Waterways and Resource Use: A Study of the Effects of Heavy Industry on First Nations Fisheries Use by West Moberly First Nations
This project will focus on First Nations fisheries use and management within the community of West Moberly First Nations, Moberly Lake, BC. This research will be looking at whether the development from heavy industry has impacted the health of freshwater fisheries in the area, and if and how the health of freshwater fisheries affects First Nations use of fish. The objectives of this study are: to understand the nature and extent of First Nations fisheries used by West Moberly First Nations; to explore the social and economic connections among West Moberly First Nations and their fishery use; to examine how and why fishery use has changed over time from pre-Treaty 8 use through post-Treaty 8 and preindustrialization use and ultimately to the post-industrialization use of today; and, finally, to develop potential solutions or enhancements to the current management and use of waterways in the Peace River Sub-basin based on the suggestions and concerns broached by West Moberly First Nations. Through the use of in-depth interviews with the community, light will be shed on these topics from the perspectives of the people who deal with these issues first-hand. This study will demonstrate the extent to which heavy industry affects inland fisheries and the resulting social and economic consequences of development on the First Nations users of these fisheries. The degree to which First Nations peoples rely on local resources and how policies such as Treaty 8, aimed at increasing regional industrial development, have influenced resource reliance by First Nations peoples may have far reaching implications for future industrial development and waterway management in the Peace River Sub-basin and, perhaps, across the province.