UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Gitxaała marine use planning : making indigenous jurisdiction in contemporary aboriginal-state relations Moffitt, Morgan Elizabeth


This thesis examines Gitxaała First Nation’s marine planning activities at the local and regional level as a part of the PNCIMA process. I focus on the process of creating a regional marine plan for the North Coast through an aggregate First Nations organization, the North Coast Skeena First Nations Stewardship Society (NCSFNSS). In this context, I ask how marine planning addresses Gitxaała peoples beliefs, knowledge, and approaches to marine governance, and how this process is related to contemporary aboriginal-state relations in Canada. The PNCIMA planning process involves a multi-level collaborative governance agreement that commits First Nations and the federal government to creating and implementing local marine use plans that outline community goals and strategies for implementing their aboriginal rights and managing their marine resources. Gitxaała marine planning is an effort to institute indigenous jurisdiction in their territory and manage their resources in a culturally and politically significant manner. However, at the regional level, Gitxaała marine planning – and marine planning for all North Coast First Nations more generally – is challenged and limited by state power and control over ocean and fisheries. This power shapes the way in which First Nations can participate in oceans governance and management, the PNCIMA process, and impacts the relationship between local First Nations communities. The result is the imposition and reification of Euro-American political structures and knowledge – such as aggregated political organization and scaled planning processes – on indigenous peoples who have for centuries organized themselves socially and politically in culturally meaningful ways and have fostered and maintained healthy marine ecosystems in their territories.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International