Project Summaries

Inuvialuit knowledge and use of Fisheries in the Mackenzie River Delta

— Inuvialuit Fisheries Joint Management Committee, Northwest Territories

Kristin Hynes, Fisheries Joint Management Committee

PO Box 2120

Inuvik, NT X0E0T0

fjmc-rb@jointsec.nt.ca

 

Cassandra Elliott, TLK Coordinator
Michelle Gruben, Aklavik Hunters and Trappers Committee

Martha Blake, Inuvik Hunters and Trappers Committee

Trevor Lantz, University of Victoria
Sonia Wesche, University of Ottawa
Iria Heredia Vasquez, University of Ottawa

 

The Mackenzie River Delta area is an important source of subsistence fisheries for the Inuvialuit, that contributes to the overall sustainability of fishing livelihoods for the communities of Aklavik, Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk. This program aims to document and assess the importance of fisheries in the Mackenzie River Delta area to Inuvialuit from Aklavik and Inuvik through TK interviews, mapping of environmental change with implications towards fish habitat, and engaging Inuvialuit from each community in a fish camp that includes youth, elders and active fishers as a knowledge sharing event. TK interviews will be aimed at collecting information on: 1) the relative importance of different fish species to Inuvialuit livelihoods; 2) observed changes in fish species for health/condition, distribution and harvest levels; and 3) observations of environmental change in the Mackenzie River Delta area. The fish camps for each community will provide learning opportunity for youth (local knowledge and scientific sampling techniques), the opportunity to discuss the broad outcomes and feedback that were obtained through the TK interviews, as well as provide a forum for discussion on future directions and Inuvialuit priorities for research and monitoring (traditional and local knowledge, scientific) in the Mackenzie River Delta. All of the TK collected will documented and maintained at Inuvialuit organizations, and outcomes will contribute to the local co-management of fisheries in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region. The knowledge collected through this program will also contribute to the broader Tracking Change project which is focused on gathering knowledge across the Mackenzie River Basin.

Changes affecting Fishing Livelihoods in the Gwich’in Settlement Area

— Gwich’in Renewable Resources Board, Northwest Territories

Kris Maier, Gwich’in Renewable Resources Board

P.O. Box 2240
Inuvik, NT X0E0T0
kmaier@grrb.nt.ca

 

Janet Boxwell, Gwich’in Renewable Resources Board

Alestine Andre, Gwich’in Social and Cultural Institute

Tsatsiye Catholique, Gwich’in Tribal Council
Trevor Lantz, University of Victoria

Chanda Brietzke, University of Victoria

 

Ongoing environmental and socioeconomic changes in northern Canada are raising concerns about the future of fishing livelihoods in the Gwich’in Settlement Area (1, 3). Community-driven research is required to examine observed changes, assess their impacts, and design monitoring initiatives. The goals of this project are to: 1) record local knowledge of environmental changes and their impacts on food fish in the Gwich’in Settlement Area, 2) introduce fishers to scientific fisheries data collection methodology and record data from their catches and 3) connect Gwich’in youth with experienced fishers and mobilize them into action surrounding ongoing changes in fishing livelihoods. To accomplish this youth will travel with the research team to fish camps in the region and spend the day observing fishing activities and documenting the knowledge and perspectives of fishers using semi-structured interviews and participatory videography and photography. Following the fish camps youth representatives will attend a “youth assembly” where they will share their experiences and suggest research priorities for inclusion with the GRRB research priority process. In the winter of 2017, project researchers from the University of Victoria will work with the youth team to develop a report and presentation summarizing the data collected in the summer of 2016. This initiative will improve our understanding of how fishing practices and community livelihoods are being shaped by regional environmental and socioeconomic changes. This information will also guide the development of research and monitoring initiated in the year two of this project.

Sahtú hé Deocha hé Dene Náowerǝ́ Chets’elǝ – Great Bear Lake and Mackenzie River Dene Knowledge: Research Camps 2016

— Sahtú Renewable Resources Board, Northwest Territories

Deb Simmons, Sahtú Renewable Resources Board

P.O. Box 134

Tulita, NT X0E 0K0

director@srrb.nt.ca

 

Leon Andrew, Sahtú Renewable Resources Board

Michael Neyelle, Sahtú Renewable Resources Board

Edward Reeves, Délın̨ ę Ɂehdzo Got’ın̨ e

Roger Odgaard, Sahtu Monitoring Forum

Jennie Vandermeer, Government of the Northwest Territories

Mandy Bayha, Délın̨ ę Ɂehdzo Got’ın̨ e

*Cheslea Martin, University of Alberta

 

This project involves on-the-land activities designed by the Sahtú Environmental Research and Monitoring Forum, including the annual Sahtú Cross-Cultural Research Camp on Sahtú (Great Bear Lake) in 2016 and Dǝocha (Mackenzie River) watershed in the summer of 2017, and participation in the cross-regional initiative in travel and knowledge exchange along traditional water routes in the Dǝocha basin. Through hands-on activities, participants will share and interpret traditional knowledge about the changing ecology of water and fishing livelihoods. Tracking Change activities will address five objectives related to water and fishing livelihoods in the Sahtú Region: 1) document narrative and practice-based systems for cross-family, cross- community and cross-generational transfer of traditional knowledge and skills in water safety, subsistence fishing, fish preparation and the sharing economy; 2) document traditional knowledge narratives and spatial information about water and fish ecology 3) strengthen planning processes for traditional knowledge research and monitoring; 4) strengthen community governance and leadership in water stewardship and fish conservation; and 5) foster networking and collaboration in ongoing and new community-driven traditional knowledge research and monitoring initiatives in the region. Invited Sahtú Dene and Metis participants will include youth, local traditional knowledge experts and representatives of five local Ɂehdzo Got’ın̨ ę (Renewable Resource Councils). Past, current and prospective students of Aurora College Environmental Monitoring Programs will also be encouraged to participate to contribute to their practicum hours towards certification and to support them in developing and sustaining relationships with prospective employers from industry, government and academia. Local youth interns will be hired to support camp coordination.

