environmental and First Nations organizations - these interviews would allow me to investigate the different ways Natives and non-Natives talked about Nature and ways of relating to Nature, and to explore whether these different perspectives motivated different approaches to resource management. While the goals of my own research were not as pragmatic as those of Mundessa, they were not exclusively academic musings, either; understanding the dynamics of cross-cultural interaction, particularly as it relates to resource management, is a project that has greatly increased in importance in the Yukon in the last few years. Previously, it has not mattered whether government resource managers could explain their policies to First Nations, or interpret how northern Natives responded to those policies; neither would there have been much need for Yukon First Nations to demonstrate their competence as resource managers to the territorial government. The Yukon government had the power to impose management plans based on its own, Western understandings of how the world works, and First Nations had limited influence over the development of those policies. However, recent court cases and treaty settlements mean that Yukon First Nations 2 will have increasing input 2These include the Teslin Tlingit, Kaska, Ta'an Kwach'an, Champagne/Aishihik, Kluane, Na-cho N 'ya ' k Dun, Vuntut Gwich' in, Selkirk, Carcross Tagish, Kwanlin Dun, Ross River Dena, Liard, Tr'ondek Hwech'in (Dawson), Tsawlnjik Dun (Little Salmon/Carmacks), and White River First Nations. These First Nations can be distinguished and grouped along a number of lines, including language, but the key to social organization for resource use traditionally (and to a lesser extent today, with land claims settlements), is membership in moieties and matrilineal descent groups which cross present political boundaries. Furthermore, these Nations share a number of common experiences including traditional modes of subsistence focused on fishing, hunting and gathering, and widely shared oral mythologies. While it is problematic to talk of "pan-Native" perspectives on the environment or anything else, it would also be difficult to talk specifically of a "Ta'an" perspective, or a "Kluane" perspective, unless it was in reference to the policies of a particular First Nation's government. Therefore, unless I am referring directly to the writings or words of specific individuals or groups, I wi l l talk in terms of Yukon "First Nations" and "Natives" generally. Similarly, when I am making generalizations about individuals or groups other than those of First Nations background I wil l use the somewhat cumbersome terms "non-Native" or "western-(managers, governments, etc.)." 4 into renewable resource management decisions in the north. As a result, increasing understanding of the models used by Native and non-Native resource managers (and the ways in which these motivate decision making and behaviour) has become an urgent priority, as these groups are increasingly brought together in cooperative management regimes. In effect, these changes in resource management decision making structures have created new public arenas for debates over resource management. Decision making is no longer the sole domain of the politicians, and the technicians and managers of the territorial government bureaucracy, but has been opened up to increased input from both local wildlife users and First Nation governments. The constructions of the environment, and management - of Nature and relationships to Nature 3 - used by managers in the Yukon for so long are now open to renegotiation. Questioning the construction of meanings for Nature, and how individuals are motivated by those meanings, is an increasingly urgent task everywhere, given the ecological crises of the late 20th century. Clarifying how people make sense of the non-human world will be an important step in evaluating the appropriateness of methods people use to manage their relationship to that world. What remains to be seen is whether or not there is an anthropological approach that can help us to increase our understandings of these issues. While anthropology has had an enduring interest in trying to explain how groups of people interact with their physical surroundings, it has not applied the same intensity of analysis to the attempt to understand how individuals, situated as they are in webs of social meaning, are motivated by some part of that meaning to make decisions about living in the 3 In this paper I wi l l use the term "Nature" to refer to the shared, socially constructed understandings people have for the physical, non-human world. When discussing the nonhuman world without reference to specific (ie., Native or non-Native) cultural constructions of it, I wil l use the terms "environment", "physical" and "non-human" world interchangeably. However, it's important to note that even given such acultural terms, we can still only know the world through our cultural constructions. Whether these lenses be the romanticism of some environmentalists, the empiricism of some scientists, or the culturally distinct traditions of different Native groups, we can only know the non-human world as a human construction. Nonetheless, while foundational knowledge about the reality of the physical world may not be directly available, approximate, predictable and testable understandings of it can be captured using the scientific method. While ecological anthropology has used the scientific method to attempt an understanding of the physical world that is comparative and extendable to different cultural localities, it must remain aware that these understandings, while a useful analytical tool, are Western constructions based on the traditions of science. world. Part of my own investigation of cross-cultural issues in resource management in the Yukon would have to involve selecting an anthropological approach that could address this relationship between individual motivation and shared social meaning. In effect, the role I saw for my research was to explore, through a case study, the complexities of cooperative resource management in the Yukon by drawing upon anthropological theory that was suited to the investigation of human understandings of the environment. In the first part of this paper I will begin by summarizing the problems with traditional anthropological analyses of human-environmental relationships, decision making and motivation. I will then suggest a method for investigating the different constructions of environment and management that individuals and groups internalize, and by which they are motivated to pursue goals, by drawing upon recent developments in cognitive anthropology, particularly the concept of cultural models.4 Next I will provide evidence for the presence of culturally distinct models for Nature in the talk of Native and non-Native individuals in the Yukon, and describe a resource management issue over which these different models have come into conflict: the development of freshwater sports fisheries management plans that emphasize catch-and-release fishing. While the results of my research are limited, they suggest that there are culturally distinct models for Nature and resource management at work in the Yukon, and that the cultural models approach can give researchers a way to understand how different individuals and groups come to find these models meaningful and motivating. In part two of this paper I will attempt to place these models for Nature into their larger social context by drawing upon a conceptualization of culture as distributed meaning in order to raise a number of related questions about the production and dissemination of meaning. First I will examine where and by whom models for the environment and resource management are produced and disseminated. Next I will look at how they are distributed within communities and interest groups in 4 Following the work of Holland and Quinn (1987), D'Andrade and Strauss (1992) and similar writers in the cognitive-interpretive subfield of anthropology, I use the term models here to refer to simplified mental images of how the world works, and not to the complex mathematical models utilized by economists, quantitative anthropologists and others. 6 society (neighbours, co-workers, First Nations, resource users, government managers, environmentalists, etc.), and among individuals in groups. Following this I will look at the ways in which models function in their larger social context as markers of identity and of resistance to incorporation in the larger society. This broader investigation suggests that while models motivate decision making on resource management, they also play a role in motivating, and legitimating, other social and political actions as well. Their operation can only be understood with reference to the social and political contexts in which they operate. Finally, in part three of this paper I will briefly explore the implications of this research for investigations of cross cultural resource management, and for anthropological approaches to shared meaning and motivation in general. PART ONE: MODELS FOR NATURE Anthropological approaches to the environment, decision making, and motivation. Anthropology has had an enduring interest in studying the ways groups of people interact with the physical, nonhuman environment in which they live. Historically, the field has approached this topic by trying to explain this relationship from a material perspective, and from the earliest searches for material explanations for social formations (for instance Marx cited in Harris 1979), through the most recent formulations of ecological anthropology (see for instance Moran 1990), anthropology has investigated the relationship between the material world and social formations with increasing sophistication. However, at the same time, the sub-fields of anthropology which focus on these questions have been charged with relying upon measures of adaptation and fitness to the neglect of "the inner workings of cultures" (Ortner 1984:132). Basso (1988:23) has aptly described this phenomenon as "the reluctance of cultural ecologists to deal openly and in close detail with the symbolic attributes of human environments and the effects of environmental constructions on patterns of social action." In other words, as Orlove suggests, in much of ecologically-focused anthropology "values and preferences [are] explained by being reduced to the ecological functions they serve" (1980:242, see also Moran 1990:16, Keesing 1974:82. 7 If we accept that societies are at best only adequately - rather than precisely - adapted to their environments (as we understand adaptation today in anthropology and biology), then social solutions to the problem of making a living in the world cannot be explained exclusively in terms of direct responses to material constraints. In other words, the "riddles of culture" cannot be solved simply by seeking explanation for them in terms of the most efficient use of an environment or set of resources (cf Harris 1974). Ideational factors such as values and beliefs must be taken into consideration as surely as material factors such as resource availability, territoriality and demographics when trying to make sense of how people make a living in the world. Of course societies are composed of numerous individuals all trying to make their own way through the world, and ecological anthropology has also been charged with depending on functionalist or systems arguments while neglecting consideration of the motivations of these actors (Ortner 1984).5 Those anthropological approaches which do attempt to get at individual decision making have also come in for criticism. Certainly the approaches favoured by the textual turn in anthropology - that culture, and social action, being coherent systems of symbols or shared knowledge akin to a text, can be read and assessed independent of the original intentions and motivations of the actors involved (Ricouer 1971) - will not be sufficient to allow us to get at the processes by which individuals are motivated to make decisions or act in the world. Furthermore, the lack of evidence for these coherent systems (the eloquent interpretations of Geertz aside) has led to their dismissal as "an act of faith" on the part of anthropologists (D'Andrade 1995:249) and as a "spurious integration" of the "situational shreds and patches" of culture (Keesing 1974:88, 1987b:165). Similarly, approaches such as microeconomic modelling (see the discussion in Orlove 1980 and Ortner 1984), which propose mechanistic models to account for the factors which rational actors 5 Marcus and Cushman (1982), on the other hand, absolved ecological anthropology of its neglect of the individual because of the sophistication of its functionalist and systemic arguments. This dismissal of the significance of cognition and epistemology to the study of human interaction with the non-human world is indicative, in my opinion, of the lack of cross-over between ideational and material approaches in anthropology in general. weigh when making decisions, also do not get at the personal and social beliefs which influence individual motivation and decision making (see also Rappaport 1979, Keesing 1974). More often, in my opinion, the pragmatic categories found in these approaches better reflect the investigator's interpretive framework than the actor's.6 Furthermore, recent research into how people assess risk and make decisions suggests that individuals are not rational thinkers, but rather are guided by social and psychological short cuts in reasoning that are decidedly irrational (Moore 1979)/ I do not mean to suggest through the foregoing discussion that we do away with ecological anthropology in favour of a purely ideational approach to human-environmental interactions; on the contrary, the field has certainly helped to demonstrate the importance of considering ecosystemic and demographic constraints in the study of human action. However, while it has concerned itself with issues of scientific explanation and measurement, it has neglected issues of meaning, the individual, and power that have rightfully become central to investigations in other areas of anthropology. Ecological anthropology needs to take into consideration that, first, the study of a community's relationship to the physical world must account for the cultural construction of that world; and second, the study of those relationships to the physical world must consider the ways in which individuals internalize and are motivated by those cultural constructions when they make decisions. In other words, what needs to be added to the study of how material constraints influence the relationship between societies and their environments is an approach which addresses how shared 6 For example Brower (1988) uses a reductionist approach to decision making about the environment which focuses on a limited number of predetermined factors such as territoriality, sentimentality, etc. In my opinion, such glossing over of the complexity of individual understandings is a misguided quest for measurability. 