Abstract

The new protected area (PA) designation of Conservancy in British Columbia, Canada marks a positive shift in government policy concerning PAs and the role of First Nations in provincial land and resource management and conservation. We present a review of the Conservancy designation within a legal and political ecology context, and assess some of the related opportunities and challenges presented by this new designation. Our data were gathered through document, literature and legal reviews, complemented by field research observations and personal communications with key informants from the Gitga'at First Nation.

Acknowledgments

We thank Fikret Berkes, Brian Bawtinheimer, Nancy Turner and Mary Shariff for their insightful comments and support in writing and researching this paper. We also offer our sincere thanks to the members of the Gitga’at First Nation, particularly Helen Clifton, Kyle Clifton, Ernest Hill and Lynne Hill, for their many contributions to this paper, as well as their hospitality. We also thank our three anonymous reviewers for their time and helpful suggestions. Fieldwork funding was provided by SSHRC (IP Robert Anderson). We would also like to acknowledge support from University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowship.

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