Call for Canada to braid Indigenous rights with endangered species law

The University of BC
May 18, 2023
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Climbing caribou numbers in northeastern BC prove that collaborations between Indigenous and colonial governments can reverse decades-long declines, but focus needs to shift to culturally meaningful recovery targets, a consortium of researchers and community members say in a new paper published this week in Science. UBC Okanagan’s Dr. Clayton Lamb and West Moberly First Nation Chief Roland Willson co-lead the paper, Braiding Indigenous Rights and Endangered Species Law, alongside nine others. “Abundance matters,” says Lamb. …“There is a large gap between what the laws see as species recovery and what communities need for health, food security, and cultural well-being.” …Canada and the United States have endangered species laws that are designed to recover species abundance to levels that will minimize the chance of extinction, but these recovery targets do not take into account culturally meaningful abundance or distributions of plants and animals, the authors say.

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