TUS in Alberta
Studies that looked at Aboriginal uses of land in Alberta began as early as the 1980s. These have been variously known as Traditional Use Studies (TUS), Traditional Land Use Studies (TLUS), Traditional Knowledge and Land Use Study (TKLUS), and Traditional Land Use and Occupancy Study (TLUOS). All involve a complex process including: research into primary and secondary resources, interviews and discussions with Elders and other knowledge keepers, and mapping and recording of traditional uses. A range of experts are involved including archeologists, paleontologists, historians, environmentalists, mapping specialists and others. The objective of all of these activities is to capture and record patterns of traditional use in Aboriginal communities for a range of purposes including social, economic, cultural, and ecological.
In Alberta there are legislative requirements with respect to such studies as well as frameworks for consultation. For examples, Alberta Culture and Community Spirit requires resource developers to undertake Historical Resource Impact Assessments for projects such as pipeline right-of-ways and oil sands developments. This Ministry is charged with the preservation and designation of historical resources and sites.
Alberta Aboriginal Relations (formerly Alberta Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development) put in place TUS as a cross-ministry initiative in 2000. This included direct funding support to participating Aboriginal communities. In 2005, the Government of Alberta's First Nations Consultation Policy on Land Management and Resource Development was put in place, which has given Alberta leadership in this important area of research. At the heart of this strategy has been the emphasis on community control and ownership of the study process and the study itself.
In this section of the Understanding Traditional Use Studies Website, you will find:
- The Program
a range of articles provide information about the TUS initiative in Alberta including the Best Practices Handbook, Consultation Policy and Traditional Use Studies Expo.
- TUS Communities
a range of profiles of the participating communities in the Treaty 8, 6 and 7 areas (north to south), and one Non-Status community