Gwich’in Traditional Knowledge: Woodland Caribou, Boreal Caribou

Authors
Kristi Benson
Contacts
Date:
March
2011
Page Length
52

The Gwich’in Renewable Resources Board (GRRB) and the Gwich’in Social and Cultural Institute (GSCI) collaborated on a study to gather and report on Gwich’in Traditional Knowledge of Boreal Woodland Caribou.  There is a stable population of woodland caribou in the Gwich’in Settlement Area and surrounding regions.  However, the Canadian population is classified as threatened under the federal Species at Risk Act.  Environment Canada supported the project in order to integrate Traditional Knowledge in the recovery planning process for boreal woodland caribou.

The GSCI and the GRRB conducted 20 interviews with holders of Gwich’in traditional knowledge and searched the digital archives of GSCI for relevant primary and secondary data to obtain TK about general observations, special significance, physical description, distribution, habitat, population size and trend, limiting factors and threats, and health of the woodland caribou. Gwich’in hunters have in-depth knowledge about boreal woodland caribou which they generously shared in the interviews.

The purpose of this study was to gather and collate Gwich’in traditional knowledge for use in the Federal Species at Risk Boreal Caribou recovery planning process. It was also used for the NWT Species at Risk Boreal Caribou status report and assessment, and subsequent Recovery Strategy.