Deh Cho K’ehodi Youth River Trip: Fort Simpson to Willow Lake River

— Deh Cho First Nations, Northwest Territories

Dahti Tsetso, Deh Cho First Nations

Box 89

Fort Simpson, NT X0E0N0

dahti.tsetso@dehcho.org

 

Dean Holman, Liidlii Kue First Nation

Alison De Pelham, Deh Cho First Nation

George Low, Deh Cho First Nations – Aboriginal Aquatic Resource and Oceans Management Program

Kristine Wray, University of Alberta

 

Deh Cho First Nations, through the Dehcho K’ehodi stewardship program is partnering with the Deh Cho Land Use Planning office, Deh Cho Aboriginal Aquatic Resource and Oceans Management project, the University of Alberta, Thomas Simpson High School, the Deh Gah Elementary and Secondary School and its member communities to develop a regional Dene Place Names project. The project entails the development of a web-based, interactive mapping tools that showcases the oral histories of selected place names. Funding support received from “Tracking Change” will be used to support a youth river trip. Students from the two Deh Cho high schools will paddle from Fort Simpson to Willow Lake River. Local elders and community land users will accompany the youth on this trip. The participating youth will plan an integral role in this project by assisting in the collection of the place name oral histories by gathering photos and videos of these places, and by interviewing their elders about their climate observations. It is through the documentation of our Dene place names that Deh Cho First Nations will explore the issue of climate change within the Mackenzie River Basin system. Kristine Wray, PhD student with the University of Alberta, will be assisting in the research design and methodologies of the project to help ensure it meets the objectives identified through the “Tracking Change” program.

Guiding Water Protection Through Traditional Knowledge

—Akaitcho Territorial Government, Northwest Territories

Annie Boucher, Akaitcho Territorial Government

General Delivery

Deninu Kue, X0E0M0

atg_executivedirector@northwestel.com

 

Mike Tollis. Akaitcho Territorial Government

Diane Giroux, Akaitcho Territorial Government

Lauren King, Łutsël K’é Dene First Nation

Cochise Paulette, Smith’s Landing First Nation

Rosy Bjornson, Treaty 8 Tribal Corporation

 

The Akaitcho Territorial Government is seeking support for Traditional Knowledge research and a gathering of elders and youth from the four communities around Great Slave Lake to meet on the lake (Simpson Islands) and discuss the incorporation of Traditional Knowledge into a regional water monitoring program as well as in the overall governance and policy within Akaitcho. The project will bring five Chiefs, 5 technical staff, 2 elders and 2 youth from each of Yellowknives Dene First Nation, Łutsël K’é Dene First Nation, Deninu Kue First Nation and Salt River First Nation, by boat to Simpson Islands for a three day meeting to discuss the following:
(1) Environmental indicators of a healthy/unhealthy/changing aquatic ecosystem,
(2) Observed changes in fish health, population, and other observations, (3) Elders’ involvement in the future monitoring and management of Great Slave Lake from an indigenous perspective, and; (4) How the First Nations together can begin to better incorporate TK into governance structures and policies to better reflect the indigenous ways and teachings of the ancestors. Outcomes of the gathering will serve 2 major functions. The first, is the often called-for, and newly developed, Regional Akaitcho Water Monitoring Program, which through the workshop, will be guided by the use of the knowledge shared on water and fish management. The second
is the overall governance of the First Nations as well as the Regional Government where, for the first time, Elders and youth will have the opportunity to comment on their current governance structures and identify areas for improvement or alteration.

Łutsël K'é Dene First Nation Tracking Change in the Great Slave Basin Project

— Łutsël K’é Dene First Nation, Northwest Territories

Sean McGee, Ni Hati’ni Program Manager

Łutsël K’é Dene First Nation

Łutsël K’é , NT X0E 1A0

lkdfnlands@gmail.com

 

Lauren King, Łutsël K’é Dene First Nation – Wildlife, Lands and Environment Manager

Joseph Catholique, Łutsël K’é Dene First Nation

Eddie Drybones, Łutsël K’é Dene First Nation

David Delafield, University of Alberta

Brenda Parlee, University of Alberta

 

The Łutsël K’é Dene First Nation (LKDFN), along with our Akaitcho partner Deninu Kue First Nation (DKFN), will embark on two canoe trips in our Akaitcho territory. These canoe trips provide LKDFN and DKFN Traditional Knowledge (TK) holders and youth opportunities to be out on-the-water; practice and transfer traditional skills and knowledge to youth; implement Denésǫłıné fish and water indicators; TK collection and documentation methods; and develop thresholds to trigger stewardship responses. These canoe trips will be an enriching experiences for all participants, and in particular the youth, and will hopefully instill pride in themselves and their strong and unique culture. The first canoe trip is planned for summer 2016 and the second canoe trip in summer 2017. There will be 10-14 LKDFN and DKFN members participating in the canoe trips. These canoe trips will happen in the Slave Basin, on the east arm of Tu Nedhe (Great Slave Lake).

