PROPOSAL TO COMBINE CREE AND SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE FOR IMPROVED MOOSE HABITAT MANAGEMENT ON WASWANIPI EEYOU ASTCHEE, NORTHERN QUÉBEC
First Nations involvement in forest management is necessary to achieve sustainability, even more in northern Québec where the Cree have constitutional rights on the land. An innovative research approach has been undertaken to improve forest management on Eeyou Astchee, the Cree territory. This project targets moose (Alces alces) because of its importance to the Cree people and because it is a representative species of the northern black spruce ecosystem. The research aims at combining native and scientific knowledge to overcome trust, communication, and cultural barriers, and to build a common vision of moose habitat needs in this northern area. In this poorly known ecosystem, combining Cree and scientific knowledge about moose seems to be a promising avenue to achieve sustainable forest management. Based on new knowledge of this common vision, socioecologicaly-adapted habitat management strategies will be proposed for the study area. The involvement of key stakeholders, and recognition of their knowledge, should promote better support for the research project and better social acceptability of the proposed management recommendations.
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