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Decolonizing park management: A framework for the co-management of national parks and protected areas

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National parks in Canada have a colonial history, which in many ways is continued today through discounting traditional ecological knowledge of the land and limiting Indigenous peoples’ use and access of their traditional territories. As the Government of Canada moves forward with its commitments to reconciliation and implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, it is increasingly open to new approaches to working with Indigenous groups. Co-management, a system of power sharing between multiple parties, is commonly recommended as a new approach to park management. Due to the diverse potential co-management structures, a one-size-fits-all approach is not an appropriate co-management policy. Therefore, this project employs an extensive literature review, qualitative interviews, and a case study analysis to identify factors that inform a policy framework to support the Government of Canada – specifically Parks Canada Agency and Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada – in a broader implementation of co-management.
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