Advocates of community-based resource management often depict indigenous communities as homogeneous sites of social consensus. While proving successful at advancing local involvement in the management and decision-making process, these idealized images fail to represent the plurality of values and personal interests nested within indigenous communities. By failing to account for internal diversity, indigenous communities that are now regaining management responsibility for their traditional homelands risk furthering the traditional "top-downism" long inherent in institutionalized resource management. However, in regaining these responsibilities, indigenous communities have an opportunity to implement new and locally defined approaches to management. This paper describes one such community-based process and builds upon the experiences of the Little Red River Cree Nation of Alberta, Canada, to illustrate the challenges and opportunities involved. Specifically, through the use of criteria and performance indicators, derived from multiple community perspectives, the Little Red River Cree Nation has developed a self-improving forest management system that is proving responsive to the values, expectations, and changing needs of community members.

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