Over the past few decades there has been increasing attention paid to ‘shared’ forms of governance and to the creation of new protected areas (PAs) that are designed to address ‘non-biological’ goals and values. The rationale for these initiatives has, in part, been based on the belief that well-designed systems of protected area governance will help to deliver desired outcomes and meet linked sociocultural, economic and environmental objectives. Addressing these questions has become increasingly important in British Columbia, where a number of First Nations are asserting increasing control over existing state-run protected areas, as well as establishing new protected areas and designing governance systems for them that deliver outcomes consonant with cultural beliefs, values and goals. This paper reports on an in-depth case study of the Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks and the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, with a focus on comparing how these physically adjacent protected areas with different objectives each attempt to meaningfully engage the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation in PA governance.
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Funding for PAPR comes from Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the International Development Research Centre under the International Community-University Research Alliance Program.
There are a total of 12 reserves for the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation.
The Nuu-chah-nulth were formerly mislabeled by settler communities as the Nootka.
The Toquaht Nation and the Uchucklesaht Tribe are in close proximity and are also working with the Park (Parks Canada 2010a).
One of the principal Tribal Parks proponents we talked with noted that some of the inspiration has come from the Navajo Nation Tribal Parks.
The land use plan requires that any timber harvesting have “…the explicit approval of Tla-o-qui-aht Hawiih, using single-stem harvesting or other ‘salmon-based logging’ methods.”
The Tla-o-qui-aht community is further organized into houses or family clans with a head for each house. These heads are referred to as “Ta’ii aqkin” and have access the Ha’huulthii of their Ha’wiih.
The Tribal Parks usage of the term Park is interesting to consider in the light of some critiques of the use of value-laden terms such as protected areas or parks in describing areas falling under IUCN categories V and VI, suggesting that these terms should refer to areas where the conservation of biodiversity (or similar ecological goals) should be paramount and other terms should be developed to describe areas with a broader range of desired outcomes (Locke and Dearden 2005).
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The authors very much wish to acknowledge Eli Enns, Saya Masso, Joe Martin, Tsimka Martin, Gisele Martin, Tammy Dorward, and Terry Dorward of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation and Nadine Crookes, Bob Hansen, Karen Haugen, Keith Morrison, and Carley Duckmanton from Pacific Rim National Park Reserve for their role in the PAPR research project. Their assistance has been invaluable.
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Murray, G., King, L. First Nations Values in Protected Area Governance: Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks and Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Hum Ecol 40, 385–395 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10745-012-9495-2