Improving the American Eel Fishery Through the Incorporation of Indigenous Knowledge into Policy Level Decision Making in Canada
- 747 Downloads
Effective management of ecosystems, natural resources, and harvesting practices is essential for ecosystem health and the sustainable use of marine resources. Although the value, importance, and benefits of the incorporation of indigenous knowledge, particularly of traditional ecological knowledge into western science-policy decision-making have been well recognized over the past few decades, suitable mechanisms for collecting and incorporating indigenous knowledge into policy level decision making are not yet well understood. This study examines the Canadian government’s assessment process for the American eel, Anguilla rostrata, as well as the community level management process for the eel fishery in Eskasoni First Nation, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada. This case study allows for an exploration of the challenges arising from differing worldviews and possible mechanisms for meaningful integration of indigenous values into governmental policy level decision-making.
KeywordsIndigenous knowledge Knowledge systems American eel fishery Eskasoni First Nation Canada
The authors would like to acknowledge with thanks the willingness of all participants who agreed to share their knowledge for this study and the anonymous reviewers for their valuable suggestions.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Research involving human participants: This study is based on research involving human participants and has obtained Ethics Approval from Dalhousie University Research Ethics Board as well as Ethics Approval from the Mi’kmaq Ethics Watch.
All participants in this research have provided the authors with signed letters of Informed Consent.
This study was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Partnership Grant #895-2011-1007.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
- Battiste, M. (2005). Indigenous Knowledge: Foundations for First Nations. World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium-WINHEC Journal.Google Scholar
- Battiste, M. (2011). Reclaiming Indigenous Voice and Vision. UBC Press.Google Scholar
- Berkes, F. (2006). From Community-Based Resource Management to Complex Systems: The Scale Issue and Marine Commons. Ecology and Society 11(1): 45–64.Google Scholar
- Berkes, F., and Henley, T. (1997). Co-Management and Traditional Knowledge: Threat or Opportunity? Policy Opinions Montreal 18(1): 29–30.Google Scholar
- Berkes, F., Armitage, D. R., and Doubleday, N. (2007). Adaptive co-management: Collaboration, learning, and multi-level governance. UBC Press.Google Scholar
- Beswick, A. (2013). Eskasoni Educators Fight to Save Mi’kmaq Language. Retrieved 5/12, 2015 from http://thechronicleherald.ca/novascotia/1160998-eskasoni-educators-fight-to-save-mi’kmaq-language.
- Canada. (2014). Aboriginal fund for species at risk. Online: https://www.retablissement-recovery.gc.ca/afsar-faep/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.main&lang=E.
- Cargo, M., and Mercer, S. L. (2008). The Value and Challenges of Participatory Research: Strengthening its Practice. Annual Review of Public Health. (29) 325–350.Google Scholar
- Carm, E. (2014). Inclusion of Indigenous Knowledge System (IKS)—A Precondition for Sustainable Development and an Integral Part of Environmental Studies. The Journal of Educational Research 4(1): 58–76.Google Scholar
- Chapin, F. I., Folke, C., and Kofinas, G. P. (2009). Principles of Ecosystem Stewardship. Resilience-Based Natural Resource Management in a Changing World. In A Framework for Understanding Change. Springer, New York, pp. 2–38.Google Scholar
- Chaput, G., Cass, A., Grant, S., Huang, A.M., and Veinott, G. (2012). Considerations for Defining Reference Points for Semelparous Species, with Emphasis on Anadromous Salmonid Species Including Iteroparous Salmonids. ( No. 2012/146. v + 48 p.). DFO Canadian Science Advisory Section.Google Scholar
- Chaput, G., Cairns, D. K., Bastien-Daigle, S., LeBlanc, C., Robichaud, L., Turple, J.,and Girard, C. (2014). Recovery Potential Assessment for the American eel (Anguilla rostrata) for Eastern Canada: Mitigation Options. No. 2013/133. v + 30 p.). DFO Canadian Science Advisory Section Research Documentation.Google Scholar
- Corntassel, J. (2012). Re-Envisioning Resurgence: Indigenous Pathways to Decolonization and Sustainable Self-Determination. Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society 1(1): 86–101.Google Scholar
- COSEWIC. (2011a). Canadian Wildlife Species at Risk. Accessed December 2014, http://www.cosewic.gc.ca/eng/sct0/rpt/rpt_csar_e.pdf.
- COSEWIC (2011b). American eel. Accessed November 2014, http://www.cosewic.gc.ca/eng/sct1/searchdetail_e.cfm?id=891&StartRow=1&boxStatus=All&boxTaxonomic=3&location=All&change=All&board=All&commonName=American%20Eel&scienceName=&returnFlag=0&Page=1.
- COSEWIC. (2014). COSEWIC Composition. Accessed November 2014, http://www.cosewic.gc.ca/eng/sct6/sct6_4_e.cfm#3
- Davis, A., Wagner, J., Prosper, K., and Paulette, M. J. (2004). The Paq’tnkek Mi’kmaq and ka’t (American eel): A Case Study of Cultural Relations, Meanings, and Prospects. The Canadian Journal of Native Studies 24(2): 359–390.Google Scholar
- Denny, S., and Paul, T. (2012). Mi’kmaq Fisheries of Unama’ki. UNIR, Eskasoni Nova Scotia.Google Scholar
- DFO. (2010). Integrated Fisheries Management Plans. Retrieved 11/30/2014, from http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/peches-fisheries/ifmp-gmp/index-eng.htm.
- DFO. (2013). Mission, Vision, and Values. Accessed January 2014, http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/about-notre-sujet/org/vision-eng.htm.
