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Cultures and Ecologies

Cultures and Ecologies: A Native Fishing Conflict on the Saugeen-Bruce Peninsula

Copyright Date: 2005
Pages: 240
  • Book Info
    Cultures and Ecologies
    Book Description:

    Based on substantial ethnographic fieldwork and featuring rich interviews with First Nations members,Cultures and Ecologieslinks perspectives on fishing conflict issues to local community revitalization efforts.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7368-7
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Maps
    (pp. ix-2)
  5. Cultures and Ecologies: A Native Fishing Conflict on the Saugeen-Bruce Peninsula
    (pp. 3-8)

    During the last several decades native people in Canada have increasingly asserted their rights to natural resources. These rights are regarded as historical entitlements and as key to the rehabilitation of native communities. Increased local control of natural resources is recognized by Canadian government policymakers and native leaders alike as an important initiative toward self-government, but realizing this goal is not easy. Native representatives are asking for greater access to and control of resources for reasons that include enhanced economic opportunities and also involve broader social, political, and cultural issues. Activities related to the use of natural resources figure prominently...

  6. 1 Getting to Know the Peninsula and Its People
    (pp. 9-18)

    Among various peoples of the world, geographic place names may be highly expressive and convey much information. Such names are frequently descriptive, indicating notable qualities of landscape features. Mythical individuals are sometimes connected with particular places through stories that explain how geographic markings were formed. Such stories can contribute to social and ecological knowledge; by referencing ancestral ties, this knowledge can serve to define and regulate social relations and territorial privileges (see Cruikshank 1990; Tonkinson 1991; Davidson-Hunt and Berkes 2003). This function of place naming has been recognized through ethnographic research among ʹunfamiliarʹ groups, but it might apply in more...

  7. 2 The Fairgrieve Decision and Its Impact
    (pp. 19-36)

    On 26 April 1993, Judge Fairgrieve of the Ontario Court (Provincial Division) announced a ruling known officially as ʹRegina v. Jones [1993] O.J. No. 893 (Ont. Prov. Div.)ʹ and less formally as ʹthe Fairgrieve decision.ʹ The case is also sometimes referred to asR. v. Jones and NadjiwonorR. v. Jones et al.In this ruling the judge dismissed charges against Howard Jones and Francis Nadjiwon, members of the Chippewas of Nawash First Nation, who had been accused of ʹtaking more lake trout than permitted by [the] bandʹs commercial fishing license contrary to Ontario Fishery Regulationsʹ (Regina v. Jones...

  8. 3 Fishing in the Distant Past
    (pp. 37-58)

    The fishing conflict on the Saugeen-Bruce Peninsula is permeated with history. Since the conflict is a cumulative outcome of past relations, a better understanding of past fisheries involvement can help in sorting through current conflict issues. But this is not a simple proposition. Historical reconstruction is about the past, but it is also about ʹrecountingʹ things with reference to current concerns and values. Native claims to fishing rights derive in large part from historical precedents, and in efforts to assert and contest those rights various interpretations of historical events have already been debated, in legal and negotiation forums as well...

  9. 4 Change and Adaptation: Late Historical Fisheries
    (pp. 59-78)

    While it is clear that the peninsulaʹs fisheries were important for various groups of people in the distant past, it is difficult to reconstruct the details of who these groups of people were. To further complicate the situation, it is evident that an understanding of early fishery activities requires attention to group interactions as well as to the activities of particular groups themselves. In more recent historical times, during what I refer to as the late historical period (1830–1900), more information is available with which to interpret group interactions and assess the impact of contact relations on native peoplesʹ...

  10. 5 Mixed Economies: Twentieth-Century Fisheries
    (pp. 79-104)

    During the first half of the 1900s, the peninsulaʹs native people continued to adjust to changing fishing opportunities in ways that reflect the strong influence of their relationships with non-natives. These adjustments were part of a larger pattern of mixed economic activity that characterized the peninsula during this period, and they were shaped as well by dramatic changes that began around the end of the Second World War.

    Several published portrayals of non-native fishers around the peninsula provide interesting insights into fishing activities at the end of the late historical period and throughout the following decades. Such accounts are anecdotal...

  11. 6 ʹConservationʹ
    (pp. 105-121)

    Conservation has become a focus of attention in the peninsulaʹs fishing conflict. Both advocates and opponents of native fishing rights support their positions through appeals for appropriate conservation measures. Conservation also has political implications that stem from the Sparrow ruling, which puts native fishing ahead of non-native commercial and recreational activities but establishes conservation of fish stocks as the first priority.

    The concept of ʹconservationʹ has abstract philosophical dimensions as well as real-world implications: its ambiguities contribute to the confusion that surrounds the peninsulaʹs fishing conflict. A better understanding of the range of meanings it encompasses for the various interests...

  12. 7 Local Perspectives on Conflict Issues
    (pp. 122-151)

    Attending to native peopleʹs perspectives on fishing-conflict issues can help to clarify the underlying factors, which need to be more openly examined and addressed. Concerns articulated at the local level provide insights into how social and political conditions are intertwined with ecological ones – insights into the conflictʹs political ecology.

    I believe the whole restocking program has to be re-examined, because we feel that it is destroying the fishery in order to create a viable sports fishery. That is where the problem lies, in the effort of the sport fishery to overtake the commercial fishery. (CP-RA)

    As Chief Akiwenzie indicates...

  13. 8 Traditional Knowledge
    (pp. 152-177)

    Traditional environmental knowledge (TEK) has important meanings within this fishing conflict as part of a critique of established approaches to fisheries management. It also has a potential role in negotiated fishing agreements. To explore these meanings and potential I further examine local perspectives on established fisheries management and science. I then discuss how notions about traditional knowledge were articulated by Nawash community representatives at a co-management conference they hosted. This is followed by an analysis of how traditional environmental knowledge is reconstructed in the context of the conflict, and as part of broader initiatives in cultural revitalization. Finally, I explore...

  14. 9 Toward Dialogue
    (pp. 178-186)

    The most important issues are who owns the fishery; who manages it; whether the stocks are adequate to sustain a commercial harvest … basically, whether or not there is a future in fishing. (SG-RK)

    The current fishing conflict on the Saugeen-Bruce Peninsula involves a complex mix of social and ecological issues. Assessing these issues critically and openly can allow useful insights into the conflict. Given the political volatility of the situation, it may be difficult for representatives with various interests to look beyond the frameworks they have built in support of their positions. But some steps have been taken in...

  15. Appendices
    (pp. 187-196)
  16. Notes
    (pp. 197-206)
  17. References
    (pp. 207-224)
  18. Index
    (pp. 225-230)