Prince Alberta Grand Council Canoe Trip

—Prince Alberta Grand Council, Saskatchewan

Mel Mercredi, Prince Albert Grand Council

Chief Joseph Custer Rsv #201 2300 9th Ave West

P.O. Box 2350

Prince Albert, SK, S6V 6Z1

mmercredi@pagc.net

 

Vice Chief Joseph Tsannie, Prince Albert Grand Council

David Delafield, University of Alberta

Joanne Johnson, University of Alberta

Shalene Jobin, University of Alberta

Brenda Parlee, University of Alberta

 

The Prince Albert Grand Council will canoe with approximately 50 participants. Participants will be from the Athabasca Denésułıné and Woodland Cree communities of Northern Saskatchewan. These participants will include youth, guides, traditional leaders, cooks and staff. The canoe trip will be over a 10-14 day period. The group will canoe through either the Slave River Canoe Route or the Mackenzie River Canoe Route. Through this excursion participants will research aquatic environment, fish species, aquatic species and historical sites. We will work with the University of Alberta to assist us with Tracking Changes in the river system system.

Nacho Nayak Dun First Nation Tracking Change: Traditional Knowledge Camp Proposal

—Nacho Nayak Dun First Nation, Yukon

Ray Sabo, Nacho Nayak Dun First Nation

Lands and Resources Department

101 Future Rd. Box 220,

Mayo, YT Y0B1M0

ray.sabo@nndfn.com

 

Joella Hogan, Nacho Nayak Dun First Nation

Sharon Peter, Nacho Nayak Dun First Nation

Ellen Bielawski, University of Alberta

Kristine Wray, University of Alberta

 

The objective of the project is to provide Na-Cho Nyäk Dun (NND) citizens the opportunity to travel by horseback and by foot in traditionally used areas in the Peel Watershed region to learn about the past historical presence of their elders by traveling to old hunting camps, key wildlife areas, and through stories by the campfire shared by our elders at the end of each day. Our elder guide on the trip, whose past experiences in the area, will provide our young citizens the opportunity to experience the cultural significance of these areas by traveling the land and bringing the knowledge back to their community. Participants will be presenting at a community meeting on what they learned, discovered, and come to appreciate about being out on the land. The trip will also include a technical aspect whereby the participants will learn how to take water samples from numerous drainages during their travels. These skills will be taught several days prior to the trip and will be incorporated into the daily activities of the trip. Through this work, they will learn the importance of taking baseline water samples which may introduce each participant into a future career as an Environmental Sampler.

Treaty 8 Tribal Association of British Columbia Eagle Island Fish Camp

— Treaty 8 Tribal Association, British Columbia

Diane Abel, Treaty 8 Tribal Association

10233-100 Ave.

Fort St. John, British Columbia V1J1Y8

dabel@treaty8.bc.ca

 

Art Napoleon, Treaty 8 Tribal Association

Val Napoleon, University of Victoria

Amabel D’Souza, University of Alberta

Brenda Parlee, University of Alberta

 

By introducing a team of 8 community youth to the basic concepts of research, combined with the knowledge of local elders, this project will document and recreate the traditional pre-European fishing methods, such as netting with the natural fibres, fish weirs and fish traps. A lot of old Dane Zaa fishing methods were abandoned long ago and it is unlikely that there are elders who have direct knowledge of these techniques; thus, background research will be required to identify these methods in addition to field research. A secondary aspect of the project is to identify Cree and Dunneza names and uses of specific fish species. Eagle Island is located downsteam from the Bennett Dam, which is known to have contaminated fish populations. For the final phase of the project, the youth will be testing fish for mercury contamination levels. The project will be professionally recorded using HD video and still photography.

Mikisew Cree First Nation Monitoring Program

— Mikisew Cree First Nation, Alberta

Melody Lepine, Mikisew Cree First Nations Government and Industry Relations

Suite A – 8219 Fraser Ave.

Fort McMurray, AB T9H 0A2

melody.lepine@mcfngir.ca

 

George Whiteknife, Mikisew Cree First Nation

Jocelyn Martin, Mikisew Cree First Nation

Bruce McClean, Mikisew Cree First Nation

Jocelyn Martin, Mikisew Cree First Nation

Brenda Parlee, University of Alberta

 

As our Community-Based Monitoring program is fully engaged in the work identified for Tracking Change, we feel that we could offer a leadership role in furthering this work including demonstrating how knowledge can be documented efficiently, through a database system, and may be useful in decision-making. The database system we are already development will better enable us to integrate the local and traditional knowledge already about the water quality, fish ecology and fishing livelihoods, and better use the data we already have including communication with other communities and regions.

For eight years, the Mikisew Cree First Nation (MCFN) have been operating a community-based monitoring (CBM) program based out of Fort Chipewyan, Alberta. The purpose of the program is to better understand the negative changes our Elders have observed in our traditional territories. Of greatest importance to our communities is the need to better understand the negative changes to water quality, water quantity and flow in the Peace-Athabasca Delta. Our CBM staff monitor weekly, the quality and quantity of water flowing at 12 sites from May- October and undertake weekly winter monitoring from October to May. Our findings have shown deterioration in water quality as a result of industrial development and have identified serious concerns with water quantity (flow) which constrains our access to traditional areas.

Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta Placenames and Oral Histories of Change in the Peace River Sub-Basin

— Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta, Alberta

Kevin Ahkimnachie, Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta

c/o Santa Fe Plaza

18178 – 102 Avenue

Edmonton, Alberta T5S 1S7

kahkimnache@treaty8.org

 

Dusty Twinn, Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta

Gwen Muskwa – Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta

Brenda Parlee – University of Alberta

Shalene Jobin – University of Alberta

 

There are many kinds of changes which have happened over the last 100 years in the Mackenzie River Basin. Among the most significant changes that have occurred have been in northern Alberta in the Peace, Athabasca and Slave River areas. This region falls within the Treaty 8 territory. This area is called “Beh Shih Ne” in Dene (South Slavey); the river is called “Deh”, “Tsa gheh” in our languages. Both workshops and a boat trip are required to document the histories about these areas as well as details about observed changes in water, fish ecology and fishing livelihoods. The project will be carried out collaboratively between the Livelihood Committee and the Elders Committee of Treaty 8 First Nations and include elders from Jean D’or Prairie, Chateh and Beaver. The project timeline (2016) includes two elders meetings and follow up semi structured interviews (July-October) and a preliminary boat trip from the North Peace River from Fort Vermillion to Garden River to conduct on-the land interviews and place names work (August-September) We specifically want to 1) document places of social, ecological significance and ‘stories’ of change in the health of the Peace-Athabasca-Slave area including changes in water levels, fish health and fishing livelihoods. 2) By including youth in the boat trip and during the elders’ meetings, we also want to ensure that this knowledge is passed on for future generations.

Denesuline Elders and Youth Gatherings on the Health of the Aquatic Environment

Joe Tsannie, Vice Chief

Prince Albert Grand Council,

Box 2770, 2300-9th St. Ave East,

Prince Albert, SK S6V 6Z1

jtsanniejr@pagc.net  

 

 

Denesuline Elders and Youth from Black Lake and Fond du Lac in northern Saskatchewan are engaged in a sub-research project with other community partners for the purposes of sharing local and traditional knowledge about the social-ecological changes in the Mackenzie River and Athabasca regions, as well as to determine roles in watershed governance. The first venue for the information conversational knowledge-sharing will occur in a land-based spiritual gathering being hosted by the Lutsel K’e Dene First Nations at Great Slave Lake from August 6 to 11th 2017. The second venue will be an Elder gathering at Black Lake (Athabasca Region) September 29th t0 October 2nd 2017. The purpose of the research project is to collaboratively share and document historical and contemporary observations and perceptions of conditions and changes in the health of the aquatic environment in northern lake and river systems as per the research guidelines provided by the Tracking Change project. The participation of youth in the project is to ensure traditional Dene knowledge is passed on from the Denesuline Elders and community members.

Mikisew Cree First Nation Community-Based Monitoring Plan

Melody Lepine, Director

Mikisew Cree First Nation – Government and Industry Relations,

Suite A 8219 Fraser Avenue,

Fort McMurray, AB T9H 0A2

melody.lepine@mcfngir.ca

 

For eight years, the MCFN have been operating a Community-Based Monitoring Program, based out of Fort Chipewyan, Alberta to understand the negative changes Elders have observed in the traditional territories. Of greatest importance to the communities was the need to better understand the negative changes to water quality and quantity in the Peace-Athabasca Delta. Findings have identified serious concerns with water quality, which constrains access to traditional areas, as a result of hydro development, oil sands extractions, and climate change. Project objectives are to apply a Navigational Hazard App with the Community Based Monitoring (CBM) staff and community members together to continuously update a database of navigational hazards. Staff and members will use the App to log all potential hazards by recording a georeferenced description, qualitative navigation conditions and photograph. Field data will populate an interactive database and ultimately a map with real time hazard updates. This data will assist community members in adapting to the rapid navigational changes occurring in the Peace Athabasca Delta, by being better informed and thus prepared for safe navigation. It is anticipated that this App will be used in conjunction with other tools (such as expanded CBM monitoring, revised policies, water diversion structures, dredging, modified Peace River flows) to effectively manage water levels in the PAD.

Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation (LKDFN) Tracking Change in the Great Slave Basin Project

Ray Griffith, Manager

Wildife Lands and Environment,

Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation,

P.O. Box 28

Lutsel K’e, NWT X0E 1A0

lkdfnlands@gmail.com

 

The LKDFN along with Akaitcho partner Deninu Kue First Nation (DKFN) will embark on two canoe trips in the Akaitcho territory, that will provide traditional knowledge holders and youth opportunities to be out on the water, practice and transfer traditional skills and knowledge, implement Denesoline fish and water indicators, collect TK and document mentods, and develop thresholds to trigger stewardship responses. The purpose is to record and interpret Denesoline Traditional Knowledge (TK) and stories transmitted during a multi-day travel experience on the Snowdrift River. This research aims to contribute to northern, Indigenous, community-based research by illuminating the knowledges and the narratives of land users, elders and youth from the Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation (LKDFN). In particular, the study aims to work with LKDFN representatives to document and understand how traditional land-based knowledges and narratives can contribute to Dene self-determination, land and water governance, and cultural livelihoods. This study engages the principles of community-based and Indigenous research methodologies so as to ensure priorities and processes are determined by community representatives, and that research outcomes have direct relevance to the LKDFN. The five guiding research questions have been developed in partnership with both the Wildlife, Lands and Environment Department (WLED) and the Ni Hat’ni water governance program. These research questions include: 1. What TK and narratives are transmitted during the Snowdrift river travel and land camp experience? 2. What environmental, social, and cultural changes are observed and communicated by LKDFN representatives on the Snowdrift? 3. How are stories used to transmit knowledge among LKDFN representatives during the Snowdrift river travel experience? 4. How does the Snowdrift travel experience contribute to LKDFN governance of ancestral waters and lands?5. What impact does the Snowdrift land camp/travel experience have on LKDFN youth connections land, traditional knowledge, and culture? These canoe trips will be an enriching experience for all participants, and in particular the youth, and will hopefully instill pride in a strong and unique culture. There will be 10-14 members participating in the trips, that will happen in the Slave Basin, on the east arm of Great Slave Lake.

