UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Striving to keep a promise : place-based salmon management in Dain-Owens, Susan L.


The Taku River Tlingit First Nation of Northwest British Columbia harvests salmon for commercial, cultural, and sustenance purposes. In this case study I describe the current co-management process of the Taku River salmon fishery as it exists between the First Nation and the Canadian and Alaskan governments, drawing primarily on ethnographic fieldwork conducted in the summer of 2007. In the past, Tlingit families spent the summer on the lower Taku River and vicinity, fishing as part of the seasonal round. Today many families continue to fish on the Taku, and life downriver is a rhythmic blend of hard work and rest. I experienced the knowledge sharing, cooperation, and flexibility that exists downriver and caught a glimpse of a particular Tlingit worldview. There exists a sense of community on the river between the Tlingit fishers, the non-native fishers, and scientists from both Alaska and Canada. Interaction and cooperation between these stakeholders occurs at different scales from individual to international. In both politics and daily life downriver, worldviews become intertwined in a dynamic play between the groups. Though problems and misunderstandings can arise at these junctures, the potential for knowledge sharing across these boundaries exists and should be recognized. In order for the Taku River Tlingit to attain legalized co-management of their fisheries they must gain sovereignty through settled land claims. Once this is established they will be in a position to utilize their own ecological and local knowledge to continue working closely with government agencies and non-native fishers in the area.

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International