Traditional Ecological Knowledge

Content related to: Traditional Ecological Knowledge

Tǫdzı (Boreal Caribou) and the State of Their Habitat

Project Description:
This report considers Tłı̨chǫ knowledge of the relationships that tǫdzı (boreal caribou) have with their habitat, including human and other-than human beings.

The current research grew from elders’ discussions at Ɂedèezhìi field camp about the importance of tǫdzı habitat around the Whatì area as the frequency and extent of forest fires continued to grow. The elders strongly suggested we pay more attention to tǫdzı winter habitat around Whatì and how they use islands in this area.

Project Outcomes or Intended Outcomes:
Final Report: Tǫdzı (boreal caribou) and the State of Their Habitat.

Principal Researcher: Allice Legat

Community Researchers: Camilla Nitsiza and Charlie J Nitsiza

Report Authors (see resource): Allice Legat and Mary McCreadie


Gwich’in Traditional Knowledge: Woodland Caribou, Boreal Caribou

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.

Characterizing, Mapping and Modelling Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge about Woodland Caribou in Saskatchewan in Support of Range Planning

Project Description:

The objective of this project was to engage local communities (First Nations and Métis) in central and northern Saskatchewan, in order to document local and traditional knowledge (WCTEK) of boreal woodland caribou to support the provincial range planning process for conservation of woodland caribou. This report is based on a study from November 2014 to March 2017 within the boreal woodland caribou range in Saskatchewan. The success of WCTEK research is ultimately determined by the willingness of communities and individuals to participate and share their knowledge. we conducted 56 individual interviews, two full group meetings (meetings devoted exclusively to data collection) and four other meetings (organised for other reasons such as trappers annual meetings but that allowed us to collect data) and 12 information sharing meetings (to discuss the data collection process, listen to stories about caribou, collect additional data, and receive feedback on our findings). The group meetings and personal interviews totalled 153 people, while the information sharing meetings include 300+ trappers from northern Saskatchewan.

Project Outcomes or Intended Outcomes:

Written summary report and GIS mapping file of the habitat model for boreal caribou across Saskatchewan based on Traditional Ecological Knowledge.

Written Report:
Mamun, A., Brook, R.K. 2017. Characterizing, Mapping and Modelling Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge about Woodland Caribou in Saskatchewan in Support of Range Planning. Technical Report to the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment.