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Cultural Values in Cumulative Effects Management: A Case Study with the Metlakatla First Nation

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Conventional approaches to environmental impact assessment and cumulative effects assessment (CEA) have largely failed to incorporate the cultural values of Aboriginal communities and have inadequately addressed the negative impacts of development on these values. The main objective of this study is to develop and demonstrate an improved methodology for identifying and assessing cultural values to inform CEA and other decision-making processes. After reviewing the major weaknesses and recommendations discussed in the literature on CEA and cultural values, I describe the new method and demonstrate its application as part of an innovative cumulative effects management program instituted by the Metlakatla First Nation for their traditional territory in northwestern British Columbia. I compare my results with the results of a recent conventional assessment conducted for the Pacific NorthWest LNG Project in Metlakatla territory. The new method provides useful information to support Metlakatla efforts to maintain their culture, language, and practices.
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