Upper Katl’odeh Traditional Knowledge Assessment

Peter Redvers, Executive Director of Lands

Resources, and Negotiations,

Katl’odeeche First Nation,

Box 3060,

Hay River Dene Reserve, NWT, X0E 1G4

landdirector@katlodeeche.com

 

This project involves facilitating a canoe trip along Kátł’odeh from northern Alberta (Dene Th’a primary territory) into the southern NWT (Kátł’odeeche Fırst Natıon primary territory) in order to document, using traditional perspectives, the differing changes and impacts in cultural landscapes from a highly impacted area (northern Alberta) to a relatively pristine area (southern NWT). The main type of information being gathered will include traditional place names; cultural sites and stories attached to the river; changes to the landscape and to cultural activities arising from logging, oil/gas development and other factors (such as forest fires and climate change); wildlife harvesting sites and areas; fish populations, migrations, and spawning; changes to water flow and quality; and visions for future land use and management. The information compiled will be prepared into a report (preferably jointly copyrighted by the Dene Th’a and the Kátłodeeche Fırst Natıon) and this report will be made available to the Tracking Change master project under a user licence agreement.

Gwich’in Fish Project and Knowledge Exchange Camp

Amy Amos, Executive Director

Gwich’in Renewable Resources Board,

P.O. Box 2240, 2nd Fl.,

Alex Moses Greenland Building,

105 Veteran’s Way,

Inuvik, NWT X0E 0T0

aamos@grrb.nt.ca

 

Ongoing environmental and socioeconomic changes in northern Canada are raising concerns about the health of local fish populations, water quality, and the future of fishing livelihoods in the Gwich’in Settlement Area (GSA). In 2016, the Gwich’in First Nation participated in a pilot year with the Tracking Change project, focused on changes to Gwich’in fishing livelihoods. In 2017-18, research for the Tracking Change project in the GSA will be organized around three sub-projects. 1. Monitoring of dissolved oxygen and water temperature affecting vit (lake trout) populations in Airport Lake. This work will be led by Sarah Lord (Fisheries Biologist, GRRB).  2. Research using semi-structured interviews to explore the impact of access to fish on health and well-being. This work will be led by Tracey Proverbs (MSc student, UVic). 3. A knowledge exchange camp that will bring together: 1) Gwich’in fishers and youth, 2) staff from the Gwich’in Tribal Council and Gwich’in Renewable Resources Board, and 3) researchers from the University of Victoria (UVic), and Simon Fraser University (SFU). This camp will highlight monitoring initiatives and the methods focused on fish, water quality, and community health and well-being. This camp will be overseen by Tas-Tsi Catholique (Lands Analyst, GTC) and a camp coordinator hired to organize logistics. This initiative will improve our understandings of changes affecting Gwich’in fishing livelihoods, as well as lay a foundation for vit and water quality monitoring in the Gwich’in Settlement Area. Similar to the previous year, this information will guide the development of research and monitoring in year three of this project.

Inuvialuit Knowledge and Use of Fisheries in the Mackenzie River Delta

Kristin Hynes, Fisheries Resource Specialist

Inuvialuit Fisheries Joint Management Committee,

PO Box 2120 Inuvik,

NWT X0E 0T0

fjmc-rb@jointsec.nt.ca

 

The Mackenzie River Delta area is an important source of subsistence fisheries for the Inuvialuit, that contributes to the overall sustainability of fishing livelihoods for the communities of Aklavik, Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk. This program aims to build on the results of interviews completed in 2016, through more focused discussions on changes to fish, fish habitat and fishing livelihoods that have been observed by Inuvialuit from Aklavik and Inuvik. Discussions will be on the land during fish camps that each community HTC (Aklavik, Inuvik) will coordinate. FJMC staff will discuss the potential for collaborative opportunities on food security with staff at the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation (IRC). The fish camps for each community will also provide learning opportunity for youth (local knowledge), the opportunity to discuss the broad outcomes and feedback that were obtained through the TK interviews, as well as provide a forum for discussion on future directions and Inuvialuit priorities for research and monitoring (traditional and local knowledge, scientific) in the Mackenzie River Delta. All of the TK collected will be documented and maintained at Inuvialuit organizations, and outcomes will contribute to the local co-management of fisheries in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region and contribute to the broader Tracking Change project which is focused on gathering knowledge across the Mackenzie River Basin.

Tracking Change on the Liard River

Corrine Porter, Executive Director

Dena Kayeh Institute,

P.O. Box 9

Lower Post, BC  V0C 1W0

denakayah@gmail.com

 

This project will assist in documenting ecological change in the Mackenzie River watershed, specifically the Liard River and its tributaries, as perceived by the Kasha Dena. Fifty to one hundred interviews will be conducted, traditional knowledge will be recorded, and water monitoring sites will be identified to record the changes in water depth. This project will support objectives in the Kasha Water Strategy, adopted in 2015, by addressing data gaps within the Kasha Traditional Territory. It will also assist in addressing climate change monitoring in the region.

