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Traditional Use Studies


Chief's Kerry Moose

Chief Kerry's Moose: A Guidebook to Land Use and Occupancy Mapping, Research Design
by Terry Tobias
A joint publication of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs
Ecotrust Canada

This full-colour guidebook examines the common pitfalls encountered while designing and implementing cultural land use studies and offers clear guidance on how these problems can be avoided.  The layout of the publication is in a widely accessible format, with maps, pictures and diagrams illustrating examples of what has worked in First Nations research across Canada.  

The guidebook is now available in PDF format in its entirety or by specific chapters below.

To order a hardcopy of this publication, please send an email message to info@ecotrustcan.org at Ecotrust Canada.  The price is $14.99 plus $5.00 for shipping (in Canada) and 7% GST.  For additional billing information you can also contact her at (604) 682-4141. 

Note, the book is being sold "at cost", we will not be providing discounts to academic institutions or other groups.  The GST will be collected unless an exemption number is provided.

Download the entire Guidebook (2266KB)

Introduction (337KB)
Chapter One Land Use and Occupancy Mapping: A Definition and A Warning (110KB) Chapter Five Designing the Project: Why, Who, When, Where and What (143KB)
Chapter Two The Tasks of a Mapping Project (209KB) Chapter Six Principles of Research Design and Implementation (981KB)
Chapter Three Map Biographies and Composites (401KB) Chapter Seven Measuring Quality (156KB)
Chapter Four Doing Quality Research (242KB) Chapter Eight Creating a Culture of Research (80KB)
Summary (108KB)
Glossary (186KB)
We are interested to hear from you!
If you are using the above material for community use, for class assignment or as part of a class curriculum please send us an email.  Thanks!

You will also find useful the UBCIC publication, RESEARCHING THE INDIAN LAND QUESTION IN B.C.: An Introduction to Research Strategies and Archival Research for Band Researchers.  The publication is available online for download.


Josie Paul speaking to Clarence John during the Lheidli T'enneh Traditional Use Study

Background Documents and Papers

For general background, read The Evolution Of British Columbia's Heritage Environment: An Overview and Discussion of First Nations Issues, UBCIC (2003) PDF

The Aboriginal Mapping Network's website is a wealth of information.  The website contains a Traditional Use Study page which has the following links:

Community Examples
The Lheidli T'enneh Nation have generously offered their An Information Sharing Agreement as an example for all to view.

Take a look at the Lheidli T'enneh Nation's Traditional Use Study Proposal.

The Lheidli T'enneh Nation also created the following documents:

Lheidli T'enneh Traditional Use Study Release Form (Word or PDF)
Band Council Resolution: Researcher Confidentiality (Word or PDF).
Traditional Use Study Researcher Confidentiality (Word or PDF).

"Co-Management, Negotiation, Litigation: Questions of Power in Traditional Use Studies". Thom, Brian and Kevin Washbrook. (Paper Prepared for the Annual Meetings of the Society for Applied Anthropology, held in Seattle Washington, March 1997.)

"Getting to Use in Traditional Use Studies". Weinstein, Martin S.

"Sharing Information or Captured Heritage: Access to community geographic knowledge and the state's responsibility to protect aboriginal rights in British Columbia". Weinstein, Martin S.

Key Areas
Culturally Modified Trees (CMTs)

Sacred Cedar: The Cultural and Archaeological Significance of Culturally Modified Trees 

Culturally Modified Trees of British Columbia 
Author, Editor(s): Arnoud H. Stryd Subject: Forestry General Series: Miscellaneous Reports Other details: Published 1998.

