Incorporating Traditional Values in Forest Management
Francis Johnson – Alkali Resource Management
ABSTRACT: To fully understand traditional values on the land, we first have to understand that each First
Nation is unique with their own values and management goals. For the Secwepemc, knowledge in forest
management was passed on through oral history and thousands of years of observation, teachings and
guidance from the Creator and was incorporated in our laws and governance models. If you had to
categorize, Ecosystem Based Management is the closest to the way First Nations manage the land.
Understanding where on the land these high values areas exist and they include: Past village sites, high arch
areas, burial sites, fasting and prayer sites and areas specific to important food and/or medicine harvest
areas. Fire is one of the management tools used extensively to maintain ecosystems within grasslands and
forests. Integrating traditional values into forest management will be very localized depending on the
variety of ecosystems and values of the local First Nations.