Past Knowledge for Future Protection

Annie Boucher, Executive Director; Mike Tollis, Dane Giroux

Akaitcho Territorial Government,

General Delivery,

Deninu Kue, NWT X0E 0M0

executive.director@akaitcho.ca

 

The Akaitcho First Nations will host an on the land workshop to build off the experiences and knowledge shared in the previous two workshops held on water issues. Building on the previous Tracking Change – supported workshop last year, we are seeking to better define the threats facing our aquatic ecosystem today. We will focus on better defining these threats as to being natural or unnatural, and working towards an understanding of if they are manageable or mitigatable, or if they are something that we would have to adapt to. Through sharing of traditional knowledge, we will work towards the end goal of how we are going to deal with the problems we face now and into the future. On the subject of the future, the last TC workshop in Akaitcho identified a serious component that must be included if we are to give the future the respect it requires, and that is the involvement of youth at all levels. In the planning of this workshop, we put a major focus on the youth participation in the workshop, not simply having youth present (youth will make up approximately 50% of workshop participants), but engaging them through boat experiences with Elders, sitting down with Chiefs, and having their input in the conversations be heard and discussed. The youth will not only be the ones to inherit this water issues, but having them see respect shown at all levels of interaction is key to the success of the First Nations.

Tulit’a Got’ine Traditional Knowledge: The Impact of Climate Change on Fishing Livelihoods

Deborah Simmons, Executive Director

Sahtu Renewable Resources Board,

P.O. Box 134

Tulit’a, NT X0E 0K0

director@srrb.nt.ca

 

Fishing is an important livelihood activity for many northern indigenous communities, especially within the Sahtu. However, ongoing climate-related changes are raising newfound concerns about the future of fishing and fishing livelihoods. In 2016, Deline Got’ine community members participated in a pilot year with the Tracking Change Project, which focused on possible environmental changes in and around the Great Bear Lake region. In 2017, research for the Tracking Change project will be organized around documenting change on the Mackenzie River from the perspective of Tulit’a Got’ine. Through hands-on activities, participants will share and interpret traditional knowledge about the changing ecology of water and fishing livelihoods on the Mackenzie River. Semi-structured interviews will be conducted by a graduate student in order to explore the climate change-related impacts on water, fish, fish health, as well as well-being.

Canoe Trip 2017: Protecting our Environment for Future Generations – Exercising our Treaty Rights.

Kevin Ahkimnachie, Director of Livelihood

Treat 8 First Nations of Alberta,

18178-102 Avenue,

Edmonton, AB  T5S 1S7

kahkimnachie@treaty8.org

 

The Canoe trip will occur Aug 7-11, 2017 and the North Peace Region First Nations will participate. The goal of the trip is to have 25 canoes on the Peace River to represent the 24 Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta and one canoe to represent the Treaty 8 First Nations Organization. The recommendation is to send one Elder and one Youth from each to participate in the canoe trip. The trip will begin with a feast at Beaver First Nation, and the next day travel will launch from Fort Vermillion Bridge to Little Red River First Nation (Garden River) on the Peace River. Elders will share wisdom with youth on preserving the lands for use by future generations, to ensure that Treaty 8 citizens will continue to exercise their inherent and Treaty rights in the territory. The project aims at capacity-building – finding knowledge keepers that have firsthand knowledge about oral histories, land stewardship, linguistic and world views, customs and traditions, and knowledge of the lakes and rivers of the territory. The community impacts of change will be documented, as well as TEK and possibly knowledge transfer. The data, interviews, and knowledge gathered will be held by Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta. The information can be shared with partners and sharing of the information will be guided by the application of First Nations OCAP (Ownership, Control, Access, and Possession) standards and principles.

Guiding Respectful Behaviour While Experiencing the Aquatic Environment of Whati: Implications of Change for Governance

Jody Pellissey, Executive Director

Wek’eezhii Renewable Resources Board,

102A, 4504-49th Avenue,

Yellowknife, NT X1A 1A7

jpellissey@wrrb.ca

 

 Among the Tłı̨chǫ, the people of Whatı̀ have always been known as having productive fisheries and knowing tǫdzı (boreal caribou). When discussing fisheries and tǫdzı, the impact of climate change on water levels has become a constant topic of conversation among elders and harvesters. Community members want youth to understand the relationship between todzi, water, and fish; and how to respect each to ensure that they thrive. For the elders and harvesters, it is important for the success of the fisheries to ensure that people follow the ‘laws’ associated with traveling on the lake and respecting the fish when preparing them for immediate and long-term use. Four elders, one principal investigator, and at least one Tłı̨chǫ university student, and several high school students, who are currently participants in the Tłı̨chǫ Government’s Tłı̨chǫ Įmbè program, will spend time with elders and community researchers participating in the ‘Tǫdzı and Wildfire’ research camp, during which time they will hear stories of fish, todzi and water. They will document this information, and hear – from elders — how to monitor and manage human behaviour in conjunction with the changing water environment.  Our main questions is: What do elders, fishers and tǫdzı hunters have to say about changing aquatic environments and the species that depend on it?

Ya Thi Nene Lands and Resources Youth Science/Culture Camp and Canoe Quest

Diane Mcdonald, Coordinator

Ya Thi Nene Lands and Resource Office,

Box 310,

Fond du Lac, SK S0J 0W0

diane.mcdonald@yathinene.com

 

The Ya’thi Nene Lands and Resource Office (YNLRO) works to promote and enhance the environmental, social, cultural, economic health and well-being of the Athabasca Basin Communities. This year, the YNLRO will host the First Annual Science/Cultural Camp July 24-31st near the Athabasca Sand Dunes, located on the south side of Lake Athabasca, 20 km west of Fond du Lac Denesuline First Nation. The goal is to raise awareness of the type of environmental monitoring that takes place in the Athabasca by the CanNorth Company. Teaching high school students different types of activities initiated on an annual basis by CanNorth, included but not limited to fish dissection, plant identification, field assessment, water and sediment sampling, water temperature and effects. Cultural activities will include caribou and moose hide making, beading, dry meat and dry fish making, hand games, crafts, fishing and elders circle talk. Added features will be provided by Diversity Talent and Bearpaw Communications will be filming to produce a Community Education Video. The Canoe Quest will be a 5-day journey in August of traveling along the trails of our ancestors to experience living off the land and the importance of traditional knowledge related to the waterways as a source of sustenance and for travel, and to observe the impacts of climate change and development on these lands and areas through stories and teachings shared by elders.

