|dc.description.abstract||Marine protected areas (MPAs) are a well-recognized marine conservation tool to aid in protecting marine biodiversity and associated social, economic and cultural values. However, MPAs also have the ability to limit marine access to Indigenous peoples and infringe upon inherent and Treaty rights. Due to the potential rights infringement, it is important to ensure MPA governance processes respect Indigenous rights. This study uses the Eastern Shore Islands (ESI) Area of Interest (AOI) as a case study to examine the potential for Mi’kmaq, Indigenous peoples of Nova Scotia, to play a greater role within MPA governance in a way that respects Indigenous rights, values and knowledge while meeting Canada’s marine conservation objectives. The research found several opportunities and challenges to improving Mi’kmaq participation within MPA governance. While there are recognized challenges to significant changes in governance currently, there are mechanisms already in place that can facilitate the incorporation of Mi’kmaq values, knowledge and interests which can and should be pursued. At the same time, it is important to move forward towards more collaborative approaches such as co-governance and Indigenous-led initiatives that better enable Mi’kmaq to play a larger role within MPA governance and help ensure that Indigenous rights are being respected within the process. Further effort is required to ensure that Indigenous peoples rights and interests are being respected and supported while continuing to protect marine biodiversity.
Keywords: Marine protected areas, Eastern Shore Islands Nova Scotia, Mi’kmaq governance, Indigenous participation, governance||en_US