SUPPORTING SUSTAINABLE FOREST MANAGEMENT BY ENHANCING ABORIGINAL ENGAGEMENT AND ADAPTIVE CAPACITY: THE PRINCE ALBERT MODEL FOREST AND BEARDY’S AND OKEMASIS FIRST NATION
Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) seeks to maintain and enhance the long-term health of forest ecosystems for the benefit all living organisms, while providing economic, social and cultural opportunities for present and future generations. The Model Forest Program in Canada is dedicated to bringing together stakeholders and rights holders to collaborate and conceptualize activities that will demonstrate SFM. The idea that Aboriginal engagement is a necessary component of SFM, as well as a contributing factor to adaptive capacity, was applied to an Indigenous and Non-Indigenous community: the Prince Albert Model Forest (PAMF) and the Beardy’s and Okemasis First Nation (BOFN). The purpose of this research was to explore how initiatives between the PAMF and BOFN could support engagement and adaptive capacity to meet the some of the goals of SFM. Engagement is defined by active participation and adaptive capacity is defined as the ability of individuals and organizations to access and mobilize assets in ways that facilitate adaptation to change. Document analysis and semi-structured interviews were used to examine the evolution of Aboriginal engagement with the PAMF and a Criteria and Indicator framework was created to assess the PAMF activities that had an Aboriginal participation priority. Preliminary research, formal and informal observations, literature and documents reviews and semi-structured interviews were used to assess the adaptive capacity of the BOFN and examine how participation with the PAMF has affected the community’s adaptive capacity. This research made advances in understanding how Aboriginal engagement furthers SFM programs, projects and initiatives. Key lessons were identified in encouraging and maintaining Aboriginal engagement through active participation and how engagement can contribute to the building and enhancing of a community’s adaptive capacity. An assessment of the BOFN’s adaptive capacity provided evidence that the community’s participation with the PAMF has helped the community access resources, realize community goals and build towards the community’s ideal future. Ultimately, it was found that the PAMF has expanded the concept of SFM to sustaining forests and sustaining communities but faces future challenges from the loss of interest by the federal government.
DegreeMaster of Environment and Sustainability (M.E.S.)
DepartmentSchool of Environment and Sustainability
ProgramEnvironment and Sustainability
CommitteeNatcher, David; Johnston, Mark
Copyright DateApril 2016
Sustainable Forest Management