Integrating Indigenous and scientific perspectives on environmental changes: Insights from boreal landscapes

Authors
Annie Claude Bélisle
Sylvie Gauthier
Hugo Asselin
Resource Date:
July
2022
Page Length
23

This study compares the perspectives of Indigenous and scientific communities on environmental changes in boreal landscapes of Quebec, Canada to determine where collaboration between Indigenous communities and researchers could help assessing and mitigating the consequences of environmental changes.

Abstract

Major environmental changes affect the health and capacity of ecosystems to sustain Indigenous people's well-being in boreal landscapes. Collaboration between Indigenous communities and researchers could help assessing and mitigating the consequences of environmental changes.

We used Driver Pressure State Impact (DPSI) conceptual models to compare the perspectives of Indigenous and scientific communities on environmental changes in boreal landscapes of Quebec, Canada.

The Indigenous DPSI model emerged from interviews with local land-use experts from two Indigenous communities. The scientific model was informed by the publication topics of expert researchers.

We compared the Indigenous and scientific models and exposed convergences and divergences between perspectives. Forestry was identified as a major driver of change in both models. Most issues related to mining, hydro-power and forest road development were specific to the Indigenous model. Climate change and wildfires were of greater interest in the scientific model.

Convergences between the perspectives of Indigenous and scientific communities are conducive to collaborative research. Divergences could be addressed through reciprocal knowledge transfer activities, which would lead to research that better aligns with the concerns and needs of Indigenous communities.