'Approaches to individual decision making which borrow from constructs found in psychology of motivation based on universal human drives or needs are equally unsatisfying. It would not be feasible to measure the significance of all the possible drives which may motivate behaviour, nor would it be possible to determine which drives, in which combination, are responsible for a motivation. Furthermore, universal drive approaches ignore the culturally specific nature of motivation and social action, and their exclusive focus on the psychology of the individual overlooks the shared and learned nature of many of the meanings which people find motivating (D'Andrade 1992:27, Strauss 1992a:3). 9 meaning influences those relationships as well.8 I think that this approach is provided in part by-recent developments in cognitive anthropology - specifically in the study of cultural models, which will be discussed next, and in the conceptualization of culture as the distribution of meanings within society, a topic which will be explored in part two. A cognitive approach to meaning and motivation. Early efforts to get at processes of cognition - such as componential analysis, the various ethnosciences, and the attempts at "cultural grammars" of the 1960's (for instance Tyler 1969, Frake 1962) - were widely criticized for searching for explicit language-based rules in cognition and culture, and for proposing models of culture based on composite, "idealized informants" (Keesing 1987a:371, Keesing 1974:79). The promise held out for these early cognitive approaches declined as awareness of the complex nature of knowledge and cognition increased (Murray 1982); eventually the field was dismissed for only having analysed "trivial domains" (Keesing 1972) in "decontextualized settings" (Berreman 1964). Nonetheless, the failures of early cognitive anthropology helped to highlight the weaknesses of models of culture as simple systems of shared knowledge or rules for behaviour, and of the individual as a participant in culture who shares equal access to its knowledge and rules. By problematizing the accepted models of culture of the day, the field raised questions about the production and distribution of meaning in society, and the nature of the relationship between individual and social knowledge, that are still being explored today. Current thinking on cognitive development and on the organization of information in the mind suggests that understandings of how the world works are not learned or stored in the form of detailed descriptions or sets of rules; instead, as Strauss says, "regularities in behaviour reflect cognitive patterns unconsciously extracted from repeated experience" (Rummelhart et al cited in Strauss 1992a: 11-12). Common experiences build strong patterns of linkages, or schemas, in the mind that are 8Of course ecological anthropology can also inform cognitive anthropology, because meaning making also follows from action, and ideational constructions of the world cannot completely ignore the material reality of that world. Shared meaning is not always the only or most important factor motivating social action. 10 easily recalled, as well as easily applied to new, similar experiences. These simplified schemas for the operation of the world allow us to grasp causal connections as well as to visualize complex processes. Schemas also provide us with models for living in the world; they facilitate our interpretation of experience, and motivate us to take actions and pursue goals (Quinn and Holland 1987:25-26).9 Though North American "folk models" for the mind generally characterize thinking as a speech-like process (D'Andrade 1987), cognitive science now suggests that our simplified mental schemas are pre-linguistic, and are not held in the mind as word-and-sentence-like chains. That there is no inevitable connexion between concepts and words is shown by the now well-established fact that concepts can and do exist independently of language. This is made clear in the many examples of conceptual thinking in pre-linguistic children.... Children have the concept 'house' before they can say the word.... Therefore, language is not essential for conceptual thought. (Bloch 1990:185) However, while these neural networks formed from repeated experiences are not language based, we do use language to talk about them (or, as Bloch says, they are "unpacked into linear sentential sequences which can then be put into words" 1990:192). Repacking pre-linguistic mental schemas into language allows them to be shared between members of social groups more easily then if they were only transmitted through observation and imitation of behaviour. Schemas that are more or less widely shared are referred to as cultural models (Holland and Quinn 1987). They may be transmitted through a variety of genres in different societies: in narrative, proverbs, expert advice, environmental impact statements, in myth or morality tales, etc. Cultural models may be metaphorically reapplied to new domains, or metonymically reapplied from stereotypical examples to broader domains (what Sperber has called our "metarepresentational ability" 1985:84). Because of this ability we are able to understand new experience in terms of things we already know, and we are able to persuade others to accept or reject new concepts by relating them to 9 According to Quinn and Holland (1987:19-21), the schema concept is an advancement over the concept of social scripts in the attempt to understand how individuals make sense of their world, because it has the ability to conceptualize the communication and learning of shared social knowledge as well as personally acquired knowledge (cf. Abelson 1981). The schema approach also incorporates the work done by Lakoff and Johnson (1980) on metaphor. 11 models that they already hold. Cultural models are used by individuals to make sense of their shared social world, and they are also used to persuade others to adopt one's own, or a groups' view of the world (Quinn and Holland 1987). The cultural models concept provides a framework within which to examine the links between individual motivation and social meaning, a topic often neglected in anthropology. How do individuals internalize socially shared meanings and derive from them motivations for action? Strauss suggests that individuals internalize and link together schemas or cultural models in different ways based on their life experiences, their emotional reactions to those experiences, and the order in which they have those experiences (1992a: 12). Undoubtedly, personality traits and dispositions also play a role in the different ways in which we make use of shared models. In any case, no two people utilize exactly the same set of models for living in the world. Furthermore, Strauss says, "cultural models can have motivational force because these models not only label and describe the world but also set forth goals (both conscious and unconscious) and elicit or include desires" (1992a:3). The motivational power of models also varies from individual to individual, as models only become individually motivating when they are internalized through repeated exposure and made meaningful through personal experience. What may be a life guiding model to one may only be a superficially acknowledged or incoherent set of ideas with no motivational power to another, if those ideas are not somehow linked to personal experience and sense of self, are not clearly transmitted, or are in conflict with previously acquired models that already hold motivational power (Holland 1992, Quinn 1992, Strauss 1992b). In addition, D'Andrade (1992) has pointed out that models are organized hierarchically; our models for specific situations such as "getting in line" are only employed when necessary to facilitate higher order schemas such as "flying on a plane" or "going to a movie." Our day to day activities may be motivated by broad, abstract models such as "being a good member of society," "being self sufficient," or "being a breadwinner," which are difficult to articulate because of the way they 12 permeate all of one's understanding, as the natural order of things (Strauss 1992b). Other activities, such as resource management, may utilize models which are only evoked in specific contexts. Sometimes, our activities are guided by contradictory higher level models, as Quinn has pointed out in her study of how American women understand marriage both in terms of "equality" and "wifely duty" in different contexts (Quinn 1992). In sum, a cultural models approach allows us to investigate how meanings become motivating for the individual in their social context, without the need to mechanistically abstract predetermined psychological drives from social action. The cultural models concept is compatible with a model for culture which de-emphasizes coherent symbol systems and emphasizes the contestation, negotiation, and contradiction of meanings (Strauss 1992a), and the unequal social distribution of knowledge (Keesing 1987a, 1987b). Furthermore, the approach has advantages over other approaches to the study of meaning in society because, rather than relying upon simplified models of coherent cultural systems, it allows for the possibility that individuals simultaneously hold multiple, contradictory, domain specific meanings. Generally speaking, the method of this approach has been described as "many interviews with few informants". Informants are asked either to generate hypotheses about social phenomena, or to evaluate researcher generated hypotheses about phenomena (Cole 1988). This approach involves the development of a dialogue between ethnographer and informant, during which the informant's guiding schema are gradually revealed. A dialogical approach acknowledges and makes explicit use of the encounter between subject and anthropologist in developing understanding, an method which has long been advocated as a route towards more legitimate ethnographic interpretation (see for instance Marcus and Cushman 1982, Myer 1988). While dialogical approaches to social - environmental relationships have been used by some researchers - for example in Brody's (1988) and Ridington's (1988) work on northern foraging societies (see also Lee 1992) - approaches to this topic which incorporate an explicit interest in cultural models are lacking. The volumes edited by Holland and Quinn (1987), and D'Andrade and Strauss (1992) have 13 focused on studies of models at work in mainstream North American society; as a result, the approach has been criticised for a lack of cross-cultural perspective. One reviewer argues that in cultural models research there is a "collusion between theory, method and sample": culture is argued to be experienced individually, the methodological focus is on interviewing individuals, and research is concentrated in a highly individualistic society (White 1993). However, examples of the application of the approach in other settings, though few, are available. Cruikshank, for example, has pointed out that in Northern Athapaskan societies there exist clear models for gendered behaviour (1990), and for the role of individuals in the community (1992).10 Clearly there is a need to test the usefulness of the approach for the study of meaning and motivation in different cultural settings. White (1993) suggests that we may find that in some settings, motivation, as well as meaning, is both individually and socially constructed. The cultural models approach has been criticized on a methodological basis for, among other things, relying upon small numbers of informants (Harrison 1989), ignoring discourse pragmatics (Crapanzano 1988), focusing investigations on trivial domains, producing results more reflective of artifacts of elicitation than cognition, and for showing a "curious innocence of the material world" (Crick 1989, Keesing 1987a, Mook 1994). Many of these charges are reminiscent of those directed at the ethnoscience of an earlier era of cognitive anthropology, and they suggest that the field is in need of the refinement of method and the more precise definition of concepts that can only come from further on the ground ethnographic studies, and from a consideration of the constraints imposed by the environment upon individuals and groups. Attempting to utilize the cultural models approach to analyse social action presents the researcher with a set of more fundamental problems. First of all, in the context of an interview, it is 10Cruikshank also notes that some of these models - such as roles for women in Northern Athapaskan societies -complement those in Western society (1990) whereas others - such as roles for men or for the relation of the individual to society - conflict with those in Western society(1992:35). Furthermore, her analysis of the differences between Native and non-Native narratives of the involvement of individuals in the Klondike gold rush provide good examples of how cultural models both motivate action and guide the interpretation of events (Cruikshank 1992). 