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Indigenous Knowledge and Values in Planning for Sustainable Forestry: Pikangikum First Nation and the Whitefeather Forest Initiative

R. Michael O'Flaherty, Natural Resources Institute, University of Manitoba
Iain J. Davidson-Hunt, Natural Resources Institute, University of Manitoba
Micheline Manseau, Natural Resources Institute, University of Manitoba


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Although still posing challenges, science-based knowledge (including interdisciplinary work) is leading current forest-management planning. How then can indigenous communities mobilize their own knowledge to support their desire to develop new ways of managing the forest? In northern Ontario, the provincial government has developed a cross-scale planning approach that allocates certain responsibilities to First Nations in order to support their vision and knowledge, yet at the same time addresses provincial planning goals.

Within this context, research on woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus) was conducted in collaboration with Pikangikum First Nation to support their participation in forest-management planning. The outcomes of this research are used as a focal point for discussing some of the stressors that influence cross-scale planning for forestry in northern Ontario. The paper concludes that resolving cultural differences in a forest-management planning context is not entirely necessary to move forward with collaborative planning for the conservation of woodland caribou habitat.

Key words

Cross-cultural research; indigenous knowledge; northwestern Ontario; woodland caribou

Copyright © 2008 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. You may share and adapt the work for noncommercial purposes provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087