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Grounded in values, informed by local knowledge and science: The selection of valued components for a First Nation’s regional cumulative effects management system

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Regional cumulative effects management systems monitor and seek to maintain or restore the condition of valued biophysical, social, economic and cultural components over time. Valued components – the elements that people individually and collectively consider to be important – are at the core of any cumulative effects management system. I propose a new methodology for identifying and selecting valued components for a First Nation’s regional cumulative effects management system. The methodology explicitly incorporates Aboriginal perspectives, values and knowledge. Key features include implementation planning, clear decision-making criteria, and effective engagement with Aboriginal people. I worked in collaboration with the Metlakatla First Nation and its consultants to apply the methodology to identify high-priority valued biophysical components for a cumulative effects management system in Metlakatla’s traditional territory on the north coast of British Columbia. Based on this pilot study, I assess the strengths of the methodology and suggest areas for improvement.
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