Canada Case Study: Overview

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The Tla’amin First Nations resides just north of Powell River (situated east across the Strait of Georgia from Courtenay on Vancouver Island).  The Tla’amin are considered to be a Coast Salish tribe and their history stretches 4000 years into the past. From their website: “today, our community has over 1100 members with the majority living in the main village site in Sliammon”. Their economic, political systems and spirituality are based on a connection with the traditional territory of their ancestors.

The Tla’amin First Nations have partnered with UBC to adapt their seafood systems for nutritional security and environmental stewardship in the face of climate change. Tla’amin Nation has participated in previous UBC studies, for example “Tracing climate impacts using participatory systems mapping : informing adaptation for a marine food system in the Tla’amin First Nation.

In this study, it was noted that “effective adaptation strategies also need to be developed in partnership with community members to identify people’s values, needs, and knowledge of local system dynamics and challenges.”

The upcoming case study will also rely upon traditional knowledge, as related to the historical and contemporary uses of marine resources by Nation members.

The case study aims to achieve three main goals:

  1. Achieve and enhance food security to help with recognizing aboriginal rights and self-determination. This is also related to the pressing issues of climate and biodiversity.
  2. Build nexus-informed adaptation pathways to sustainability (meaning at the meeting point of food security, climate mitigation, biodiversity and conservation)
  3. Develop procedures and toolkits for implementing the “nexus approach” to tackle sustainability challenges. These procedures and toolkits will be co-created with case study participants from the Tla’amin nation.

These goals will be achieved with the help of the Solving FCB partnership, an international and interdisciplinary research group whose members will develop and integrate scenarios and human-natural systems modelling. The research will be participatory in nature where traditional knowledge will be co-developed in expert focus workshops. 

For previous workshops created by Tla’amin Nation, please view the cultural awareness workshops available here:

Additionally, a framework of how to approach food, sustainability and biodiversity challenges will be co-developed with the Tla’amin Nation to support decision-making. Decision-making tools will be developed as part of these focus workshops and will be developed along with a synthesis of scenarios development.

As the study is going underway, the results and methods will be communicated on both the Solving FCB and Tla’amin Nation websites.