Knowledge Pluralism in First Nations’ Salmon Management

Journal Article (Journal Article)

There is growing interest in the “integration” of knowledge and values held by Indigenous peoples with Western science into natural resource governance and management. However, poorly conducted integration efforts can risk harming Indigenous communities and reifying colonial legacies. In this regard, dichotomous conceptualizations of Indigenous and scientific knowledges are problematic. In this research, we focus on the role of indigenous and scientific knowledges in the management of coho salmon (Oncorhyncus kisutch) on the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia (BC) in a governance context featuring contested authority among First Nations (Indigenous peoples) and the government of Canada. We discuss an example from a particular Indigenous community, Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations (TFN), that has worked with other management bodies to establish practices for the restoration, enhancement and harvest of cuẃit (coho). After outlining relevant Tla-o-qui-aht values, knowledges and decision-making processes, we consider the pluralistic approach to Indigenous and scientific knowledges in Tla-o-qui-aht management of cuẃit and show that pluralistic, co-constitutive, and multiplicative understandings of Indigenous and scientific ways of knowing may provide better grounding for addressing challenges in integration efforts. We also emphasize the importance of engagement with FN community liaisons and deferral to FN leadership to align management efforts with FN structures of knowledge production and governance, maintain ethical engagement, recognize Indigenous agency, and support effective conservation, and management efforts.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Bingham, JA; Milne, S; Murray, G; Dorward, T

Published Date

  • May 4, 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 8 /

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2296-7745

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.3389/fmars.2021.671112

Citation Source

  • Scopus