Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Environmental Studies (MES)


Geography & Environmental Studies


Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

D. Scott Slocombe

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


For several years now, the Canadian Federal government’s Aboriginal Fisheries Strategy has provided a means for substantial co-management of fisheries resources by First Nations. Unfortunately, there is a widespread lack of understanding of the Aboriginal Fisheries Strategy (AFS) by all interested parties. This study examines the AF S agreement of the Tahltan First Nation of Northwestern British Columbia and other fisheries co-management agreements in place in B.C. It does so by comparing them with the provisions and process of development of comprehensive claim based co- management agreements elsewhere in Canada. It also offers an assessment of aboriginal fisheries co-management arrangements and provides insight into sustainable aspects of the regimes. Evaluation criteria were derived from a 1994 study by McDaniels, Healey & Paisley that outlined objectives important in guiding the design of fisheries co-management initiatives involving First Nations in B.C. The most successful agreements and claims analyzed included the following achievements: Aboriginal rights were respected, fisheries co-management regimes were community-based, the community’s economic well-being had improved, trust and cooperation had been built between parties, technical expertise had been developed, participation occurred at both a local and regional level, and adaptive learning was taking place. This assessment also suggests that successful fisheries co-management regimes do not require ratification in treaties. The Tahltan Aboriginal Fisheries Strategy is a good example, although it could still be further improved. Recommendations for improvement included: the development of a strategic plan; block funding or a trust fund; improved training programs; recognition of a more traditional leadership system; active participation at the watershed level; and improving and supporting local commercial fishery activities.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season