Co-existence of Atikamekw and industrial forestry paradigms : occupation and management of forestlands in the St-Maurice river basin, Québec

Authors: Wyatt, Stephen
Advisor: Bouthillier, LucPoirier, Sylvie
Abstract: Canada’s forestlands are of great importance for the forest industry, the national economy, and for First Nations, the traditional occupants of these lands. During the last twenty-five years, First Nations have become increasingly involved in forestland management through business ventures, legal proceedings and negotiated agreements. This is an international trend as indigenous peoples assert customary rights to forestlands, and as governments and industry recognize potential benefits of collaboration. Within this trend, the Atikamekw of central Québec are building closer links with forestry companies and planning a joint venture to construct a sawmill. But forest industries and indigenous peoples may have quite different ways of understanding and using forestlands. This case study explores the different forestry paradigms held by the Atikamekw and the forest industry; their systems of values, knowledge and techniques that direct their understanding and use of forestlands. Research techniques from the social sciences were used for five complementary sub-studies: the historical development of forestlands use and management; recent Atikamekw-industry collaboration in forestry; contemporary occupation of forestlands by the Atikamekw; consultation processes between industry and Atikamekw; and interviews with members of each group. I propose an analytical framework to describe each paradigm, examine the differences between the groups, and consider ways of bridging these differences. The forest industry paradigm and Québec’s forestry regime are based on the scientific management of forests, primarily to provide sustainable supplies of wood fibre. In contrast, Atikamekw are engaged with notcimik, forestlands, through their knowledge, values and tipahiskan, their traditional approach to management. Projects such as the sawmill joint venture can respond to particular interests of both groups. However, the forestry regime constrains both Atikamekw participation in management of forestlands and industry capacity to adjust practices to Atikamekw interests. Recognizing different paradigms does not require that one group accepts the beliefs of the other, or that they develop a single common understanding. Rather coexistence emphasizes the need to develop innovative practices and management systems that can respond to values, knowledge and understandings of different groups.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2004
Open Access Date: 11 April 2018
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11794/17894
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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