Recent global initiatives such as the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples have brought the issues facing and needs of Indigenous peoples to the forefront of international attention. While underscoring respect for traditional practices, these initiatives have yet to appreciate fully the extent to which Indigenous peoples’ practices engage ways of being, living and believing that encompass a holistic understanding of the relations between humans and all facets of their ecosystems. The Mi’kmaw, a nation of Indigenous peoples in Atlantic Canada, work to recapture and express ancient holistic understandings through their contemporary natural resource management aspirations and practices. In this paper we review key colonial events that have impacted Indigenous relations with settlers and resulted in historical marginalization of the Mi’kmaw from fishery policy and management processes. We provide an overview and discussion of recent developments wherein the Mi’kmaw are working to revitalize the place of netukulimk, a concept that embraces cultural and spiritual connections with resource stewardship, in the exercise of treaty-based rights, particularly within self-governing fisheries management initiatives. We conclude with the core attributes of Two-Eyed Seeing, a methodological framework for collaborative, decolonizing research practices and Indigenous knowledge mobilization strategies. The Mi’kmaw experiences provide insights regarding the challenges and requirements for achieving respect for Indigenous traditional practices and point a way forward for more effective and inclusive stewardship of natural aquatic resources into the future.
Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 22, 2016
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