Traditional Knowledge Study - Lutsel K'e Dene First Nation

Regions: South Slave Region

Tags: social sciences, traditional knowledge, land use

Principal Investigator: Swisher, Sara S (5)
Licence Number: 14799
Organization: EBA Engineering Consultants Ltd.
Licensed Year(s): 2010
Issued: Aug 31, 2010
Project Team: Sara Swisher (Research Analyst/ Qualitative Interviewer, Affiliate to EBA Engineering Consultants Ltd.), Tara Schmidt (Environmental Planner/ Qualitative Interviewer, EBA Engineering Consultants Ltd.), Community Representative (TBD) (LKDFN)

Objective(s): To collect information for planning and incorporation into Avalon’s Developer’s Assessment Report (DAR) as required by the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board’s (MVEIRB) Environmental Assessment Process.

Project Description: The proposed Traditional Knowledge study described in the following sections is wholly contingent upon the LKDFN’s review, input and approval. It is also contingent upon the application and receipt of a scientific research license from the Aurora Research Institute.

The study will be conducted in general conformance with the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board’s (MVEIRB) Guidelines for Incorporating Traditional Knowledge in Environmental Impact Assessment, July 2005. The collected information will be used for continued planning and incorporated into Avalon’s Developer’s Assessment Report (DAR) as required by the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board’s (MVEIRB) Environmental Assessment Process.

A Community Representative will be hired, whose essential functions will be to:
• Identify interview candidates;
• Coordinate meeting times;
• Assist with the administration of the “Participant Prior Informed Consent” form;
• Translate where necessary; and
• Review interview notes with the Research Analyst and/or Environmental Planner at the end of each day.

The Community Representative will be recommended by the LKDFN and compensated by Avalon.

Qualitative interviews will be utilized to collect the Traditional Knowledge in this study. Interviews will be held in a mutually agreed upon location; preferably a comfortable and private location rented by Avalon from the LKDFN.

Participants will be given a “Participant Prior Informed Consent” form prior to each interview and asked to review the information with the assistance of the Community Representative if necessary. Participants will be asked to sign the form if they are comfortable with the information and voluntarily want to continue participation in the study.

Once the “Participant Prior Informed Consent” form is completed, the Research Analyst and/or Environmental Planner will give a brief description of Avalon’s Thor Lake Project if the participant is not familiar with the Project. The description will be followed by a series of qualitative survey questions. All participant responses will be recorded on the survey instrument with hand-written notes. Throughout the course of each interview, the Research Analyst’s and/or Environmental Planner’s written responses will be read back to the participants for approval, editing and/or clarification as needed.

Each interview will require approximately 1 hour 45 minutes and will be conducted by the Research Analyst and/or Environmental Planner with the assistance of a Community Representative from the Lutsel K’e community.

The sample population for the qualitative interviews will be identified by the LKDFN Community Representative and will include 10-15 individuals. Elders and/or individuals with extensive land-use experience and knowledge of the greater East Arm area of Great Lake are the preferred sample population for the study. Study participants should be representative of the entire community and come from different families with different experiences in order to avoid biased results.

A local community representative will be hired to assist the field researchers in identifying participants, arranging interviews, and assisting during interviews, as needed. Avalon will rent a venue from the community for the purpose of conducting interviews. Each participant in the study will receive an honorarium. Copies of all of the field data and the final report will be returned to the community for archival purposes.

Once the data is collected, the Research Analyst and/or Environmental Planner will develop a final report for the Lutsel K’e community. The data will be compiled and reported using standard qualitative research practices. Participant names will be noted in the “participant” section of the final report. However, all comments and results will be reported confidentially. The participants’ original surveys and Participant Prior Informed Consent forms will be returned to the LKDFN community with their names on them for archival purposes. Any copies of the participants’ surveys that are made during the course of the study will be destroyed upon completion of the study. The original final report will be sent to the LKDFN. Avalon will retain a copy of the report for incorporation and use throughout the Environmental Assessment process.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from August 30, 2010 to December 31, 2010.