Tides of change : place meanings in the Broughton Archipelago
Bowes, Matthew T.
Master of Environmental Studies
DisciplineOutdoor Recreation, Parks & Tourism
Human ecology British Columbia Broughton Archipelago
Landscape assessment British Columbia Broughton Archipelago
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Rural Vancouver Island is in a state of transition from reliance on traditional resource based industries such as commercial fisheries and forestry (Robinson & Mazzoni, 2003) to a more diversified economy which includes tourism and aquaculture. Long standing patterns of life become threatened in remote coastal communities like Echo Bay and the greater Broughton Archipelago as traditional meanings of “places” become “unmoored” in an increasingly globalized world (W illiams & McIntyre, 2003). “Place” or “sense of place” are the perceived fusion of social history, community identity, scenic beauty, family heritage and spiritual values that give meaning to a place (Williams & Stewart, 1998). They are also the connection between social experiences and geographic areas (Galliano & Loeffler, 1999) such as people and their ties to the Broughton Archipelago. Understanding the concepts of “place” can enable natural resource managers to interpret more clearly the relationships people have to the land (Kruger, 2005). However, inclusion of “place” in the dominantly technical milieu of planning often poses interesting problems in appropriate and sensitive representation. In this qualitive study, an interview technique derived from T obias’ (2000) map biography was employed. By locating places on maps during the interview process, a map-based interview enabled narrative data to spatially represent sense of place or landscape meanings and values. When combined with phenomenological interviews that sought the “essence” of “lived experience” of the Broughton Archipelago, map-based interviews provided a perceptive and creative medium for the elicitation of landscape values and sense of place. Voices from these interviews resound with images of socioeconomic and environmental transformation. Phenomenological literature such life histories, historical fiction and place histories specific to the Broughton Archipelago were also employed to provide a historical perspective of the area in order to ground it in the present. As the greater story of place meanings in the Broughton Archipelago unfolds, salmon emerge as a symbol o f the cultural landscape, ecology and economy of the Broughton Archipelago. Moreover the salmon surface as a metaphor for traditional rural livelihoods and a way of life but also for globalization and its processes. Such symbols become more important when threatened and the consequences of the loss of salmon challenge the resiliency of a complex social ecological system in the Broughton Archipelago. A call for adaptive management emphasizes feedback from the environment and the state of the resource through social and ecological memory over time to develop policy. Moreover, social networks that inform each other from a wide range of local and international governance create an overall adaptive governance system.