Inuvialuit Perspectives of Polar Bear Population Health and Harvest Sustainability

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region

Tags: social sciences, traditional knowledge, wildlife, culture, harvest, polar bear

Principal Investigator: Slavik, Daniel VW (3)
Licence Number: 14816
Organization: University of Alberta, Dept. of Rural Economy
Licensed Year(s): 2010 2009 2008
Issued: Oct 29, 2010

Objective(s): To document Inuvialuit knowledge, perspectives, and observations of factors that influence polar bears population health on Banks Island and in the Beaufort Region; and explore how traditional knowledge, community observations, scientific studies, and other information interact to inform hunters about sustainable harvest levels of polar bears.

Project Description: The objectives of this research are to document Inuvialuit knowledge, perspectives, and observations of factors that influence polar bears population health on Banks Island and in the Beaufort Region; and explore how traditional knowledge, community observations, scientific studies, and other information interact to inform hunters about sustainable harvest levels of polar bears.

The researcher will travel by air to Sachs Harbour via Inuvik to conduct small focus group interviews as well as a workshop to share initial findings and verification of previous interviews. After fieldwork is concluded, the community has verified the data, and provided input into the video, the researcher will work to write their thesis, with a strong focus on the video component as a deliverable of the project and thesis. The researcher will communicate findings to the academic community with the support of the community.

Inuvialuit communities have identified the importance of providing training and research assistant opportunities to youth. In 2010, this research will employ one youth research assistant from Sachs Harbour to assist in conducting and videotaping interviews. The researcher will also provide the youth with some training in social science research and film-making. As this research incorporates video methods, Sachs Harbour will own the video and all footage produced from this research, and will be recognized as a co-producer of the video. As a deliverable of this research, the community will have a copy of the video thesis to use for cultural and educational purposes.

During this verification stage, the researcher will return to Sachs Harbour to host a workshop with the research participants, and invited guests from other Inuvialuit Hunters and Trappers Committee’s. The purpose is to verify the findings and accuracy of the draft report, add missing information, and receive community feedback.

Sachs Harbour can use this video for cultural and education purposes within the community and region as they see fit. The researcher will communicate findings to the academic community with the support of Sachs Harbour.


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