The Conflict between Indigenous people and Wild Landscapes

There are many different kinds of examples and situations where Indigenous land has been used without permission; the oil pipelines, various types of mining and deforestation. With the Europeans settling in during the 18th century, invasive species have had a dramatic impact on the native plants and species.

In an effort to help restore the native ecosystem, a project within the Gwaii Haanas (Haida Gwaii island’s), called The Llgaaygü Sdiihlda, has focused on the removal of invasive deer such as the Sitka black-tailed deer. This project was achieved on all 6 islands within Gwaii Haanas. These deer have only made an impact with the change in the vegetation dynamics but also have had an impact on the medicinal, food cultural plants such as the classic Western redcedar. These deer have had a negative ecological impact on the impacts of food supply and availability. Unfortunately, this caused long-term damage to the island’s native species such as; seabirds, songbirds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and invertebrates. The removal of the deer on the islands ensures that regeneration and natural restoration of the islands native vegetation, plants and species and results with a naturally functioning ecosystem.

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  Positive outlooks for vegetation since the eradication of the deer. The classic Western redcedar, crabapple, devil’s club and huckleberries have all been actively regrowing since the absence of the deer. As a part of the program, deerskin was harvested and used by the local Haida youth to make deerskin drums, as well as 1400 lbs of venison given to the Haida Gwaii’s local schools and residential senior buildings.

With this particular situation within the Gwaii Haanas islands, the conflict has been resolved and has had positive impacts. Unfortenlety, not all Indigenous regions are as all preserved and taken care of as Haida Gwaii. It has taken a lot of time and work to get where they are today.

 

References:

Invasive deer eradication, (2015), Coastal Conservation, Retrieved from:  http://coastalconservation.ca/projects/ramsay-island-ecosystem-restoration-project-haida-gwaii-british-columbia/

Photo: http://oceansoundkayaking.com/native-totems-of-gwaii-haanas/ (3 of 6) 

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