Using Traditional Knowledge and Scientific Approaches to Engage Youth in Community-based Monitoring in Kugluktuk, NU

Date and Time: 
Thursday, 16 May, 2013 - 18:40 to 19:00
DESROSIERS, S. - University of British Columbia
G. Henry - University of British Columbia

Integration of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) with scientific data helps to understand the changing environment in the Canadian Arctic. There is great opportunity to sustain community-based monitoring initiatives by collaborating with Territorial education systems. The production of the culturally important berry species is influenced by seasonal conditions such as temperature, precipitation, and soil moisture. Thus, berry productivity can be used as an indicator for environmental change making it an ideal subject for a long-term monitoring program. The main objectives for this study are to: (1) establish a community-based monitoring program using the annual productivity of Vaccinium vitis-idaea (Kingminat, Cranberry), Empetrum nigrum (Paun’ngait, Crowberry), Vaccinium uliginosum (Kigutaginak, Blueberry) and Rubus chamaemorus (Akpik, Cloudberry) and (2) compile TEK data regarding Inuinnaqtun berry vocabulary, usages and stories into bilingual educational material. This collaborative research will help to monitor and further our understanding of the effects of environmental change and has the potential to increase the capacity of youth to engage in culture, science and technology.