Studying Culturally Significant Plant Regeneration Post-harvest in the Splatsin Territory
Why This Project Matters
Indigenous Peoples in the U.S. and Canada have long relied on forests for cultural, spiritual and material needs. The SFI Program recognizes forest operations may have an impact on Indigenous communities in a variety of ways, including culturally significant ones. This study will provide data on how culturally important plant biota regenerate after forest management activities, such as harvests. Understanding and maintaining biodiversity in the forest, while also respecting culturally significant plants, is critical for both the Splatsin Indian Band and Tolko Industries in their management of forest lands in the south-central interior of British Columbia. Tolko is an SFI Program Participant.
How the Project is Studying Culturally Significant Plant Regeneration
Splatsin, with the assistance of Tolko and a professional Biologist, will measure the presence and regeneration success of select culturally sensitive plants pre- and post-forest harvesting. Study areas will be in Splatsin traditional areas and sample plots will be established to measure pre- and post-harvest plant presence, health and vitality of selected plants. The study and its methodology will be developed and managed by the biologist in consult with Splatsin.
The SFI Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant Program is supporting this project. SFI also promotes Indigenous rights, respect and engagement through its standards and partnerships with Indigenous communities. The SFI Forest Management Standard is aligned with Indigenous values, including rights, knowledge, and environmental considerations. Indigenous communities began certifying to SFI in 2010. Today, 39 Indigenous groups across Canada and the U.S. work on over 4-million hectares/10-million acres of land certified to SFI.
How the Project Helps Forest Managers
SFI builds partnerships with Indigenous communities and improves awareness of the SFI Program and its community involvement requirements. This project will enhance these efforts by providing a model for evaluating the importance of culturally significant plants.
Many requirements of the SFI Forest Management Standard reflect and support values and an approach to land management that are important to Indigenous communities. For example, Objective 6 calls for the protection of special sites and requires SFI Program Participants to manage lands that are ecologically, geologically, historically or culturally important, in a manner that takes into account their unique qualities. This includes sites special to Indigenous Peoples. This project will help to support forest managers in their efforts to manage forestlands in ways that respect Indigenous values.
This partnership includes Indigenous representatives, conservationists, researchers, an SFI Program Participant and government officials.
- Project lead: Splatsin Indian Band
- Sustainable Forestry Initiative
- Yucwmenlucwu (Caretakers of the Land) LLP.
- B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
- Ecora Engineerting and Resource Group Ltd.
- Mountain Labyrinths Inc.
- Sicamous Model Forest
- Tolko Industries Ltd. (SFI Program Participant)