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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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SPECIAL SECTION: PROTECTED AREAS AND SUSTAINABLE FOREST MANAGEMENT IN CANADA
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 72-83

Indigenous-based Approaches to Territorial Conservation: A Case Study of the Algonquin Nation of Wolf Lake


1 Forest Conservation and Economic Development Advisor Wolf Lake First Nation, Canada
2 School of Resource and Environmental Management, Simon Fraser University, Canada

Correspondence Address:
Rosanne Van Schie
Forest Conservation and Economic Development Advisor Wolf Lake First Nation
Canada
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0972-4923.161225

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Wolf Lake First Nation (WLFN), a community within the Algonquin Nation of Canada, has struggled with issues of self-determination and economic development that all First Nations across Canada have experienced. WLFN, with other First Nations in Canada, is advocating for the United Nation Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) as a framework for advancing their rights, dignity, survival, security, and well-being. In keeping with this, WLFN is motivated to create economic opportunities for its community that also protect their values for forest ecosystems. The surrounding region has had a long history of industrial forestry; the community has recently explored alternative economic projects, including eco-tourism and ecosystem service benefits from improved forest management. This paper outlines the history of WLFN's relationship to the land. It highlights more recent interactions with Canadian federal and provincial governments to expand working definitions and parameters of sustainable forest management to include Indigenous approaches to territorial biodiversity conservation. The process involves competing actors and has encountered many challenges. The paper also explores the tension between grounded efforts in social, environmental, and economic change by a single First Nation, and the imperfect institutional conditions to meaningfully accommodate their work in conservation and improved forest management.


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