Land use planning engages a community in determining the future use of its natural resources. When it comes to Indigenous lands, these processes are also important for asserting rights and community values. Dr. Courtney Mason, Canada Research Chair in Rural Livelihoods and Sustainable Communities, is studying rural and Indigenous land use development with a focus on rural socio-cultural, environmental and economic change.
He and his research team have two areas of focus: tourism development and protected area management, and Indigenous food security, sport fishing tourism and conservation practices. They are assessing the risks, benefits and viabilities of tourism development and interpreting the policies and frameworks on land use and tourism that are shaping livelihoods in rural and Indigenous communities. Ultimately, their work will inform policy decisions related to rural and Indigenous land use development, management and governance.