Indigenous-driven conservation: exploring the planning of Qikiqtait protected area in Sanikiluaq, Nunavut

Haycock-Chavez, Natasha (2021) Indigenous-driven conservation: exploring the planning of Qikiqtait protected area in Sanikiluaq, Nunavut. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

[img] [English] PDF - Accepted Version
Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.

Download (2MB)


Biodiversity loss is increasing worldwide due to anthropogenic pressures. Protected areas are viewed as a primary tool to prevent biodiversity loss. However, protected areas do not always meet local needs and biodiversity goals simultaneously. Increasingly, local, and Indigenous communities globally are initiating protected areas that better reflect local needs while at the same time meeting conservation objectives. The purpose of this thesis is to examine how an Indigenous, community-driven approach to protected area planning differs from the model more typically used by conservation and government agencies in Canada. Using literature and examples of community-based protected areas in Canada, this research sought to synthesize the current conservation framework. Focusing on the Belcher Islands, Nunavut, this research examines the proposed protected area of Qikiqtait, a community-based, Indigenous-led protected area initiated by the community of Sanikiluaq, Nunavut. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) spatially compare Priority Areas for Conservation (PACs) derived from two different approaches: the community of Sanikiluaq, and World Wildlife Fund Canada (WWF). The analyses indicated a large overlap between areas of importance for the community and areas of conservation importance for the region identified by the WWF. Overall, the community planning offers a finer spatial resolution more suitable to local planning, as well as encompassing a broader range of conservation and livelihood priorities. Following the literature review and spatial analysis, this research concludes that while Canada’s conservation framework is increasingly making space for greater Indigenous leadership and participation, lessons remain on how to achieve optimum potential in community-based protected areas.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 15040
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 100-119).
Keywords: Indigenous-led conservation, Self-determination, Conservation, Spatial analysis, GIS
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Geography
Date: May 2021
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Protected areas--Government policy--Canada; Ethnoecology; Indigenous peoples.

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over the past year

View more statistics