Inuvialuit Knowledge and Use of Salmon in the Mackenzie River Delta

Kristin Hynes, Fisheries Resource Specialist

Inuvialuit Fisheries Joint Management Committee,

PO Box 2120 Inuvik,

NWT X0E 0T0

fjmc-rb@jointsec.nt.ca

 

The Mackenzie River Delta area is an important source of subsistence fisheries for the Inuvialuit that contributes to the overall sustainability of fishing livelihoods for the communities of Aklavik, Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk. Common fish species in the Delta that contribute to Inuvialuit subsistence include whitefish, inconnu and burbot, however, in recent years increased salmon abundance has been observed. A partnership between Tracking Change and Fisheries and Oceans Canada aims to conduct a two-year project to gather, document, and distribute local and traditional knowledge about salmon and the changing environmental conditions that may be influencing biodiversity shifts of fishes in the Mackenzie River Delta. In 2018, we hope to use support from Tracking Change to conduct a pilot year for this project. Specifically, we will organize 2 fish camps to: 1) record local knowledge of Pacific Salmon, 2) seek local input on the direction and structure of the project, and 3) assist with development of interview questions to be used in 2019. This will be achieved through discussions and interviews focused on historical salmon presence, abundance, species, distributions, and subsistence use, as well as observed changes in the environment. The fish camp will also provide opportunities to learn and share local knowledge and scientific sampling techniques, both of which will be used to collect information on different fish species. The study area will be focused around Aklavik and Inuvik and will engage Inuvialuit from the communities including youth, elders and active fishers. The knowledge collected through this program will also contribute to the co-management of fisheries in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region and the broader Tracking Change project.

Harvester-Driven Monitoring of Broad Whitefish and Water Levels in the Gwich’in Settlement Area

Amy Amos, Executive Director, and Sarah Lord, Fisheries ad Forestry Biologist

Gwich’in Renewable Resources Board,

P.O. Box 2240, 2nd Fl.,

Alex Moses Greenland Building,

105 Veteran’s Way,

Inuvik, NWT X0E 0T0

aamos@grrb.nt.ca

 

Ongoing environmental and socioeconomic changes in northern Canada are raising concerns about the health of local fish populations, and water quality and quantity. The second year of the Tracking Change project in the GSA included two research projects: 1. Monitoring of dissolved oxygen and water temperatures in Airport Lake, 2. Interviews with Gwich’in community members about environmental change, access to fish, and well-being. In 2018-2019 we plan to build on these projects by: 1) Expanding a harvester-driven program to monitor catch per unit effort for luk digaii (Coregonus nasus, broad whitefish), and 2) Conducting detailed interviews with land users to record local knowledge of changes in water levels and shifts in the distribution of Pacific salmon. The community-based whitefish monitoring effort will extend ongoing efforts based on the Peel River. The community monitor (harvester) will be trained in data collection, and will keep records of catch per unit effort (CPUE) throughout the harvest season. These data are important to estimating population abundance for luk digaii, an area of particular interest to the GRRB. Additionally, the community monitor will conduct a suite of sampling on a subset of the fish that are harvested, including: fish length and weight, a standardized photo, observations on disease or parasites, sagittal otoliths (a bone in the head used to determine fish age), a fin clip (for stable isotope analysis and to genetically identify population structure), and scale sample (for growth rate analysis). Collectively, these data will yield information on population demographics, size-at-age and growth rate, and habitat use In the second component, we will conduct semi-structured map-based interviews with the fishers participating in the whitefish monitoring activity described above. These interviews will explore local knowledge of water levels and Pacific salmon, focusing on mapping observations of changes in water levels, river and lake morphology, drained lakes and the phenology and distribution of Pacific salmon. Interviews will explore participant perspectives on inter-annual and intra-annual variation in these processes and long-term trends. These initiatives will improve our understandings of changes affecting Gwich’in fishing livelihoods, whitefish population dynamics and health, and aquatic environments and contribute to the development of regional research and monitoring initiatives.

Retracing Our Routes

Lauren King, Manager, Wildlife Lands and Environment,

Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation,

P.O. Box 28,

Lutsel K’e, NWT X0E 1A0

lkdfnlands@gmail.com

 

Land users and youth from the Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation will embark on an 8-day educational canoe trip from Tl’ombali Tue (Tent Lake) to Tthao Ts’ai Tue (Austin Lake) – a traditional route of the Lutsel K’e Denesoline. The canoe trip provides youth with an opportunity to connect with and experience a portion of their traditional territory ad for land users to pass on their traditional knowledge to the next generation. As guardians of their land and water, the participants will apply their traditional knowledge and document the health of the environment. This canoe trip is an enriching experience for all participants, and in particular the youth, and will instill a sense of pride in themselves, their culture, and their land. This project will help develop community members’ capacity to monitor a portion of their traditional territory, be trained to record observations on the land. The information collected with be held in the community’s Traditional Knowledge archive and will be used to inform water governance.

