Community Perspectives on the Health of Caribou, Moose, and Deer Populations around Fort Good Hope

Regions: Sahtu Settlement Area

Tags: health, caribou, traditional food, traditional knowledge, wildlife, moose, disease

Principal Investigator: Parlee, Brenda L (17)
Licence Number: 14984
Organization: University of Alberta
Licenced Year(s): 2011 2010
Issued: Dec 21, 2011
Project Team: Roger McMillan (Research Assistant, University of Alberta)

Objective(s): To understand the level of concern and knowledge in local communities about Chronic Wasting Disease and other wildlife related health issues.

Project Description: The research is being funded by PrioNet Canada in an effort to understand the level of concern and knowledge in local communities about Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) and other wildlife related health issues. Even though there is no scientifically proven link between CWD in cervids and human health, the potential for CWD to spread to other species and a lack of understanding of how CWD is transmitted raises concerns about vulnerability of communities. Proactive risk management cannot be undertaken without a clear understanding of the dependence of communities and individuals on caribou and moose in their diet, of their ability to substitute other foods for cervid meat should the need arise, and the potential implications for cost and diet quality of substitutions. This research can provide clear indications of the risks faced by northern Aboriginal communities from CWD.

This work would be conducted through interviews (30-40) with active or recently active harvesters in Fort Good Hope. Interviews would follow a survey format, recording participants' harvests, their perceptions of wildlife health, and basic information regarding their distributions of meat.

The interviews will be carried out in a location of comfort for both the interviewee and researcher/research assistant. The results of interviews will be audio taped by the researcher/research assistant. The researcher will transcribe the results after the interview.

Procedures including the following: Contact Band Councils/Metis Locals or community councils to identify potential research participants; Telephone potential interviewees to determine interest in the project; Provide potential interviewees with the plain language summary for the project; Follow-up with a telephone call to confirm receipt of above materials, and to confirm willingness to be sent an interview consent form; Telephone call to confirm willingness to participate in interview, ensure plain language summary and interview consent form has been read and understood; Establish time and place for interview; Meet interviewee at designated time/location and review interview consent form; Ensure interviewee has read, understood and signed the consent form and understands that he/she may withdraw consent at any time during the interview process, and to Provide summary of research results to community prior to publishing any data collected.

A project report will be compiled and sent to research partners in the community. To ensure that risk perceptions are not heightened as a result of the project, particular consideration will be given to how information about Chronic Wasting Disease including research outcomes are communicated and understood at the local level. Local research partners will be consulted as to appropriate means of communicating study results in the communities.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from December 21, 2011 to December 31, 2011.