14 difficult for the investigator to know if models referred to by informants actually motivate their actions, or if they are consciously used by informants to legitimize actions after the fact through reference to accepted or expected explanations (Lutz 1992, Leavitt 1994). This suggests that the study of cultural models must take into consideration the contexts - historic, economic, political, social and personal -in which they are used, and the ways in which factors such as class, power and social structure effect their pragmatic use (White 1993, Leavitt 1994, Myers 1988:274).11 It is also necessary for cultural models research to be linked to a reflexive appreciation of the influence that researchers and research settings have upon self representation. Secondly, if cultural models are pre-linguistic as Bloch and others suggest, then attempting to elicit them in interviews presents a problem. Asking individuals to articulate concepts that are held mentally in the form of pre-linguistic neural networks means that some of the nuances of those concepts will be lost through their reformulation into words and sentences, their verbal transmission, and their interpretation by the interviewer in terms of his or her own mental models. In other words, while cultural models may be widely shared, and may sometimes even be expressible in explicit verbal statements, their fundamentally pre-linguistic nature means that verbal discussion can only ever give us an approximation of what those models actually mean to individuals. Bloch (1990) has suggested that anthropologists need to return to a long advocated method -- participant observation - if they are to really make sense of how people use cultural models to pursue goals and act in the world. He advocates a course of action reminiscent of ethnoscientists who sought to understand the "cultural grammars" necessary to operate as members of the societies they studied. Because of its long term character, involving continuous and intimate contact with those whom we study, participant observation makes us learn the procedures which these people have themselves learned and enables us to check up on whether we are learning properly by observing our improving ability to cope in the field with daily tasks, including social tasks, as fast as our informants. (Bloch 1990:194) 1 1 In my short stay in the north, for instance, I had no way of knowing for sure if the things people told me reflected models that actually motivated their behaviour, what they thought I wanted to hear, what they wanted others to hear through me, etc. Of course repeated references to models by the same individual, intersecting references to the same models by a variety of individuals, observations and samples of text together provide more evidence that models do exist and do play a role in thinking and acting. 15 Bloch's argument is a compelling one, and it cautions us against overestimating the ability of research interviewing to 'get at' cognition. However, long-term participant observation is no longer always a feasible option for researchers (or the people being researched), and though behaviour may be the best indicator of whether or not models operate as goals, interviewing, cautiously utilized, will undoubtedly continue to be a research tool of choice. Models for Nature. What is the evidence for cultural models for the environment, and for relationships with the environment, in the talk of people in the north? Given the short time frame of my research, the approach I have taken to this question has been to generate my own hypotheses about potential models, and then to search for them in various sources: in the responses of individuals interviewed in the research project with Mundessa, in public debate, in video recordings produced by various northern groups on environmental issues, in Yukon newspaper articles and letters to the editor, and in numerous governmental and non-governmental publications. At the time of my research (1995), the cooperative resource management structures outlined in treaty settlements had only just been established in the Yukon, and it was not possible to observe their public meetings, (though I was able to meet with a member of the "pre-implementation" Management Board).12 Furthermore, the period during which I was able to do research in the Yukon coincided with the short summer season there, when many people are off in the bush engaged in field work or resource activities, and at which time public consultation and debate in general grinds to a halt. As a result, the investigation presented here does not reflect an attempt to actively elicit models, or test hypotheses about models, with interviewees; rather, it is an attempt to discover evidence that such models are present, and are used by individuals to talk about renewable resource management in the Yukon. There are ample writings on the topic of relationships with Nature - for both Native and Western societies - from which to generate potential culture models. I have taken as my starting point 12This board was set up by the Yukon Government and the Council for Yukon Indians to sort out the operating procedures of the co-management boards which are being created through land claims agreements. 16 the assumption, to paraphrase Jordanova (1986), that we understand Nature as the naturalization of the social order. This assumption is of course not a new one - Rousseau described it as The blunder made by those who, in reasoning on the state of nature, always import into it ideas gathered in a state of society, (quoted in Harvey 1993:14) 1 3 Various authors (for instance Barbour 1980) have presented historiographies for the development of Western models for Nature, of which there are obviously many in operation: Gaia, a machine, a hostile world to be subdued, etc. For the purposes of this paper I will focus solely on a model which I think is reflective of the majority tradition in Western society and provides motivation for mainstream approaches to resource management planning: Nature is a complex system akin to the economy (but which is separate from that economy, and from human society). According to the model, resource management is similar to economic management: intervention and technology can stimulate conservation and substitution of resources. The model constructs the non-human world as an objectively knowable mechanism, a source of raw materials and a waste sink for the economy. Human appropriation of the non-human world is legitimized through the rhetoric of intellectual or evolutionary superiority, and the methods of objective science (Rees 1995). The descriptions of the world views of northern hunting societies outlined by many ethnographers provide implicit models for Native relationships with the non-human world. Some ethnographers have suggested that these world views/models arise in response to a basic philosophical issue facing hunting societies: confronting the reality of sharing the world with other non-human beings they depend on for survival, but cannot control (Cruikshank 1978, see also Brightman 1993). These models can also be considered to reflect widespread social values of respect for autonomy and 13This importation has also played an important role in more recent, scientific studies of the non-human world. For instance, Haraway (1988) has shown that primatology has been an "inherently political discourse", often developed as a materialist narrative on production and reproduction, and Landau (1984) has made a similar case for the study of evolution (see also Hofstader 1944). For better or worse, this is no doubt the case for ecology as well, at witnessed by claims to its status as "subversive science." 17 egalitarianism (Rushforth 1992, Scollon and Scollon 1981). In northern First Nations the most common model would appear to be that: Nature is a set of reciprocal social relationships (of which human social relationships are a subset). Relating to the non-human world is similar to relating to fellow members of society: Nature - animals, plants, rocks, etc. - is composed of willful social agents whose autonomy must be respected, and with whom one must interact according to appropriate social formulae. Treating animals with respect - in its culturally specific embodiment - means that when killed their consciousness will return to new animal bodies, and they will again be available to humans. Human appropriation of the non-human world is legitimized through the rhetoric of reciprocity and careful adherence to ritual-in-everyday-activity (Tanner 1979, Nelson 1983, Feit 1988, Brightman 1993, Fiennup-Riordan 1990).14 I do not want to suggest that these are the only models for Nature in operation in Western or Native communities, or, furthermore, that it is always realistic to speak of completely distinct Native or non-Native models. The models provided here represent an obvious simplification of the social reality of the north, and I will return to the complexity of the operation of cultural models in their broader social context in the second part of this paper. What I am trying to outline here are models that are of particular origin in Native and non-Native communities, that are long standing, and that could play roles in motivating particular approaches to renewable resource management. 1 4 There is evidence to suggest that some aspects of this model have changed over the last century. Brightman (1993), among others, has argued that during the early and pre-contact periods, respect for animals used as food in Northern Athapaskan societies was shown by killing all that you encountered, because to do otherwise was to reject the gift of the animal that was being offered to you, either by the animal itself or its game master. Human action was able to influence the local availability of animals (as animals which were not respected would go elsewhere), but not their abundance, as animal bodies were infinitely renewable (Fiennup Riordan 1990). Some authors have documented the continuing and possibly motivating existence of this model in the talk of Elders today (see for instance Fiennup Riordan 1990, Morrow and Hensel 1992). However, for many First Nation's people in the Yukon today respecting animals embodies "using all of the animal that you kill", and "killing only what you need" (MDC 1993), as well as not handling animals excessively, either during or apart from the food quest. In other words, notions of respect for some seem to have shifted to not wasting animals, while continuing to also reflect a concern with not unduly affecting animals' autonomy. This shift may reflect the influence of western models for Nature upon Native models, the greater salience of certain aspects of the Native model today, or a combination of both. During my brief research period in the Yukon I was unable to determine the distribution of the "respecting means not wasting" version of this model in the First Nation's community. It seemed, however, that respect was spoken of this way by a wide variety of individuals - young and old, men and women, etc. 18 Are the models outlined above present in the talk of people in the north? The following examples suggest that the answer to this question is yes. The first is from a video called Living with Mother Earth, produced by a Mundessa Development Corporation. In the video a male Elder member of a First Nation talks about relationships with animals: Everything has a spirit, the animals, the vegetation, the minerals, and you got to respect them. Don't say anything nasty about squirrels or rabbits or anything, because you hurt them. It is the same as when you say nasty things to another person, they tell you that person has inner feelings, and you might hurt his feelings. That's what happens when you say something nasty about an animal, or about vegetation, or minerals. (MDC 1991) The second example is from a video called Living with Abundance, produced by Northern Native Broadcasting Corporation. In this example a male biologist working for the Territorial government discusses capturing a caribou in order to put on a radio collar for monitoring: When we release this caribou she's going to be able to reunite with the band we found her with within a half hour from now. If she had a calf she'd be able to reunite with that calf. And that's because we haven't done anything to disturb the equilibrium of this caribou other than this immediate trauma. We're generally trying to minimize handling time in that effort. And we're assured then, that we have a caribou out there that's giving us perfectly typical normal behaviour of what the caribou herd does. (Northern Native Broadcasting Corporation 1991) The first speaker was concerned with being careful not to hurt the feelings of non-human creatures, implying a consideration of them as conscious social beings. The second speaker was concerned with being careful not to introduce new variables into a study of caribou behaviour, suggesting to me a consideration of these animals as part of a complex dynamic system. Of course more often models are not explicitly expressed, but are implied through repeated references to common themes or situations in narrative or in response to questioning, or are revealed in behaviour. For example, in interviews several Native Elders made reference to the need to be respectful of proper relationships with game animals, and to not bother these animals unnecessarily. In response to my question regarding what would happen if one was not careful in their treatment of animals, one Elder woman responded like this: Well, you can't catch them. Yeah. Just like they know when you are coming to them. 19 They go away. (MDC research project interview no. 1) Another Elder woman, when asked why a moose would walk right into a hunting camp, where it was subsequently shot, said this: Its like something given to you, they give up to you. No, they don't give up to wolf, they go to people more. You know, the wolf chase them like that, and they're going to go right straight to you. Then you shoot them, right there, you kill it. The wolf there they eat them alive. (MDC research project interview no. 2) The concept that animals represent a gift which must be accepted when offered might also explain the actions of a Native fisher with whom I had the opportunity to spend a weekend at his fish camp. Though his smokehouse held a fair number of King Salmon and he repeatedly stated that he only wanted to catch Sockeye from now on, each time we went to the river he caught all of the King Salmon that came within reach of his gaff. When I asked on our return why we were once again carrying heavy King salmon up to the smokehouse, I was given a wordless shrug in reply. In contrast, a male representative of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans spoke of the non-human world in terms that were more reflective of the concept of Nature as a collection of resources. So I think that one of the largest challenges facing us, and that's all of us right now, is trying to get in a system in the future that people can live with, but at the same time will ensure that the people who follow us are going to have land and water and animals that they can use. (MDC research project interview no. 3) I think that these examples suggest that the two broad models that I have outlined are present in the talk of Natives and non-Natives in the Yukon. It is important to keep in mind, however, that my research represents only the most cursory of surveys, and provides no insights into the distribution of models by age, gender, education, context, etc. A more thorough investigation would be necessary to comment in detail on the distribution of models among different communities in the north. I will return to a discussion of