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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Investigating protein sources that the land and water provide to the Nlaka'pamux People Walkem, Brenda Shirley


A variety of factors have contributed to the decrease in the number of salmon available to the Nlaka’pamux People. This has meant we have needed to seek additional sources of protein when we can’t get the salmon we need. Ungulate populations of deer, moose, and elk also provide protein to our people but we have been needing to get more of them in recent years due to the lack of salmon. As Chief Fred Sampson commented, “When we can’t get enough fish, we hang more meat.” Yet, there are a number of issues that have been hindering many Nlaka’pamux Peoples’ ability to obtain enough ungulate meat in our own territory. My research used household surveys and interviews with community members and hunters from Nlaka’pamux communities to identify their households’ use of deer, moose, elk, and salmon, and their ability to get, process, and preserve enough of each species. Their responses could help the Bands work towards ensuring the availability and access to adequate numbers of ungulates for our Food, Social, and Ceremonial (FSC) needs. My research shows there are a lack of ungulates available to the Nlaka’pamux People in our own territory due, in part, to the presence of too many other hunters, and the loss of ungulate habitat. This is due, in part, to the Provincial Government underestimating First Nations’ FSC needs. This underestimation has resulted in the government increasing the number of registered hunters and their ungulate harvests, thus competing with our people to get our FSC needs met. However, since 2017 the province has been changing how they engage with First Nations regarding wildlife management through a number of ways including the Together for Wildlife initiative; the provincial government’s Bill 41 – 2019: Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act to implement the UN Declaration (UNDRIP); and the Bill 14 amendment to the Wildlife Act to “advance collaboration and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples”. This research can help guide those consultative processes and enhance understanding between First Nations and the provincial government.

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