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The situation and the evolution of forest management by Aboriginal people in British Columbia Hasegawa, Atsuko

Abstract

This thesis addresses the situation of First Nations people in forestry of British Columbia. Aboriginal people in British Columbia have been involved in the forest industry as laborers since the 1850s when the commercial logging operations began in the province, but have been politically and economically marginalized in the industry. The institutional and economic factors not only have restricted aboriginal people to control over forest resources on their traditional lands but have affected their forest management practices. For aboriginal communities, it is a critical issue that protecting old growth forests, with which they are culturally associated, without giving up economic benefit generated from harvesting these forests. In order to suggest possible changes and approaches for shaping native forest management in the existing institutional and economic frameworks, I examined the issues of provincial forestry and analyzed how these issues effect and interact with aboriginal people. It is important but difficult for First Nations to obtain forest tenure because their resource management is related to their land rights. However, the issues of aboriginal people in forestry overlap with those of the province. Thus, perspectives and participation of aboriginal people is critical for the government and the industry. Forestry of British Columbia is in transition and has begun to consider the potential contribution of aboriginal people to sustainable forestry. Therefore, aboriginal people have a significant role to play in the future of forestry.

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