A Multi-Community Perspective: Important Features and Habitat for Dolphin and Union Caribou Wellbeing

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region

Tags: social sciences, caribou, traditional knowledge, habitat

Principal Investigator: Hanke, Andrea (2)
Licence Number: 16941
Organization: University of Calgary
Licensed Year(s): 2022 2021
Issued: Jan 25, 2022
Project Team: Andrea Hanke, Susan Kutz

Objective(s): To develop a collective account of Kugluktukmiut knowledge around Dolphin and Union caribou abundance, health, and distribution during and preceding 2020.

Project Description: This licence has been issued for the scientific research application No.5146.

The goal is to develop a collective account of Kugluktukmiut knowledge around Dolphin and Union caribou abundance, health, and distribution.

The key questions being investigated in this study are:
1. What and how do knowledge keepers across the Dolphin and Union caribou range identify and describe as important conditions and habitat for Dolphin and Union caribou wellbeing and survival?
2. How does the identification and description of important conditions and habitat compare within and amongst the communities and across the Dolphin and Union caribou range?

The research team are actively collaborating with the Olokhaktomiut, Ekaluktuktiak, and Kugluktuk Hunters’ and Trappers’ Committee/Organizations to ensure this study meets community needs and proceeds with respect to the Traditional knowledge and its keepers. The team will remotely facilitate 4 interview sessions with 2-3 Elders in each community, for a total of 6-9 Elders, with the help of in-community assistants. The community partners will select the Elders to ensure the appropriate Dolphin and Union caribou experts are involved. Each interview sessions will be limited to approximately 2 hours in duration, using participatory mapping and proportional piling, and will target the following topics: Elder life-history, Dolphin and Union caribou locations and population fluctuations, identification and description of Dolphin and Union caribou important conditions and habitat, and subsequent follow-up interviews as required. The team will verify interview products with the Elders and hold meetings to gather feedback on the initial results. The final results will be presented to each community before they are made public.

The Olokhaktomiut Hunters' and Trappers' Committee is a central partner in this research. They were involved in the initial study design, will be the ones to identify knowledge keepers for the study, and will be kept up-to-date on the research progress. The interview assistant will be involved in the data analysis. The finalized research results will be presented to the community before they are made public. The research team will write a summary, plain language report for the communities and co-management partners. This report, which is after the community presentations, will incorporate the interview results from all communities involved. The report executive summary will be translated to Inuinnaqtun.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from January 25, 2022 to December 31, 2022.