this topic in part two of the paper. Models in management: conflict over catch-and-release. If we accept that these models for Nature are present in the talk of Natives and non-Natives, the question remains, do they motivate decision making about resource management? I think that the 20 somewhat antagonistic discussion of catch-and-release fishing at Teslin Lake that I described at the start of this paper is explicable, in part, as a clash of incompatible approaches to resource management.based in conflicting models for relating to Nature. It is worth examining the catch-and-release issue in more detail to better understand the dynamics of the exchange at Teslin Lake. Put simply, catch-and-release fishing (or live-release, as it is referred to in government literature) involves the use of barbless hooks and fishing and handling methods that facilitate catching, reeling in and releasing fish quickly with a minimum of contact and struggle. Catch-and-release fishing regulations have been introduced in the territory over the last several years on selected water systems. In two systems - one which holds the only native population of Rainbow trout in the Yukon, and the other the only successfully reproducing stocked population - all trout caught must be released. In a number of other systems, for several species, fish of a certain size must be released (Thompson 1996). Government sport fishing regulations say the following about catch-and-release fishing: It will ensure that heavily fished lakes maintain a supply of large, trophy-size fish. These large fish are the most effective spawners. The regulations also say that: The real value of live-release fishing is that it lets you choose the fish you are going to kill and eat. (Yukon Renewable Resources 1995) The department, in conjunction with the Yukon Fish and Game Association, has produced a video to promote catch-and-release fishing. Near the beginning of the video the narrator says: Because of the significant economic and recreational benefits related to this resource, fish stocks in the Yukon must be maintained at a high level. Later he adds: Trophy sized fish are in short supply. The plan is to reduce fish harvests without limiting angling opportunities. And when talking about Rainbow trout: These colourful fish are known for their scrappy fight and spectacular aerial displays. (Yukon Fish and Game Association 1991) 21 I think talk promoting catch-and-release reflects an underlying model for Nature as a system akin to the economy. Rainbow trout are a resource which is in great demand but of relatively fixed supply. By separating the "catch" from the "kill" managers can effectively increase the supply of fish catching opportunities and better meet the demand of sports fishers for a trout fishing experience. The views expressed by Native elders on catch-and-release fishing in the following quotes are quite different from those above, and reflect, I think, a differing underlying model for relating to Nature. One Elder man says: The fish comes to you as a gift. It's offering its life to you. And if you don't accept it, that's an insult. Sooner or later the fish will stop coming to you. (Yukon Renewable Resources 1995:21) And another Elder woman says: Another one I don't like, White people they [are] fishing, they catch nice trout, take hook out and throw it back in the water. That's not right. And the same person, on the inability to catch fish now, says: They just play around with the hook. They know hook. I guess that really hurts, eh, when they took the hook out of them. (MDC research project interview no. 2) The different perspectives on catch-and-release fishing expressed in the quotes above can also be seen in the "pre-implementation" Management Board debate over the introduction of catch-and-release regulations to the territory, as described by a male, Native member of the board: As a matter of fact it is a real good issue because that's something that came into the Yukon in the last eight or ten years. We never used to do that one before. Nobody, resident fishers, Native fishers did that. So anyway, they brought it, of course it was pushed on us, should I say pushed or say we were educated by the government how this was a great thing, how it was going to save the world, so anyway, I never ever caught fish and let 'em go before, when I caught fish I eat 'em, that's why I fish. Then when it came before the board I thought, I just had notions that something was funny here, we're finally in a position now to confront the whole issue and ask some questions. Anyway, it went before the board three times, and that was discussion only, no decisions. Just trying to figure, and everybody could see that there was something we weren't catching on. What twigged, was this little Indian, from out in the bush, he got up one day and he said, this was the third meeting we had, and each time we talked about two hours, that's about six hours of discussion and nobody got anywhere. And finally this fella, he says, "I want to just ask one question," he says, "let's find out what the hell we're doing here," he says. "What are we doing to the 22 fish?" And so everybody says, "What do you mean, what are we doing to the fish?" And he says, "Well, you tell me, what are we doing to these fish, we catch 'em and we let them go. What are you doing with them?" Then all of a sudden the conversation took a new twist. We said "What are we doing with the fish?" And all of a sudden everybody started talking. And somebody says, "Are we playing with the fish?" And the Indian says, "I thought that's what was happening, but I didn't want to say so." He says, "Is that what you guys are doing, are you playing with the fish?" And of course he's looking at all the White fellas. And I started laughing, and he sat there looking kind of stupid, and I says "I'm not laughing at you," cause the whole board started laughing, because, here we did, we found out we were playing with the fish. I said, "We're not laughing at you, we're laughing because that is the truth, and this is total insanity. (MDC research project interview no. 4) In light of the above quotes, it would appear that the Elders and the biologist at Teslin Lake were operating with different, mutually exclusive models for how Nature works. For the Elders, catching and releasing fish would not conserve them, it would merely offend them and cause them to go elsewhere; for the biologist, keeping all of the fish that offer themselves to you would not ensure their return in the future, it would mean instead that the resource was not being efficiently harvested according to age and size. The biologist's emphasis on studies which show that fish can be caught and released numerous times without harm made no positive impression on his audience because it ignored several important concerns of the assembled Elders: handling fish unnecessarily is disrespectful, as is not accepting the gift of an animal's life when it is offered to you. In fact, this is exactly the point that was emphasized by the Elder's reference to the narrative known as Mouldy Head. In summary, it is about a boy who offends the Salmon people by refusing to eat a fish head that has mould on it. As a result, he is forced to spend an extended sojourn with the Salmon people. Eventually he returns to his people with the spawning salmon, is caught, and returns to human form, after which he explains to humans how to maintain proper, respectful relationships with fish.15 The Elder's use of a narrative to highlight the importance of respecting fish did not move the biologist because he did not conceive of fish as agents in reciprocal social relationships with humans, nor, I assume, was he accustomed to receiving important information embedded in narrative. The traditional narrative is a genre in longstanding use among Yukon First Nations, and the Cruikshank (1990) gives several examples and an analysis of the complete narrative. 23 model implied to the Elders at Teslin Lake through reference to Mouldy Head appears to have been better to think with than the one implied in the biologist's reference to scientific studies. In part, the biologist at Teslin Lake could not persuade the group that catch-and-release fishing was a good idea because, first of all, he could not appeal to their shared model for how Nature works, and for how people should properly relate to it, and secondly, he was not able to utilize the right genre within which to transmit his argument to the audience.16 In short, I would argue that Native and non-Native perspectives on managing/relating to Rainbow Trout are motivated by culturally distinct underlying models for relating to Nature.17 Models in management: negotiating competing understandings of Nature. Similar arguments could be given for cultural model conflicts over other renewable resource management issues, both in terms of compliance with existing regulations and in terms of the cooperative development of new policies and research strategies: caribou collaring for radio monitoring, predator control programs, fish counting for escapement, seasonal restrictions on hunting game, etc. As I mentioned in the introduction, whether or not game managers could understand the models northern Natives use for understanding or relating to Nature has been, until recently, a moot point in the Yukon, because government resource managers had the power to impose management plans based on their own, Western models for Nature, and Natives had little input into or influence 1 6 While it is beyond the scope of the present paper, analysis of the encounter at Teslin Lake would be enriched by exploring the differences in discourse strategies employed by both groups in the discussion, including dialect choices, prosody, sequencing strategies, ways of talking about the future, and other verbal and non-verbal aspects of persuasive communication (see for instance Scollon and Scollon 1981, Gumperz 1982). Though the discussion at Teslin Lake was entirely in English, many authors have pointed out that serious problems of communication can occur even when two parties share the same grammar and lexicon, if those parties rely upon culturally distinct conventions for signalling speaker intent, foregrounded or backgrounded information, the end of speaker turns, etc. When miscommunication occurs between such groups, they may not realize, because they share a common vocabulary, that the problem is one of language (Gumperz 1982:177; see also Leap 1993). There were of course other issues besides the transmission of models or discourse strategies that also influenced the encounter at Teslin Lake, and these wi l l be returned to in part two of the paper. 17See Morrow and Hensel 1990 and Fiennup-Riordan 1990 for a discussion of the motivating power of similar models in use among the Yup ' ik of Alaska. 24 over government management policy.18 Increasingly, however, court cases and treaty settlements have recognized the rights of First Nations to have input into resource management decisions.19 In the Yukon, the Umbrella Final Agreement (UFA) between the Canadian and Yukon governments and the governments of the fourteen Yukon First Nations called for the development of a Yukon wide Fish and Wildlife Management Board and Renewable Resource Councils for the traditional territories of the 14 First Nations. Both the board and the councils will be composed of equal numbers of individuals appointed by the local First Nation and by the territorial government (UFA 1993:16.6, 16.7). The board and councils are charged with making recommendations to the Department of Renewable Resources and to the First Nations for the management of wildlife (the board on issues of territorial importance, the council on issues of regional importance - Yukon Renewable Resources 1994:102), and with providing a forum for public input into wildlife management planning. While designated in the UFA as "the primary instrument for local renewable resources management" (UFA 1993:16.6.1), the exact relationship between the board, councils and governments is not explicitly defined and has not yet fully developed. For instance, while the UFA says that the . Minister of Renewable Resources has ultimate jurisdiction for the management of wildlife (UFA 1993:16.3.1), and that "it is intended that there not be any duplication in the public management of 18See appendix 1 for a brief summary of the development of renewable resource legislation and its effects upon First Nations in the Yukon prior to the negotiation of recent treaties. 1 9 In fact, court decisions such as that in the Sparrow case mean that Yukon Natives engaged in the aboriginal food fishery are not obliged to follow slot limits (restrictions on the size of fish that may be kept) and other mandatory release policies as outlined in the Yukon Sports Fishing Regulations (Yukon Renewable Resources 1995). However, the Department of Renewable Resources does encourage First Nations to pursue a size and species restricted harvest, (personal communication, Yukon Fisheries Biologist, 1996), and Yukon First Nations do have the ability to influence the development of sports fishing regulations by proposing recommendations to the Minister of Renewable Resources through the Fish and Wildlife Management Board and the Renewable Resource Councils, so it is likely the two groups wi l l continue to debate fisheries policy. Other aboriginal rights to harvest are not so well defined as those for fishing, and as the Umbrella Final Agreement encourages all parties to participate in a single renewable resource management system for Natives and non-Natives (ie., First Nations wil l not set up completely separate management programs on their settlement lands - Yukon Renewable Resources 1994:102), resource management disputes similar to the one over catch-and-release policy are possible in the future. Notzke (1994) summarizes similar developments in First Nations resource management resulting from court cases and treaty settlements in other regions of the country. 