MCFN Tracking Change in the Peace Athabasca Delta through Community Based Monitoring

Melody Lepine, Director

Mikisew Cree First Nation – Government and Industry Relations,

Suite A 8219 Fraser Avenue,

Fort McMurray, AB T9H 0A2

melody.lepine@mcfngir.ca

 

For nine years the Mikisew Cree First Nation (MCNF) has been operating a Community Based Monitoring (CBM) Program, based out of Fort Chipewyan, Alberta, to understand the negative changes our Elders have observed in the Peace-Athabasca Delta (PAD). CBM efforts have focused on monitoring changes to water quality and quantity due to serious concerns about the impacts of upstream hydro-dams and oil sands operations. Our Elders are also observing changes to whitefish, a culturally important species that we rely on for food. Therefore, through this project we seek to advance existing CBM water monitoring efforts, and expand activities to include the monitoring of whitefish. Project activities include: (1) hosting a Whitefish Camp with MCFN elders and youth; (2) continuing CBM water quality and quantity monitoring initiatives; and (3) completing development of a navigational hazard app so that community members can identify where low water levels create navigation hazards and constrain access to their traditional areas in the PAD.  The aim of this work is to better understand changes to the aquatic habitat to support MCFN in protecting our Treaty and Aboriginal Rights, while also facilitating opportunities for elders to connect with youth, share traditional knowledge, and pass on our way of life.

Keeping the K’áhsho Got'ı̨nę Fishing Livelihood Strong for the Future

Deborah Simmons, Executive Director,

Sahtu Renewable Resources Board,

P.O. Box 134

Tulit’a NT X0E 0K0

director@srrb.nt.ca

 

Fish has always been a food staple for communities of the Sahtú region, available when other luxury foods like caribou and moose are scarce.  However, ongoing climate related changes are raising newfound concerns about the future of fishing and fishing livelihoods. In 2016, Délı̨nę Got’ı̨nę community members participated in a pilot year with the Tracking Change project which focused on possible environmental changes in and around the Great Bear Lake region.  In 2017, Leon Andrew led a fish camp on Tulı́t’a Got’ı̨nę. Through hands-on activities, participants shared and interpret traditional knowledge about the changing ecology of water and fishing livelihoods on the Dǝhogá (Mackenzie River). In the summer of 2018, similar questions will be explored during the Lafferty family’s annual fish camp downriver in the K’áhsho Got’ı̨nę District, with an emphasis on changing approaches to cross-generational education practices for maintaining necessary knowledge and skills in fish harvesting, preservation, and sharing. Design of the camp including elders, adults and youth is in part derived from discussions at a recent elder’s gathering on the land where middle-aged people explained the sense of loss that they feel having been deprived of their Dene education as residential school victims. K’áhsho Got’ı̨nę filmmaker Anne Marie Jackson will document the project in conjunction with the National Centre for Collaboration in Indigenous Education documentation project (www.nccie.ca).

Baseline Water Monitoring in the Liard Watershed

Corrine Porter, Executive Director

Dena Kayeh Institute,

P.O. Box 9

Lower Post BC  V0C 1W0

denakayah@gmail.com

 

This project will assist in documenting ecological change in the Mackenzie River watershed, specifically the Liard River and its tributaries, as perceived by the Kasha Dena. Fifty to one hundred interviews will be conducted, traditional knowledge will be recorded, and water monitoring sites will be identified to record the changes in water depth. Baseline monitoring sites will be identified and established in priority water bodies within the Liard River watershed. Parameters to be recorded include water depth, dissolved oxygen, temperature, pH, turbidity, conductivity, flow rate and ice thickness. Main outcomes will be the development of permanent water sampling sites, collection and storage of baseline water quality data for high priority water bodies and data sharing. The work will also aim to interview elders and land users and conduct surveys with younger generations. Elder and youth involvement will be built in to the program initiatives for the management of water in the Kaska Traditional Territory. Kaska place names and terminology related to water will also be collected. This project will support objectives in the Kasha Water Strategy, adopted in 2015, by addressing data gaps within the Kasha Traditional Territory. It will also assist in addressing climate change monitoring in the region.

Denesuline Perspectives from the Hatchet Lake First Nation sector gathering: Tracking Changes in Lakes and Rivers in the Athabasca Region

Joe Tsannie, Vice Chief

Prince Albert Grand Council,

Box 2770, 2300-9th St. Ave East,

Prince Albert, SK S6V 6Z1

jtsanniejr@pagc.net

 

Denesuline Elders, Leaders, Traditional Land Users, and Youth will gather at Hatchet Lake First Nation in Wollaston Lake Saskatchewan to engage in an Athabasca region sector gathering. This gathering will involve the sub-research project in partnership with the University of Alberta for the purposes of sharing local and traditional knowledge about the social-ecological changes occurring in the lakes and rivers within the Athabasca region, as well as to determine roles in watershed governance. Qualitative group and individual interviews will take place on September 12th and 13th, 2018 in Wollaston Lake with a group of 20 participants (10 Elders/Leaders and 10 Youth). This sector gathering will involve several Athabasca communities and a variety of participants which will result in a diversity of perspectives. This research builds on the research interviews that took place in Black Lake First Nation in 2017. Hatchet Lake First Nation is located in the Athabasca region. Youth will be invited to participate in the gathering so that they can learn firsthand cultural and traditional knowledge from their own Leaders, Elders and Traditional Land Users. This research project reinforces the larger Tracking Change Research Project and the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action in building capacity by sharing and learning through Denesuline culture, traditional ecological knowledge, and language. The purpose of the research project is to collaboratively share and document historical and contemporary observations and perceptions of conditions and changes in the health of the aquatic environment in northern lakes and river systems as per the research guidelines identified by the University of Alberta