Arctic Borderlands Ecological Knowledge Coop - Community Based Ecological Monitoring Program

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Gwich'in Settlement Area

Tags: caribou, traditional knowledge, wildlife

Principal Investigator: Svoboda, Michael (4)
Licence Number: 14426
Organization: Arctic Borderlands Ecological Knowledge Coop
Licenced Year(s): 2017 2017 2015 2013 2012 2011 2009 2008 2006
Issued: Oct 08, 2008
Project Team: To be determined - Community researcher (approximately 7 will be need - from communities

Objective(s): The goal of this research is to use both local and scientific knowledge to monitor and assess changes in an area that covers the range of the Porcupine Caribou Herd and nearby coastal and marine areas.

Project Description: This license has been issued for the scientific research application #913.

The goal of this research is to use both local and scientific knowledge to monitor and assess changes in an area that covers the range of the Porcupine Caribou Herd and nearby coastal and marine areas. This is an annual project where interviews with local experts are conducted annually by community researchers. Observations about fish, berries, caribou, unusual animal sightings, weather conditions, and other aspects of the environment are recorded.

While the entire project also includes communities in Alaska and Yukon, research in the NWT will be conducted in Aklavik, Tuktoyaktuk, Inuvik, Tsiigehtchic, and Fort McPherson. One researcher will be hired to conduct interviews in each community. Those communities with both Gwich’in and Inuvialuit people will have two researchers, one for each population. A training session will take place, likely in early January, in Inuvik. Each researcher, in conjunction with local organizations and individuals, will develop a list of local experts who may be interested in being interviewed.

Approximately 20 interviews will be conducted by each researcher. A set list of questions relating to the local experts observations about fish, berries, caribou, unusual animal sightings, weather conditions, and other aspects of the environment will be used. Not every interviewee will be asked every question, only those relating to their area of expertise. The researcher will also use a map of the local region and, with the assistance of the interviewee, mark the locations of specific observations. Researchers will largely record information using hand written notes, but for some questions or for some interviews, a tape recorder may be used with the permission of the interviewee. After the interviews are completed, the researcher will put together a written report as well as a presentation for the Annual Gathering. The date or location for the Annual Gathering has not yet been decided but these activities will be finished by the end of March.
Each person interviewed will receive the report put together by their local researcher. The Annual Gathering, open to all interested individuals and organizations, is an important method by which results are communicated. Observations from each set of interviews will be presented and discussed and each presentation becomes an important component of the Proceedings. Gathering Proceedings will be widely available from local organizations or the Coop. Posters displaying summaries of various topics covered by the community monitoring interviews will also be displayed at the Gathering and distributed to interested organizations. The Coop website is also an important communication tool and contains past Gathering Proceedings as well as the results from the community monitoring program (including synthesis products and reports).

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from February 01 to March 20, 2009 in Aklavik, Inuvik, Tuktoyaktuk, Fort McPherson and Tsiigehtchic.