The “traditional economy” is a seemingly undefined concept that means more than just hunting, fishing, and trapping. Building natural capital values was the principle cultural objective and lasting legacy of ancient Northern Aboriginal societies. This is currently not understood well and leads to popular misconceptions about the historic traditional economy. The primary misconception today is a focus on resource harvesting while underestimating the role of stewardship and land use patterns as the means to develop natural capital across the landscape.
The term has implications for First Nations and the Yukon as a whole, and can inspire opportunities for more effective land use planning in the Yukon. The “traditional economy” and later “renewable economy” areas were being considered as potential land use designations by the Dawson Regional Land Use Planning Commission prior to its hiatus. While “protected areas” continue to be sought by First Nations and environmental groups as a way to protect the land and water from unplanned industrial development, a “traditional” economy focus has potential for effective stewardship and sustainable economic development. Further, a “traditional economy” model can also provide tools and guidance to better plan industrial and non-renewable activities like mining within the Yukon landscape and Yukon societal context.
In a quest to have more effective land use planning in our Yukon, this presentation and open discussion should not be missed!
Co-speaker: Bill Trerice – Traditional Economy Specialist