ABORIGINAL LAND USE STUDIES
James Tanner was asked to evaluate Aboriginal losses due to tar sands development and he found there was no existing methodology to perform this task so he had to develop a method. Naturally it involved studying and better understanding aboriginal economic systems which are described in traditional land use studies.
Originally starting in 1999 when he first went to Ft. McMurray to assess the damages, James Tanner has been doing land use studies ever since for over 17 years.
To date, the list of land use studies that James Tanner has been involved with includes Fort McKay, Metis, Cree and Dene, Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, Chipewyan Prairie First Nation, Fort McMurray First Nation, Mikisew Cree First Nation, Piikani First Nation, Alexander First Nation, Conklin Metis Settlement, Metis Association of Ontario, Chippewas of the Thames, Aamjiwnaang First Nation, White Bear First Nation, Sakimay First Nation, Gamblers First Nation, Carry the Kettle First Nation, Saulteaux First Nation, Ochapowace First Nation and First Nations in the NWT and Nunavut as well as the Shuswap First Nation in BC.
Within the framework of Canadian Aboriginal law, James Tanner produces land use studies to identify and defend Aboriginal Rights and to tell a story to the youth and preserve the land use story for posterity within a process that includes modeling ancient land use practices and lends emphasis on economic considerations as well.
Because of the nature of rights, the livelihood of the pre-contact peoples is very important and critical to building complete studies. As such, the independent living support that Aboriginal People had before contact must be taken into consideration in order to properly understand their historical and current land use area and rights. James Tanner’s approach takes livelihood into consideration because without that element, much is missed and important rights overlooked.