Social-Economical Indicators for Community Based Monitoring and Resource Management
Principal Investigator: Parlee, Brenda L (16)
Licence Number: 13395
Organization: University of Manitoba
Licenced Year(s): 2004 2003
Issued: Jan 28, 2003
Project Team: none

Objective(s): The goal of this project is to examine sustainable forest management through socio-ecological indicators of community and ecosystem health in the Gwich'in Settlement Area, NWT. The growing body of traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) that has been documented in the last two decades has provided insights into the relationships between indigenous communities and their environment. Land-based cultures require healthy ecosystems; hence healthy communities require healthy environments. Until recently the main area of study has been in the area of environment and resource management; relatively little attention has been focused on the social dimension of the human environment relationship. This gap will be addressed by developing social-ecological health indicators based on local TEK, with particular attention to forest ecosystems and non-timber related resources. This study also proposes to find ways to integrate social-ecological indicators into a participatory resource management framework . Contributions will be made to the theories of managing multifunctional forest environments, while generating practical tools to address both community and environmental health issues.

Project Description: This project involves working with the Gwich'in Renewable Resources Board, the Tetlit Gwich'in Renewable Resources Committee and elders/harvesters from Fort McPherson to document traditional indicators and methods for community-based monitoring. The main focus of the project in on berries and berry-harvesting. Specific goals include: identifying signs and symbols traditionally used by the Gwich'in to recognize changes in the community and environment; understanding how the Gwich'in traditionally watched, listened, learned, understood and adapted to these changes. The project will involve note-taking and/or audio and video recording of stories told by elders and harvesters about berries and berry harvesting. The terms of consent and data storage will be in accordance with a research agreement negotiated between the proponent and the Gwich'in Social and Cultural Institute.