This study examines the co-management arrangements between the Metlakatla First Nation and the Province of British Columbia, with a specific focus on the implementation of co-management within the new “conservancy” designation. First introduced as a protected area in British Columbia in 2006, the conservancy designation is unique in that the legislation explicitly recognizes the importance of these protected areas for social, ceremonial and cultural uses, while also allowing First Nations and others to pursue opportunities for low-impact, sustainable economic development. Using the conservancies within the Metlakatla First Nation territory as a case study, I evaluate their co-management arrangements against 10 principles of “strong” co-management. I then analyze my results for implications as implementation of conservancy co-management continues on-the-ground, comparing formal rules with informal practices. Last, I identify potential challenges and make recommendations to overcome these challenges so that the Metlakatla First Nation can achieve its vision for conservancies.
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