Content related to: stewardship

Stewardship of Lake Superior Caribou

Project Description:

Biigtigong Nishnaabeg has developed a (draft) caribou Stewardship Plan for its traditional territory, which includes a portion of the Lake Superior Caribou Range and the discontinuous distribution between the LSCR and the continuous ranges to the north. The Stewardship Plan contains 11 interlinked strategies. As the project unfolds we anticipated that technical elements of each of the 11 strategies will be further developed. The important first component of the strategy is re-establishing caribou on Michipicoten Island, so that the population there can grow and be used as a source of animals to re-populate the nearby mainland.

Project Outcomes or Intended Outcomes:

The long-term goal of Stewardship Plan is: "Establish a secure and self-sustaining population of caribou in the area centered on the northeast portion of Lake Superior, with particular emphasis on the area encompassed by the Biigtigong Nishnaabeg Title Lands"
The Plan has four objectives under this goal, that relate to protecting/managing caribou on the offshore islands, managing caribou populations on the mainland, collaboration with other First Nations, governments and other parties, and raising cultural awareness of caribou and their role in the ecosystem and Indigenous culture.

Community-Driven Values for Woodland Caribou Protection in North-Central Saskatchewan

Project Description:
Due to sharply decreasing populations, boreal woodland caribou are an animal of concern for Canadian and Indigenous peoples. In north-central Saskatchewan, Indigenous and non-Indigenous governments, researchers, policy makers, land users, communities, and industry have faced multiple challenges working together to support caribou populations. Some of these challenges are due to cultural differences in ways of knowing and understanding the natural world in general, and wildlife in particular. The language of ethics and values may provide a working platform for intercultural conversations about wildlife conservation. Using multispecies ethnography, participatory community-based research, and visual methodologies, this dissertation study documents the ethical teachings and values that structure how Woodland Cree, Métis, and Euro-Canadian more-than-human communities in and around La Ronge, Saskatchewan engage with woodland caribou and conservation strategies. Four key themes have emerged from these community teachings and values as important to woodland caribou protection:

  1. respectful relationships with other-than-human beings and land;
  2. responsibilities to protect and care for these;
  3. intercultural, land-based education;
  4. intercultural working together.

These themes are employed in an ethical framework, which will be used to recommend a practical means of partnering with both Indigenous and Euro-Canadian ways of knowing in Saskatchewan.

Project Outcomes or Intended Outcomes:
Results of this dissertation study are anticipated to build on previous research that has begun to document Indigenous ethics and values about woodland caribou in Saskatchewan and across Canada, and add to ongoing cross-cultural management efforts in Saskatchewan to address the ethical challenges of woodland caribou conservation together.

Immediate outcomes include:

  1. a practical model for ethical intercultural management of woodland caribou;
  2. recommendations for implementation into policy;
  3. a thoroughly documented process for addressing cross-cultural ethical challenges with respect to wildlife, across sectors.

Long-term outcomes will include:

  1. more ethical and sustainable relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples and woodland caribou.

Gwich’in Traditional Knowledge: Woodland Caribou, Boreal Population

Project Description:

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. 

Project Outcomes or Intended Outcomes:

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.