25 Fish and Wildlife" (UFA 1993:16.3.15), the agreement also states that Yukon First Nations "may manage local populations of Fish and Wildlife within Settlement Land, to the extent coordination with other Fish and Wildlife management programs is not considered necessary by the Board" (UFA 1993: While the influence of these boards and councils over decision making is yet to be revealed in practice, the opinion of most Yukonners seems to be that they will play an important role in resource management. As an male employee of the Department of Renewable Resources said, [The Minister] is only going to disagree with a board or council at his political peril. And it's not going to happen very often. If reasonable people get good information and consider an issue properly, they're going to make really good decisions and recommendations that I think are going to be respected throughout. (MDC research project interview no. 5) These cross-cultural management bodies bring together Native and non-Native resource managers who share both a pragmatic interest in the use of the non-human world and a common vocabulary to describe it, but who also hold culturally distinct understandings of both the nature and operation of the non-human world, and the underlying meanings of that vocabulary. As a result, problems may arise when they attempt to engage in cooperative management and decision making.20 The potential for such problems is embedded in the texts of recent land claims settlements in the Yukon. For example, the Final Agreement between the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations (CAFN) and the Canadian and Yukon governments repeatedly uses the word management in the chapter titled "Fish and Wildlife." While many other terms are given formal definitions in chapters, this term is only developed in the text, as in "the management and harvesting of Fish, Wildlife and their habitats shall be governed by the principles of conservation" (CAFN 16:3.1). Conservation is 20Similar problems occurred when I interviewed Native Elders on their understandings of Nature. After one interview with an Elder (which I had found fascinating and, I thought, understandable), a Ta'an community member who had sat in commented, "there is so much more to what she said." Despite my efforts to immerse myself in the literature on the topic, from my questions and my comments and her understanding of the Elder's narrative references it was obvious to that person that I had not understood all that was implied by the Elder's words. 26 not defined in this chapter at all.21 Morrow and Hensel have suggested that such under-defined concepts as conservation and management can be successfully utilized in cross-cultural discussion to the extent that the meanings of the terms for the two groups are somewhat overlapping, and "mutually reified" (1992:42; see also Gallagher 1988, Gallagher 1992). However, when such terms are used to justify actions, differences in meaning become more obvious, and the terms are opened to debate and conflict. Such terms become the points at which competing models for Nature are contested. According to Morrow and Hensel, the outcome of struggles to determine 'official' definitions of terms such as conservation are usually decided in favour of the more politically powerful of the social groups involved (1992:42). In the Alaskan case study that they describe, that power is decidedly in the hands of non-Native resource managers: English supplies the conceptual categories — the idiom and the jargon — which are at the crux of the decision making process - [As a result] Alaska Natives are pressured to defend their practices in a manner consonant with approved patterns of Western discourse and logic. (1992:38) The under-defined terms found in the C A F N self-government agreement caution that a similar process of contesting definitions and defending practices lies ahead for Yukon First Nations. Developing clearer ideas of what concepts like Nature and terms like management and respect mean for Natives and non-Natives in the Yukon, and of how those meanings motivate these groups, will be an essential step towards enabling co-management to go forward.22 Developing management systems wherein First 21In an earlier section of the agreement, in reference to Kluane Nation Park conservation is defined as "the management of the cultural and natural resources of the Park to ensure the protection of the Fish and Wildlife and their habitat and the natural evolution of the ecosystem" (CAFN Schedule A 2.0). 22At present the Department of Renewable Resources, often in conjunction with First Nations, does do some interviewing of Yukon Natives on specific resource management issues such as hunting closures, population trends and predator management (see for instance Allen 1994, Johnson 1994 and Williams 1995). The reports resulting from these interviews vary in the extent to which they take into consideration broader cultural perspectives on resource management and relationships with Nature. In my opinion the use of such survey interviews on specific topics should be approached with caution. Survey studies reflect the emphasis on context-free instrumental knowledge that forms the basis of management in Western society (Killingsworth and Palmer 1992:165), where it is assumed that there is agreement on the underlying meaning of concepts such as management and resources. While incorporating the detailed knowledge of Aboriginal peoples in resource management planning is a positive step towards increasing First Nations input into that planning, extracting this knowledge from its cultural context in order to inform non-Native management practices may lead to that knowledge being misunderstood or misused if individuals sensitive to that context are not involved in the planning itself. 27 Nations are able to help determine how those meanings influence practice will be essential as well, if co-management is to succeed. Central to creating these systems will be the acceptance by all parties that culturally distinct approaches to resource management are not simply a matter of differences in objective, instrumental knowledge about hunting and fishing technology, ownership, animal behaviour, etc; rather, Native and non-Native resource managers alike must acknowledge that they are motivated, and constrained by, their culturally constructed understandings of the nature of Nature. Western resource managers especially must recognize that the methods of science, while they provide us with a useful set of tools for working in the world, are a tradition situated within the perspectives of just one culture and cannot provide us with a complete understanding of that world. In part three of this paper I will suggest some initial steps which might be taken to better integrate an understanding of cultural models into resource management. First however, it will be useful to highlight some of the complexity of the operation of these models in their larger social settings. PART TWO: MODELS IN SOCIETY The production and distribution of models. In part one of this paper I have tried to present a simplified description of the ways in which culturally distinct models for relationships with Nature motivate individuals to think about the non-human world in certain ways, and influence their decision making about renewable resource management. As I mentioned earlier, this simplification of how people think and talk about Nature shifts attention away from a number of problematic issues that must be explored if the ways in which cultural models influence social action around resource management in the Yukon are to be understood. These include understanding how meaning is produced and disseminated in the north, its patterns of distribution, and the ways in which different models of meaning are engaged, in complement or conflict, by decision makers and resource users. While resolving all of these issues is beyond the scope of this paper, it will be useful to relate the discussion of models to the social context 28 of the north, using what Hannerz calls an "explicit sociology of culture" (1992:10). Hannerz offers a model of "contemporary, complex" (1992:5) society and culture which provides a useful starting point for talking about the operation of cultural models in society. It is a society with a far-reaching division of labour, which is at the same time a division of knowledge; in this way, categories of specialists are formed, and always at the same time a matching category of laymen. It is a society where the state constitutes one framework for social life and the flow of meaning, and where culture is also in part commoditized, thus organized by the market. Formal education through schooling is widespread if not universal in this society, and literacy and electronic media play a part in shaping and channelling culture. The people here are a mixture of the sedentary and the somewhat footloose. (Hannerz 1992:5) He suggests that we understand society as a network for the interpretation of meaning, in which culture is the flow of that meaning between individuals, rather than as a community sharing a common symbol system (1992:5). This conceptualization of culture as the distribution of meaning in society is highly compatible with the concept of cultural models, and gives us a framework within which to discuss conflict between, control over, and variation in use of those models in society. Though he does not utilize the concept of cultural models, the idea is implicit in Hannerz's work. The major implication of a distributive understanding of culture ... [is] that people must deal with other people's meanings; .... At times, perhaps, one can just ignore them. Often enough, however, one may comment on them, object to them, feel stimulated by them, take them over for oneself, defer to them, or take them into account in any of a number of other ways. (Hannerz 1992:14) Hannerz's distributive model of culture is especially important in that it encourages us to think beyond simple anthropological models for the organization of meaning in society. For instance, he notes that in various ways contemporary complex societies have moved away from face to face communication and the homogeneous distribution of social meaning, suggesting that as the amount of information produced in societies increases, the individual has control of a decreasing fraction of the total available. In other words, as information increases, culture becomes more complex, more subdivided, more unequally distributed: my culture is not your culture. Individuals are increasingly likely to interpret different amounts of meaning from the information available to them, through their interaction with it in a wider range of roles (1992:10). In some situations we are intimately familiar 29 with, and possibly even able to elaborate and refine the details of models; in others, we understand only the surface layers of the models and we use them in simplified ways, ignorant of the richness of meaning others find in them (or accepting of the meaningfulness which others suggest they embody -see Keesing 1987b for a more elaborate discussion of this topic from a symbolic perspective). While Hannerz's model of contemporary complex society and culture captures many aspects of the situation in the north today, it misses one important feature: the presence of semi-autonomous, relatively homogeneous First Nations' communities, within which circulate internally generated models of meaning found in greater concentrations than in the larger society, organized according to social networks which are also distinct from those of the larger society. Of course today most individuals in First Nations are simultaneously members of multiple other communities: work, friends and neighbours, client of the state and corporations, etc. As a result, Native communities are not hermetically sealed off from society as a whole; rather, to borrow from Brennis (1987), they are "embedded" in that society: ideas and individuals flow in and out of First Nations communities while at the same time a degree of internal autonomy is maintained. Therefore, rather then talking in terms of distinct Native and non-Native societies, I think we need to consider the ways in which First Nations operate as relatively distinct communities within the larger society, and the ways in which those communities and the larger society interact, making use of both internally and externally produced models of meaning. Developing an understanding of the ways in which individuals, communities, corporations and the state produce and control models of meaning will require that we look at the role of various communications media in society. Hannerz (1992:32) suggests that a central dynamic in the operation of these media is the asymmetrical centre-to-periphery nature of most production and dissemination of meaning (both from society to society, and from power centres in any one society to their margins or embedded communities). He argues that inequalities of access to and control over the "machineries" of meaning mitigate against the development of McLuhan's "global village" where we all share in this 30 production, and favour instead the entrenchment of "media imperialism" whereby meanings produced in a few places are projected out at consumers in various locations (1992:32-33, see also Spitulnik 1993). However, Hannerz argues that we must also consider the ways in which modern communications media allow for meanings to be produced in one place, stored for later use or reuse, and transmitted halfway around the world; communicating meaning no longer has to occur only in limited arenas of time and space. Hannerz argues that this transforms "contemporaries" (drawing upon Schutz 1967 — people aware of each other only as abstract social roles) into something more akin to "consociates" (again, from Schutz - people who share reciprocal social worlds and establish shared constructs of meaning on an everyday basis). This, he says, has important implications for understanding the distribution of meaning both within and between communities — both communities of face to face groups, and those of the "imagined communities" of Native movements, nation states (Anderson in Hannerz 1992:30), etc. Increasingly, in the north as elsewhere, people create new face to face communities through such means as the organization of annual Elders' conferences, nation-wide political groups, and environmental and resource user groups. At the same time, however, modern communications media bring us into contact with people we will never know on a face to face basis. As a result, I may be influenced more by the models for Nature disseminated by someone like David Suzuki in a television documentary (and I may more easily understand his discourse conventions) than by those implicit in the talk of a neighbour who works in a primary resource industry or hunts on the weekends. This ability of meaning making to be influenced by media and models from around the world presents a caution against thinking of the northern society and the communities within it as somehow self contained or cut off from the larger world.23 However, while all communities are exposed to cultural models that are not of their own creation, I think that we must also take into consideration the ability of embedded communities to produce and disseminate their own models. For instance, as I 2 3 In late summer of 1996, for instance, Yukon residents were able to receive cable television stations from network affiliates from Toledo, Detroit, Hamilton, Vancouver, Edmonton, Montreal, Calgary, Chicago, Rochester, Boston, Atlanta, New York and Los Angeles. 