Preferred Name

Mike Lockwood

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation

Fall 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of Integrated Science and Technology


Maria C. Papadakis

Joy Ferenbaugh


For more than 160 years, the Pacific salmon has been an important resource for the United States and Canada. However, it has been overexploited. Proper management of the species is essential not only for maintaining healthy populations but also maintaining the interests of diverse stakeholders. One set of stakeholders consists of the indigenous peoples of North America because the Pacific salmon are crucial to their food, social, and ceremonial traditions.

This thesis explores the impacts of Canadian and U.S. public policies on the cultural integrity of native peoples in the Pacific Northwest, specifically as those peoples rely on wild Pacific salmon for key cultural attributes. Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest have historically depended on the salmon resource as a source of sustenance, trade, and spirituality.

A “desk study” was conducted for this thesis using literature resources. A “matched pairs case study” was utilized to compare and contrast United States and Canadian fisheries policy impacts on their respective indigenous cultures. It analyzes nine indigenous tribes throughout the region and assesses the impacts based on seven cultural traits. Each relevant cultural trait was evaluated on its current state and the degree of impact caused by policy.

The findings suggest that Canada has better accommodated the rights of its indigenous peoples because it actively incorporated these rights into federal legislation, wild salmon policies and strategies, and modern-day treaty-making. However, both Canada and the United States have unique policy issues that include how to create effective co-management schemes and equally distribute fish catch between indigenous and non-indigenous fishing interests. The hope is that policy makers will use this information to better understand the impacts of fisheries management on indigenous peoples and make policy decisions that better accommodate their needs.



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