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Indigenous Pacific salmon stream caretaking: Ancestral lifeways to guide restoration, relationships, rights, and responsibilities

Resource type
Thesis type
(Thesis) M.R.M.
Date created
Cumulative stressors continue to impact the health and survival of salmon, and the social-ecological systems they support and connect. Today, restoring the relationships, rights, and responsibilities of Indigenous Peoples to their salmon kin is central to a sustainable and just future with salmon. In this thesis, I coordinated a group of Indigenous and non-Indigenous researchers from across British Columbia to come together in a respectful and transparent way. Together, we aim to uphold ancestral Indigenous Pacific salmon stream caretaking knowledge, longstanding Indigenous rights and relationships to land and waters, and our joint responsibilities to care for these watersheds. To do this, we begin by describing traditional governance systems that house Indigenous salmon stream caretaking practices. Through a literature review and conversations with co-authors, we then describe eight Indigenous salmon stream caretaking practices. Finally, we share three contemporary focal stories of Indigenous salmon restoration projects that uphold ancestral knowledge; 'Syilx sockeye restoration', 'səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) led salmon habitat restoration in xʔəl̓ilwətaʔɬ (Indian River Watershed)', and 'Nuu-chah-nulth Peoples and salmon: responsive methods through steadfast lifeways'. We present stream caretaking knowledge and the focal stories as learning opportunities that may guide future human-salmon relationships and restoration.
68 pages.
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Copyright is held by the author(s).
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes.
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Moore, Jonathan
Thesis advisor: Hodgson, Emma
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