31 mentioned earlier, the Ta'an Kwach'an First Nation's development corporation has produced two videos on resource managment and risk assessment which have been distributed to other First Nations and shown on television to Native and non-Native audiences (MDC 1993, 1994). The development of these videos can be seen in part as a way of resisting the media imperialism which Hannerz describes. Focusing solely on state or global level producers of meaning such as governments, major advertizers and entertainment media can lead us to overlook the myriad places in which meanings are created on the local level.24 Embedded First Nations communities have the ability to both produce and disseminate cultural models for relating to Nature, and, because of the relative cohesiveness of those communities, they have the ability to maintain and reinforce existing shared models through face to face interaction and thereby resist domination by and incorporation into the larger society. Dissemination of models at the local level. This outline of the features of a distributed model of culture and the role of modern communications media in disseminating meaning suggests a number of implications for the operation of cultural models in contemporary complex society. I think the process of transmitting models of meaning is best understood as a continuum on two dimensions: from interactively negotiated to increasingly one sided production of meanings, and from face to face to increasingly mediated 2 4 In my brief visits to the Yukon I was able to distinguish numerous individuals and local organizations who had the opportunity to produce and disseminate models for renewable resource management which could influence debate, policy development and decision making at the territorial level. These included, but were not limited to, speech writers employed by the Council for Yukon Indians; instructors and curriculum developers in the Renewable Resource Management Program at Yukon College; reporters and editors in the Yukon print and television news media; geographers, biologists and anthropologists writing on resource management; instructors and curriculum developers in the Hunter Education Training Program run by the territorial government; instructors and curriculum developers in the Yukon Trapping Associations Trapper Training Program; territorial and federal politicians; civil servants from the Department of Renewable Resources; Native Elders; members of the Fish and Wildlife Management Board and the Renewable Resource Councils; Tribal and Band Council members; representatives of the Yukon Fish and Game association and the Outfitters association; staff and board members of the Yukon Conservation society, a non-profit environmental group; and the members of Council on the Economy and the Environment, a body produced under the Yukon Environment Act to review government policy. These various organizations make use of an enormous variety of vehicles for the transmission of models: pamphlets, posters, bumper stickers, television appearances, videos, and protests, not to mention face to face communication. 32 dissemination of those meanings.25 In some cases, individuals communicate information and attempt to persuade their face to face consociates through appeals to others' individual experiences, through reference to shared models, or through claims to superior knowledge based on age, experience or status.26 In other instances the state and other power holders expose individuals to models based upon "decontextualized" expert knowledge, often legitimized through reference to scientific authority, power or status. As voter-clients of the state people are bombarded with models for the operation of the world which attempt to persuade them to accept management policies or the legitimacy of certain forms of social organization (see also Killingsworth and Palmer 1992:165).27 As consumer clients of the market economy, we are exposed to models through television shows, magazines, billboards, etc. about which we cannot enter into a dialogue at all, but must simply accept or reject based on our own repertoire of previous experiences and models of meaning. The result of this continuum is a society in which individuals both actively negotiate meanings as face to face consociates and passively receive meanings as mediated consociates. In summary, while much has been made of the different communications strategies utilized by Natives and non-Natives (see for instance Scollon and Scollon 1981, Leap 1993), I think that an equally 2 5 In response to the debate over the oral versus literate basis of discourse styles, Tannen comes to a similar conclusion about one dimension of such a continuum, which she refers to as the "relative focus of involvement" of the speaker with the audience versus the content of talk (1987:395). Bernstein's oft-quoted model of "restricted" and "elaborated" communicative codes, which he says are employed, respectively, in situations where communications are based upon "shared expectations [and] common assumptions" and "when the intent of the other person cannot be taken for granted" (1986:476), provides a similar but more problematic approach to the same topic. 2 6 Basso (1988) has described such a process in his writings on the ways in which Apache community members use references to shared understandings of stories to influence the behaviour of others. Brennis (1987) makes a similar point when he describes the use of indirection in the communication of the members of "embedded egalitarian" communities in hierarchical states. 2 7 This method of imposing meaning has been described by Lyotard as scientific or denotative discourse (cited in Killingsworth and Palmer 1992:126). According to Killingsworth and Palmer, in denotative discourse The functions of speaker, listener and subject matter are all pragmatically distinct. The subject matter is, at least theoretically, determinable by all participants, but the speaker (or writer) asserts a special claim to the truth and is able to furnish proofs of that truth... H o w are these truths determined to be good truths? They are established by the rules of the scientific community, by methods and theories approved in advance and agreed upon by a consensus of experts. (1992:127) 33 fundamental dynamic to be considered in the communication of models of meaning for resource management in the north is the degree to which that communication is mediated (that is, removed from face to face transmission), and the degree to which the models communicated are negotiable by the parties involved. In my opinion, both of these issues are tied more closely to the scale of the social network involved then to cultural differences in communicating. The larger the scale of the network, the more likely there will be an element of decontextualized meaning imposed from the top down. Local knowledge, scientific knowledge. While I earlier contrasted Native models legitimated by distinctive cultural traditions with Western models legitimated by science, it would be a mistake to characterize the role of science as simply being to support the interests of the state bureaucracy. As Weeks has argued (1995:430), science can no longer be described as exclusively supporting the agenda of any one group in society, because its arguments are available to virtually all groups to use towards their own ends. Certainly in the Yukon there is no clear distinction between local resource management interests based solely on local knowledge, and centralized or bureaucratic interests drawing exclusively upon scientific knowledge. For instance, the Ta'an Kwach'an First Nation, when faced with the closure of an important food fishery because of pesticide contamination, convened a multi-day summit at which invited academic toxicologists and biologists presented information on contamination, risk assessment and related topics in workshops to assembled representatives of various First Nations (MDC 1994). Similarly, the Fish and Wildlife Board has on several occasions consulted with academic biologists at the University of Alberta and elsewhere when it has not been satisfied with the information provided to it for decision making purposes by the Department of Renewable Resources. They only want us to use their information. ... They almost have it so they believe they know everything. And the fact is I know myself, ... nobody knows everything. And over the last five years working close with these biologists, I don't know how many times I heard them say "we don't know, we don't understand what the animals are doing." But yet when it comes down to a report or something they put it down like they do. So some of the reports we have got in the past, we've got information, and it all looked scientific, it all looked like it was unarguable, but then one of the board members would say, "phone that outfit in Edmonton, and see what that 34 professor has got to say." (MDC interview no. 4)28 The Ta'an and the board are able to produce scientific legitimations for their own experience-based models for management to counter those of Renewable Resources manager-biologists. As a result of such widespread use of the tools of science, Weeks argues, other means such as political power and moral authority have become increasingly important persuasive tools in deciding public struggles over resources (1995:435).29 The relationship between local and scientific knowledge is parallelled by the relationship between the persuasive roles of "experts" as producers and maintainers of cultural models based in scientific knowledge, and the role of Native Elders as producers and maintainers of models based in traditional knowledge. Elders today often hold great influence in their communities and with their governments, and though First Nations governments make use of the tools of science, Elders' perspectives on appropriate ways of relating to Nature and other topics are sought out and inform decision making processes. As one male First Nations Administrator said, "I always refer to the Elders, I have two libraries, one is here [in his office], the other is a bit dustier, or it's dusty as well, and right now it's out there on a horse" (MDC interview no. 6). In addition, a Native instructor in the Resource Management program at Yukon College in Whitehorse says: We're trying to base it as much as possible on traditional values, and the systems that native people used in the past. I guess what we're looking at is trying to integrate traditional knowledge with scientific principles and today's scientific management. What it is a way of life ... And when you live on the land, you become really closely 28The same informant stated that after the board received the government's assurance that there were no studies which showed negative impacts upon fish from catch-and-release fishing, he was approached by a community member who gave him copies of academic studies which argue otherwise (see for instance Ferguson and Tufts 1992). While this experience reinforced his opinion of the need to "set your own agenda, ask [for] information, and get it yourself", it also suggested to him that science was not only a tool for uncovering objective truths, but also one for increasing the legitimacy of your arguments (MDC interview no. 4). 2 9 One interesting site of a developing syncretism of traditional and scientific knowledge is the Renewable Resources Program at Yukon College, where courses are taught on such topics as "Tradition and Change: A First Nations Perspective"; "[Cross-cultural] Interpersonal Relations"; and Resource and Habitat Management, which includes discussion of traditional knowledge and habitat management practices of First Nations (Yukon College nd.). The emergent, unsettled nature of these developing linkages between traditional and scientific knowledge is evident in the frustrations exhibited in the talk of at least one recent First Nations graduate of the program, who spoke eloquently of her need to reconcile the teachings of her grandmother with those offered in her college courses. 35 tied to the animals and the land. And that system has been changing over the past hundred years, and the people who really know it are the elders. (Northern Native Broadcasting 1991) This sense of the importance given to Elders as holders of culturally specific knowledge is also reflected in the regular organization of Elders conferences such as the one at Teslin Lake described earlier, (see also Yukon First Nations Elder's Council Assembly 1993), and the urgency given to recording Elder's knowledge by First Nations everywhere.30 The majority of quotes from Native people in this paper are from Elders, and this is in part a reflection of my being directed by First Nations' representatives to make contact with individuals who were felt to hold clear, culturally specific views on the nature of the world. By highlighting cultural models in narrative which appeal to the personal experiences of community members, Elders play an important social role in Native communities in marshalling public opinion on issues and orienting people towards certain actions or responses to problems, as was the case with the Elder's use of the Mouldy Head narrative at the Teslin Lake gathering to suggest the proper relationship that people should maintain with fish (see also Basso 1988). Scientists and other "experts" play similar roles in Western society: they define salient factors in many social problems, provide scientific legitimations for courses of action in dealing with those problems, and provide rationalizations for the censure of those who deviate from those courses of action. To borrow from Keesing (1987b: 165), Elders and scientific experts "maintain, ... create, elaborate and change" cultural models in response to "ungrammatical changes and corner cutting" in their everyday use by individuals and small groups. Elders and experts, as role models and authority figures, help to keep the "social" and the "shared" in models used for living and acting in the world. Of course Elders also have status in First Nations communities because they so potently symbolize the distinct identity of those communities. As a result, the knowledge held by Elders about 3 0It must be noted that interest in Native Elders' perspectives is increasingly carried over into the larger society, in popular literature by environmentalists (see for instance Suzuki and Knudston 1993), as well as by the state, as reflected both in the effort to incorporate Elder's perspectives into the Yukon State of the Environment Report (Yukon Renewable Resources 1996) and the inclusion of a First Nation's perspective on catch-and-release fishing in the Sports Fishing Regulations summary (as I quoted earlier on page 16 - Yukon Renewable Resources 1995). 