- DFO. (2014). Listing Process for Aquatic Species not on Schedule I of the Species at Risk Act (SARA). Accessed November 2014, from http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/species-especes/policy-politique-eng.htm#8.
- Eskasoni. (2014a). Community Report 2012–2014.Eskasoni. Online: http://www.eskasoni.ca/uploads/newsletter/COMMUNITY-REPORT-2012–2014-(web).pdf.
- Eskasoni. (2014b). Our Eskasoni. Accessed November 2014, http://www.eskasoni.ca/History/.
- FishWIKS. (2013). Eskasoni. Accessed November 2014, http://fishwiks.ca/communities/eskasoni-ns/.
- Gratani, M., Butler, J. R., Royee, F., Valentine, P., Burrows, D., Canendo, W. I., and Anderson, A. S. (2011). Is validation of Indigenous Ecological Knowledge a Disrespectful Process? A Case Study of Traditional Fishing Poisons and Invasive Fish Management from the Wet Tropics. Australia. Ecology and Society 16(1): 1–14.Google Scholar
- Hassan, S. A., and Hanapi, M. S. (2013). “Scientificity” of Social Research: Its Challenges and Implications. Academic Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies 2(9): 62–73.Google Scholar
- Houde, N. (2007). The Six Faces of Traditional Ecological Knowledge: Challenges and Opportunities for Canadian Co-Management Arrangements. Ecology and Society 12(2): 34–45.Google Scholar
- Jessop, B. M. (2006). Underwater World: American Eel. Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Online: http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/Science/publications/uww-msm/pdf/eel-anguille-eng.pdf.
- Longino, H. E. (1990). Introduction: Good Science, Bad Science. Science as Social Knowledge: Values and Objectivity in Scientific Inquiry. Science as Social Knowledge: Values and Objectivity in Scientific Inquiry. Princeton University Press, Princeton, pp. 3–15.Google Scholar
- Marshall, A. (2004). Two-Eyed Seeing. Institute for Integrative Science and Health. Online: http://www.integrativescience.ca/Principles/TwoEyedSeeing/.
- Miller, M., and Casselman, J. (2014). The American eel: a fish of mystery and sustenance for humans. In Tsukamoto, K., and Kuroki, M. (eds.), Eels and Humans. Springer Press, pp. 155-169.Google Scholar
- NACOSAR. (2014). FAQs. Accessed December 2014, http://www.nacosar-canep.ca/en/faqs/.
- R. v. Marshall. (1999). SCR 3, 1999 (19991), 456.Google Scholar
- Ryan, T. (2012). Indigenous Knowledge Systems: An Overview. Online: http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download;jsessionid=829E14E5034AD19B411D4EF6D38790B4?doi=10.1.1.296.5045&rep=rep1&type=pdf.
- SARA. (2008). Species at Risk: Annual Report 2008. Online: https://www.registrelep-sararegistry.gc.ca/virtual_sara/files/reports/sar_2008_0310_e.pdf.
- SARA. (2014a). Response Statement—American Eel. Accessed December 2014, http://www.sararegistry.gc.ca/document/dspHTML_e.cfm?ocid=9474.
- SARA. (2014b). SARA General Status Reports. Accessed November 2014, http://www.sararegistry.gc.ca/document/dspHTML_e.cfm?ocid=7382#General_Status.
- Schuegraf, and Dowd. (2007). Ta’n Telnenas’gl Ga’te’gati’l Gespe’gewa’gig Perceptions of American Eel Habitat In Gespe’gewa’gi. Online: http://www.migmaqresource.org/sites/default/files/temp/GMRC_Eel-Ga%2527t_report_e.pdf.
- Simpson, L. B. (2014). Land as Pedagogy: Nishnaabeg Intelligence and Rebellious Transformation. Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society 3(3): 1–25.Google Scholar
- Smith, L. T. (1999). Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples. Zed Books.Google Scholar
- Sparrow v. the Queen. (1990). SCR 1, 1990(19901), 1075.Google Scholar
- Tellis, W. (1997). Application of a Case Study Methodology. The Qualitative Report 3(3): 1–17.Google Scholar
- UINR. (2013). Unama'ki Institute of Natural Resources. Accessed November 2014, from http://www.uinr.ca.
- UINR (Producer), and UINR (Director). (2009). Netukulimk. Online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsNVewjgKxI.
- Usher, P. J. (2000). Traditional Ecological Environmental Assessment and Management. Arctic 53(2): 183.Google Scholar
- Weiler, M. H. (2011). Mi’kmaq and the American eel. Traditional knowledge relating to the American eel by mainland Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq #1734. Accessed September 2014, http://mikmaki.ca/PDFs/Weiler_Mikmaq_and_the_American_Eel.pdf
- Wicken, W. (2002). Mi'kmaq Treaties on Trial: History, Land, and Donald Marshall Junior. University of Toronto Press, Toronto.Google Scholar
- Wildcat, M., McDonald, M., Irlbacher-Fox, S. and Coulthard, G. (2014). Learning from the Land: Indigenous Land Based Pedagogy and Decolonization. Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society. 3(3): I-XVGoogle Scholar
- Wildsmith, B. H. (1995). Mi'kmaq and the fishery: Beyond food requirements, the. Dalhousie LJ, 18, 116.Google Scholar
- Wilson, S. (2008). Research is Ceremony: Indigenous Research Methods. Fernwood Publishing, Winnipeg.Google Scholar
- Yin, R. K. (2013). Case Study Research: Design and Methods. Sage publications.Google Scholar