Culturally Modified Trees (University of Northern British Columbia)

FORUM VOLUME 7, ISSUE 1 January/February 2000 - Forest Inventories: trees and more Modern bark-stripped culturally modified trees shed light on an old problem By Andrew R. Mason, MA, RPCA and Pamela Perreault 

BEYOND TOKENISM: Aboriginal Involvement in Archaeological Resource Management in British Columbia by Maria Luisa De Paoli, May 1999. Chapter Four: ABORIGINAL APPROACHES TO HERITAGE MANAGEMENT 

Kitkatla Band v British. Columbia (Small Business,. Tourism and Culture). 2000 BCCA 42. Date:. 20000119. Docket:. V03364 V03385. Registry: Vancouver. COURT OF APPEAL FOR BRITISH COLUMBIA. BETWEEN:. CHIEF COUNCILLOR MATHEW HILL, also known as Tha-lathatk, on his own behalf and on behalf of all other members of the Kitkatla Band and KITKATLA BAND
[Note: There are additional rulings prior to this one. Go to Reasons for Judgment Database and enter the term KITKATLA]

The Aboriginal Mapping Network also maintains the transcripts from their GIS 99 - First Nations GIS (Geographical Iinformation System) conference.  Take a look at the Practitioners Panel.

View also the recent the Treaty 8 Tribal Association Traditional Use Study Conference Brief prepared for the Protecting Knowledge: Traditional Resource Rights in the New Millennium conference titled Sharing the Knowledge: A First Nations Perspective (only available in PDF).

The recent UBCIC conference Protecting Knowledge: Traditional Resource Rights in the New Millennium focussed on the much larger and over-arching issue of Indigenous intellectual property rights.  Go to the Conference Papers to download papers and navigate related links.

Community Websites

Huu-ay-aht Resource Management is part of the Huu-ay-aht First Nation.  This page contains three examples of their work. 

Kwakiutl Laich-Kwil-Tach K'ómoks Nations Treaty Society October 1999 newsletter contained an update of their TUS.

There are several First Nations' TUS projects listed on the Denman Community Forest Cooperative's Directory of Community Forest Organisations of British Columbia page.  The aim of this page is to provide "an inclusive definition of 'Community Forestry' is used. We aim to include information about forestry initiatives in British Columbia that substantially serve local community interests and values."

Government of British Columbia

Ministry of Forests
Traditional Use Study Programme Homepage

Archaeology Branch
Archaeology Branch Homepage

Agreements, Policies and Procedures Page

Land Use and Coordination Office
Guide to Spatial Land and Resource Information in LRMP

Environmental Assessment Office
Determining the Impact of the Tulsequah Chief Mine Project on the Traditional Land Use of the Taku River Tlingit First Nation

Government of Canada

Dreamspeaker is the B.C. Region, DIAND publication and the Summer 2000 issue contained an article Ayjoomixw Tours by Ruth McVeigh.  You can find out more about this Sliammon enterprise at http://www.ayjoomixw.com/.

First Nation Forestry Programme is a site produced by the Natural Resources Canada and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada.  Check out the Traditional Ecological Knowledge within the Government of Canada's First Nation Forestry Program - A Case Study.


Native Title Services (NTS) was created as a specialist area within the Department of the Premier and Cabinet in 1998 as part of the Queensland Government's strategy to address native title issues.

NTS provides, in a single unit, a wide range of specialist skills and expertise necessary to deal with native title in Queensland. It is the State's lead agency for all native title issues and also provides general legal advice to the Department of the Premier and Cabinet.  This Unit is responsible for assessing 'Connection Reports' prepared to establish that applicant groups have an on-going or traditional link to the lands under claim. Although currently under revision, NTS invites you to vist our website and view our information booklet titled Compiling A Connection Report, available in PDF format for downloading.

United States
ESRI GIS and Mapping Software is the maker of the ArcInfo and ArcView GIS software.  Their website contains Native Geography: Annual Magazine of the ESRI Native American/First Nations Program.  The online portion contains articles from Jhon Goes In Center, Native American and First Nations' GIS; Russell Collier and Martine Rose, The Gitxsan Model: A Vision for the Land and the People; Roman Frank and David Carruthers, After All, The Border Is Artificially Imposed: Networking the Aboriginal Mapping Community in British Columbia; Laura K. Roddan and Arlene C. Harry, Sliammon First Nation Uses GIS to Map Traditional Values; and Aimee Mitchell, How to Grow Tribal Environmental Protection and GIS.

Search Engines

The following searches use the term "traditional use study"


UBCIC is a NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.








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