36 traditional relationships with the non-human world may be doubly significant, if, as Weeks (1995) argues, resource management debates increasingly hinge on points of moral authority and political power rather than scientific legitimacy. Translation and identity: the politicization of models. The double role of Elders as sources of models and symbols of identity suggests a parallel double role for the models themselves, as programs for action and symbols of distinctiveness. It would be naive to claim that public conflicts between cultural models for relationships with Nature are simply about different ways of perceiving and understanding the non-human world. If, as Jordanova (1986) argues, we think of Nature as the naturalization of the social order, then our models for Nature undoubtedly also reflect our struggles to define and defend ourselves as communities in society. At some level, people link those models to their understandings of race, class, and power, and use them to assert difference from or to identify with groups in society. For example, Dunk (1994) has argued that for individuals employed by the forestry industry in northern Ontario, talk about "wilderness preservation" is inextricably linked to the idea of conflicting interests with the middle class. Similarly, First Nation's communities embedded in the state, and non-Native resource users who feel threatened by increasing Aboriginal control over resources are both obviously influenced in their decision making by more then just ecosystemic and cultural factors: they are also concerned with political and economic issues of domination and subordination. Any discussion of competing models for relationships with Nature in the Yukon must acknowledge the broader context of political, colonial, and identity dynamics that surround issues of renewable resource management. The multiple implications of models such as those for relationships with Nature are widely recognized by individuals in northern communities and academics alike, and have led to charges that First Nations are involved in the "construction of identity" and the "politicization of tradition" (Linnekin 1992). In the north, First Nations are specifically charged with constructing themselves as "original ecologists" (Brightman 1993:281, Fiennup-Riordan 1990) in order to lay moral claim to land 37 and resources. This issue is reflected in the concern with which a male member of the Fish and Game association talks about Aboriginal use of resources. Someone who's non-First Nation goes down, and they have to fish with a certain size of lure, and it's very clear cut what they can use, and it's very regulated what they can use, and their catch is very regulated, and yet from a traditional sense people can go in and gaff a washbarrel full of fish out of there.... It's been said that all First Nations are natural conservationists, and I would agree that some are, but I would agree that just like in the White population or any race there are always a few bad apples that are the ones that you've got to have the stiffer rules for. (MDC interview no. 7) Ironically, the models for behaviour that Native people are usually accused of violating - that they are natural conservationists, spiritually connected to Mother Earth (Gill 1990), etc. - are most often romantic stereotypes imposed upon them by Western society. When Natives are judged to have violated these Western norms of "Nativeness", they are deemed corrupted. The debate over whether Natives have unjustly earned the title of "Original Conservationists" may be partly resolvable by considering the issue in terms of translation between culturally distinct ways of making sense of the world. As Morrow and Hensel have suggested, resource management debates in the north today, being controlled by Western managers, take place using the conceptual categories and logical relations of biological science. Those Natives who are best able to communicate the cultural distinctiveness of their communities to others are those who have best mastered non-Native concepts and categories. Ironically, their skill at communicating with non-Natives opens them up to charges that they are assimilated or no longer traditional, and therefore that recognition of their Aboriginal rights are unwarranted (Morrow and Hensel 1992:40). Likewise, when First Nations attempt to make sense of changing circumstances by interpreting events according to their existing models for relating to Nature, they may be seen by non-Natives not as adapting to new experience according to culturally appropriate ways of living in the world, but rather as exploiting static "traditions" from the past in the attempt to legitimate inappropriate actions (Morrow and Hensel 1992:41, Povinelli 1990:697). This creates a continual pressure for First Nations to describe and defend their beliefs and practices to non-Natives in non-Native terms, which threatens 38 to force their culturally distinct beliefs and ways of living in the world into simplified congruence with Western concepts such as "hunting" and "fishing" (Morrow and Hensel 1992:40).31 Dealing with a society where non-Native managers have the power to control concepts and definitions of management, and given the potential mutual unintelligibility of cultural models for Nature, it is possible that members of First Nations communities adopt and utilize concepts such as Mother Earth and conservation not because they have been seduced by romantic Western models of what it is to be an Indian, or because they are pragmatically exploiting stereotypes for political and economic gain (cf Jackson 1987), but rather because those Western stereotypes are often the only models available for translating to non-Native audiences the subtle nuances of indigenous models for Nature and relating to Nature. The production of videos such as Living with Abundance and Living with Mother Earth can be read, in part, as the attempt by northern Native communities to distribute their own models for Nature to counter those of the state, and to simultaneously reinforce their distinctiveness as a community. As one Mundessa Development Corporation employee said about the need to create credibility for First Nations resource management programs, "we have to find a way of telling them that we will have a different way of seeing and doing things." PART THREE: CONCLUSIONS Management through models? The preceeding discussion of the nature of cognitive models and their operation in society suggests a number of implications for a cultural models approach to the investigation of cross-cultural differences in resource management. I think that the evidence I have presented here shows that models for Nature are present and do motivate decision making and action on resource management in the north. However, the relationship between models and motivation is a complex one; understanding the roles that models play is not as simple as discovering them in speech. A model may have multiple implications for any one individual, or different implications for 31This may also be a danger with some Traditional Ecological Knowledge research which attempts to extract this knowledge from its broader cultural matrix for use in resource management. 39 different individuals, as a way of understanding Nature and as a way of understanding ones' identity vis a vis other groups in society. In the Yukon, where the state and embedded First Nations' communities are in the process of renegotiating their relationships, the situation is doubly complex. When people talk about resources and management in the north, they are talking about a lot of other things as well, such as power, moral authority, identity and colonialism. Models for Nature must be examined for what they say about social and political relationships as well as being considered for their implications for sustainable use of resources. In addition, in the north today as elsewhere, models for meaning are derived from a variety of sources and are interwoven in complex ways. There is increasing overlap between the models used by First Nations and those used by non-First Nations, as both groups adopt some of the other's concepts of resources and management in the search for a wider legitimacy for their policies and practices. Furthermore, not all decision making or action around resource use and management is necessarily motivated by cultural models for Nature. Individuals may be motivated by pragmatic calculations all their own, by social concerns such as ownership and territoriality, and by material concerns of technology, resource availability, etc., for which culturally constructed meanings for Nature are of secondary influence. In short, cultural models are one factor among several in a complex relationship influencing resource management. Their presence alone cannot explain management decision making or action. However, developing a clearer understanding of the operation of these models in cross-cultural settings can help to avoid both confusion in developing mutually intelligible management policies, and conflict in the implementation and enforcement of policies. All resource managers, Native and non-Native, need to realize that they make decisions about the world according to their cultural traditions. No management system, not even one couched in the language and methods of science, is based solely upon an objective consideration of the physical world independent of our interpretations of it. Management is about value choices, and the choices we make are motivated by the models we use to 40 understand the world. Part of developing effective co-management programs must be an acceptance of the validity of the models for Nature that different parties bring to the process. On a pragmatic level, how useful will the investigation of differences in cultural models be for informing better renewable resource management? At present, I think there are several obstacles to the use of the approach as I have outlined it here. The thorough investigation of cultural models is a time consuming process. To provide reliable results such an investigation would involve repeated interviews with a large number of informants. These interviews would also be followed up with observations, in order to determine how the models people talk with are linked to the actions they pursue. However, a qualititative, interpretive approach such as this is not likely to be well received by resource managers more familiar with quantitative surveys. Furthermore, the resources of time and money necessary to pursue this sort of research may be beyond the capacity of management budgets. Certainly an important step towards co-management will already have been taken if non-Native resource managers are made aware of the role that culturally distinct understandings of the non-human world play in orienting people towards different resource management perspectives. The effort of the Yukon Department of Renewable Resources to include values assessments in their planning processes and different cultural perspectives in their education programs indicates that this is already underway in the Yukon. Based on what is already known about Native models for Nature, steps such as incorporating First Nations conceptions of respect into resource management planning would be relatively easy to implement and could have immediate influence as a demonstration of concern for First Nation's perspectives. However, in the post land claims environment, it will not be enough for governments to simply be more sensitive to the perspectives of First Nations in renewable resource management; land claims settlements mandate that territorial and aboriginal governments sit down and manage those resources together. For First Nations and the larger society to cooperatively negotiate a renewed relationship with Nature will require goodwill on the part of both parties, and increasing management 41 power for First Nations. Recent land claims settlements have created the context for such a negotiation, and the next several years will reveal to what extent First Nations are able to bring their models for Nature forward as legitimate alternatives for interacting with the non-human world. Individuals, meaning, society. While some inside and outside of anthropology still argue for the analytical usefulness and independent reality of culture as a shared system of symbols (cf. Yengoyan 1986 and Ratner 1993), for most the conceptualization of culture as a coherent whole which can be read like a book is now seen as analysis driven and of dubious utility (for example Keesing 1987b), or even dangerous; Kahn (1989), for instance, argues that culture's equivocal markers of identity and boundary have as much potential for harm as those of race. This critique is not entirely new, of course; as long as eighty years ago Sapir (1917) was arguing that culture is simply the phenomenon of individual action seen in the aggregate. In this paper I have argued for the usefulness of two related concepts, distributed culture, and cultural models, to provide an alternative approach to the study of meaning. I have argued that these concepts will provide a better framework within which to discuss significant contemporary issues such as the negotiation and contestation of meaning in society, and the internalization of meaning by individuals, than existing anthropological frameworks permit. The concept of distributed culture may allow us to better address the cultural dynamics of contemporary, complex society. As Hannerz (1992) charges, anthropology has been slow to incorporate into its models of culture the implications of the increasing complexity of the distribution and communication of meaning in societies. Our dichotomization of society into the global and the local may be part of what has kept us from incorporating these changes into our analyses. Too often, Hannerz says, while studying local communities, "the larger frameworks in which they exist are not described, not investigated, but more often invoked, as generalized images" (1992:21). He argues that the interaction of community and framework needs to be analysed, not in Sapir's terms of "the unintended consequences of ... aggregation, [but in terms of] the interfaces..., [and] the 42 confrontations... between clusters of meaning and ways of managing meaning (1992:22). Similarly, the concept of cultural models enables us to move beyond the idea of culture as a coherent system of symbols "out there in the world," allowing instead an examination of culture as a dynamic and shared process whereby meanings flow between individuals. This will help to avoid the unnecessary dichotomization of individual and social meaning. Furthermore, examining the ways in which the processes of production and dissemination of meaning are dominated by the powerful and resisted by embedded communities will also help to avoid the naive hazards of studying meaning outside of its political-economic and socio-historic contexts. In addition, the cultural models approach addresses a long overlooked question in anthropology: how do individuals internalize shared social meanings and create from them motivations for action? For some time the field has relied upon outdated, reductionist concepts such as universal drives to understand motivation, which only helped to perpetuate the dichotomization of individual and social. Looking at meaning as shared mental schemas which individuals internalize and are motivated by according to context and personal experience will allow us to consider how the social becomes individual, how meaning is contested in society, and how individuals can hold contradictory meanings simultaneously. Such an approach is essential, I think, if anthropology is to seriously contribute to the study of how we construct our understandings of the non-human world. 