Indigenous Knowledge in Environmental Co-Management in the Yukon
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McGrath, Neil Ryan
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The purpose of this thesis was to investigate the role of Indigenous Knowledge in the context of co-management in the Yukon. The research assessed the extent to which a protected area management plan co-managed by the Yukon Territorial Government, Carcross/Tagish First Nation Government, and the Government of Canada in the Yukon incorporates Indigenous Knowledge. This investigation used a qualitative approach, which involved the comprehensive study of the Tagish River Habitat Protection Area Management Plan and planning process as a case study, analysis of documents pertaining to it, and semi-structured interviews of those involved in the planning process and who are familiar with the plan. The objective of this investigation was to gauge the extent to which participants perceive that Indigenous Knowledge and values are represented within the plan and process that is mandated to include them through the Carcross/Tagish First Nation Final Agreement. The main research question was: To what extent are Indigenous Knowledge and values included in the Tagish River Habitat Protection Area management plan and planning process? This research built on previously identified findings in the literature that demonstrate the value of Indigenous Knowledge and values in co-management. This research sought to determine how Indigenous Knowledge and values are in fact represented within the management plan compared to the intentions of the developers of the plan. Findings include the fact that all participants perceived that the plan will include various aspects of Indigenous Knowledge and values, particularly more so than do other existing HPA plans within the Yukon. There are many hopeful feelings that this HPA will represent a good example moving forward for appropriate co-management regimes in the future, though the application of these aspects will be dependent on the implementation of them.