43 B I B L I O G R A P H Y Abelson, Robert P. 1981 "Psychological Status of the Script Concept" American Psychologist 36(7):715-729. 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Gender, Race and Nature in the World of Modern Science. New York: Routledge. Harrison, Godfrey J. 1989 "Cultural Models in Language and Thought" Book Review of Cultural Models in Language and Thought (1987), Dorothy Holland and Naomi Quinn eds. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 20(1): 109-111. Harris, Marvin 1974 Cows, Pigs, Wars and Witches: The Riddles of Culture. New York: Random House. Harris, Marvin. 1979 Cultural Materialism: The Struggle For A Science of Culture. New York: Random House. Harvey, David. 1993 "The Nature of Environment: The Dialectics of Social and Environmental Change" The Socialist Register P. 1-51. Hofstadter, Richard. 1944 Social Darwinism in American Thought. Boston: Beacon Press. Holland, Dorothy, and Naomi Quinn, eds. 1987 Cultural Models in Language and Thought. Boston: Cambridge. Holland, Dorothy 1992 "How cultural systems become desire: a case study of American romance" Human Motives and Cultural Models Roy D'Andrade ed. New York: Cambridge University Press. P. 61-89. Jackson, Jean. 1989 "Is there a way to talk about making culture without making enemies?" Dialectical Anthropology 14:127-143. Johnson, Math'ieya. 1994 A ishihik and Kluane Caribou Recovery: A Summary of Kluane First Nation Traditional Knowledge interviews and Recommendations. Kluane First Nation. Jordanova, Ludmilla J . 1986 "Introduction" Languages of Nature Ludmilla Jordanova ed. London: Free Association Books. P. 15-47. Kahn, Joel S. 1989 "Culture. Demise or resurrection?" Critique of Anthropology 9(2):5-25. Keesing, R . M . 1972 "Paradigms lost: the new ethnography and the new linguistics" Southwestern Journal of Anthropology 28:299-332. 1974 "Theories of culture" Annual Review of Anthropology 3:73-97. 1987a "Models, "folk" and "cultural": paradigms regained?" Cultural Models in Language and Thought. Holland and Quinn eds. P. 369-393. 46 Keesing, R . M . 1987b "Anthropology as Interpretive Quest", Current Anthropology 28(2):161-175. Killingsworth, M. J . and J.S. Palmer. 1992 Ecospeak. Rhetoric and Environmental Politics in America. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press. Lakoff, George and Mark Johnson. 1980 Metaphors We Live By. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 1980. Landau, Misa. 1984 "Human Evolution as Narrative", American Scientist 72:262-268. 1984 Leap, William L . 1993 American Indian English. Salt Lake: University of Utah Press. Leavitt, Stephen C. 1994 Book Review of Human Motives and Cultural Models (1992) Roy D'Andrade and Claudia Strauss eds. Anthropos 89(1): 253-254. Lee, Richard. 1992 "Art, Science, or Politics? The Crisis in Hunter-Gatherer Studies" American Anthropologist 94:31-54. Linnekin, Jocelyn. 1992 "On the theory and politics of cultural construction in the Pacific" Oceania 62:249-263. Lutz, Catherine. 1992 "Motivated Models" Human Motives and Cultural Models Roy D'Andrade ed. Boston: Cambridge University Press. P. 181-190. 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Povinelli, Elizabeth. 1990 '"Might be something': The language of indeterminacy in Australian Aboriginal land use" Man 28:679-704. Quinn, Naomi and Holland, Dorothy. 1987 "Culture and cognition" Cultural Models in Language and Thought. Dorothy Holland and Naomi Quinn eds. Cambridge: University Press. P. 3-40. Quinn, Naomi. 1992 "The motivational force of self-understanding: evidence from wives' inner conflicts" Human Motives and Cultural Models Roy D'Andrade ed. New York: Cambridge University Press. P. 90-126. Rappaport, Roy. A . 1979 Ecology, Meaning and Ritual. Berkeley: North Atlantic Books. 1990 "Ecosystems, Populations A n d People" The Ecosystem Approach In Anthropology. From Concept To Practice. Emilio F. Moran, ed. P. 41-74. A n n Arbor: University of Michigan Press. Ratner, Carl. 1993 "Human Motives and Cultural Models" Book Review of Human Motives and Cultural Models (1992) Roy D'Andrade and Claudia Strauss eds. Journal of Mind and Behaviour 14(l):89-93. Rees, William E. 1995 "Achieving Sustainability: Reform or Transformation?" Journal of Planning Literature 9(4):343-361. Ricouer, Paul. 1971 "The Model of the Text: Meaningful Action Considered as a Text" Social Research 38(3):185-218. Ridington, Robin. 1990 Little Bit Know Something. Iowa City: University of Iowa. 48 Rushforth, Scott. 1992 "The Legitimation of Beliefs in a Hunter-Gatherer Society: Bearlake Athapaskan Knowledge and Authority" American Ethnologist 19(3):483-499. Sapir, Edward. 1917 "Do we need a superorganic?" American Anthropologist 19-A41-47. Schutz, Alfred. 1967 Collected Papers: Volume 1, The problem of Social Reality. Maurice Natanson ed. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff. Scollon, Ron and Suzanne Scollon. 1981 Narrative, Literacy and Face in Interethnic Communication. Norwood: Ablex. Sperber, Dan. 1985 "Anthropology and psychology: towards an epidemiology of representations" Man 20(l):73-89. Spitulnik, Debra 1993 "Anthropology A n d Mass Media" Annual Review of Anthropology 22:293-315 Strauss, Claudia. 1992a "Models and Motives" Human Motives and Cultural Models, Roy D'Andrade ed. New York: Cambridge University Press. P. 1-20. 1992b "What makes Tony run?" Human Motives and Cultural Models Roy D'Andrade ed. New York: Cambridge University Press. P. 1-20. Suzuki, David and Peter Knudston. 1993 Wisdom of the Elders. Bantam. Tannen, Deborah. 1982 "The oral/literate continuum in discourse" Spoken and Written Language, D Tannen ed. Norwood: Ablex. P. 1-16. Tanner, Adrian. 1966 Trappers, Hunters and Fishermen. Wildlife Utilization in the Yukon Territory. N o . 5 in Yukon Research Series. Ottawa: Department of Northern Affairs and National Resources. 1979 Bringing Home Animals London: C. Hurst & Company. Thompson, Susan. 1996 Letter to Kevin Washbrook from Yukon Department of Renewable Resources. Tyler, S. 1969 Cognitive Anthropology. Toronto: Holt , Rinehart and Winston. U F A (Umbrella Final Agreement). 1993 Umbrella Final Agreement between the government of Canada, the Council for Yukon Indians, and the government of the Yukon Ottawa: Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. Usher, Peter and Lindsay Staples. 1988 Subsistence in the Yukon. Economic Development Office of the Council for Yukon Indians. 49 Weeks, Priscilla. 1995 "Fisher Scientists: The Reconstruction of Scientific Discourse" Human Organization 54(4):429-436. White, Geoffrey. 1993 "Human Motives and Cultural Models" Book Review of Human Motives and Cultural Models (1992) Roy D'Andrade and Claudia Strauss eds. American Anthropologist 95:737-738. Williams, Mike. 1995 View ofHouseholds of Destruction Bay and Silver Creek on the North Alaska Highway No-Hunting Corridor. Government of the Yukon Department of Renewable Resources. Yengoyan Aram A . 1986 "Theory in Anthropology: O n the Demise of the Concept of Culture" Comparative Studies in Society and History 28:368-374. Yukon College. no date Calendar 1994-1995. Yukon First Nations Elder's Council Assembly. 1993 Walking Together. Words of the Elders From the Elder's Council Assembly. Whitehorse: Yukon First Nations Elder's Council. Yukon Fish and Game Association 1991 "Yukon Sport Fishing Live-release Techniques", video recording. Yukon Renewable Resources. 1994 Fish and Wildlife Projects 1993-1994. 1995 Sport Fishing Regulations. Summary 1995-1996. 1996 State of the Environment Report. 50 Appendix 1: A brief summary of the history of renewable resource legislation in the Yukon. It is generally accepted that the first renewable resource legislation in the Yukon was prompted by the sudden influx of non-Native gold seekers to the territory in the 1890's. In a short time span over 60,000 people entered the region, seriously depleting game along rivers and overland routes. Regulation by the colonial state was necessary, Usher and Staples (1988:134) argue, because whereas Native users of game in the region were constrained by various indigenous system of social organization, non-Native immigrants had no such systems to rely on. The first legislation passed by the territorial government created annual limits for non-Natives on caribou, mountain sheep and goats, and moose, but these were rarely enforced because the only authority in the region was the understaffed R C M P force (Usher and Staples 1988:137). In the mid 1920's, high fur prices combined with the Global Depression increased non-Native involvement in fur harvesting (though the non-Native population in the territory had declined to less than 3000), and led to declines in furbearer populations. As a result, the Wildlife Ordinance was revised to include closed seasons on fur harvesting (Usher and Staples 1988:136). The Ordinance was further revised in the 1920's to bar Natives from employment as big game guides, though they were allowed to take positions as assistants. Coates argues that the purpose of this restriction was to protect the profits of non-Native guides, and to maintain a professional image for the fledgling industry, which had minimal economic significance until after the second World War (1984:95). Other aspects of the Ordinance were also revised to cover Natives in the 1920's: no unlicensed sale of meat (banned completely by 1935), no exporting of hides, no killing of female game animals (Usher and Staples 1988:136) and seasons and quotas on some species (Tanner 1966:55). Tanner suggests that Native quota violations and underreport returns were tacitly accepted by non-Native managers, in part in response to a court case in the Nor th West Territories which recognized aboriginal rights to hunt as prior to hunting regulations. In addition, he suggests that enforcement of regulations in the 1920's and 30's was carried out at the discretion of individual game wardens (1966:55). In 1927 Native resource users were impacted by a requirement that residents of the Northwest Territories and Alaska pay non-resident fees to hunt in the Yukon. Such restrictions were never placed on British Columbia residents, though Yukon Natives hunting in B.C. had to observe restrictions on gear, limits and seasons. Though fee requirements were later dropped for the N W T , they remained in place for Alaska, leading to the "inadvertent closure of traditional hunting territories" over political boundaries (Coates 1984:106). During World War Two the territory again experienced an influx of non-Natives, primarily for the construction of the Alaska Highway. Construction projects created a large demand for meat for workers, who were often given resident hunter licences. The result was large depletions of game in traditional hunting territories which were rapidly receiving road access. In response, the government created two mile no-shooting corridors along the new highway, and established a vast game sanctuary in the southwest of the territory(Usher and Staples 1988:144). For Native hunters, this change meant the alienation of large areas from traditional subsistence activities. The post war period saw the introduction of new ideas about resource management to the territory. Conservation efforts were led by the newly formed Yukon Fish and Game Association, which became the largest public interest group in the territory. It encouraged the introduction of foreign game species such as elk, buffalo and mule deer and also supported the elimination of wolves as competitors for game animals (McCandless 1985:89). This period also saw an increase in the importance of big game guiding in the territory, as new areas were opened up with road access and game populations declined elsewhere in the world. A second important change in resource management in the post war era was the introduction of trapline registration. The push for registration was initiated by the territorial Indian Agent in the late 1940's as a way to protect Native access to the resource, and was also supported by the Y F G A . However, a ten dollar registration fee, insistence upon male ownership and inheritance of traplines regardless of existing indigenous social regulation, and demands that trappers clearly define their trapping areas all led to a decline in Native involvement in trapping after 1950 (Coates 1984:113). While the period since 1950 has seen the introduction of increasingly complex new regulations as renewable resources come under pressure from greater numbers of users and are more intensively managed, the state has continued to enforce those regulations upon First Nations in an unsystematic manner. In several situations First Nations individuals have been prosecuted for violating regulations, while in other situations violations have been overlooked, as the process of recognizing Native rights has proceeded through the courts. 


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