Little Salmon Carmacks, Yukon
Year(s) Funded: 2014-2015
Topic Area: Traditional Medicine
Title: Good Medicine: Understanding and Adapting to the Effects of Climate Change on Use of Traditional Medicine
Action: This project employed the Northern Tutchone system of community engagement to gather information and identify impacts of climate change on traditional medicines. The purpose of this project was to put together the beginning of a body of research and materials to gather stories about our traditional medicines and past periods of climatic change and to use stories to help the community understand the importance of Traditional Medicine use in our communities today. The project also analyzed how climate change is impacting the harvesting and practice of Traditional Medicine, and aimed to develop a plan that will enable the community to adapt, sustain and expand their Traditional Medicine practice for the next seven generations as the world we live in continues to change.
Results: This project successfully gained guidance and blessing from Northern Tutchone Elders on handling this sensitive and very important subject. An archive of interviews with Healers in the communities was documented to reflect current Traditional Medicine practices. These archived interviews will be used in future for curriculum development, for the Elder’s families and to guide our government’s actions and community decisions regarding Traditional Medicine and climate change impacts. Interviews were transcribed and a baseline of the stories was created of Traditional Medicine practices and of observed impacts climate change is having on Traditional Medicine harvest practices by interviewing Healers. The community began to develop a framework for sustaining Traditional Medicine practices through climate change and identified concerns for Traditional Medicine habitat loss.
Outputs: Developed action plan for sustaining Traditional Medicine practices through climate changes. Elders have sanctioned this plan forward which includes the documentation of traditional medicine knowledge so actions can be taken to address areas at risk and to the identification of sensitive gathering areas that are considered at risk. Posters were made of Uncle and Auntie retreats to help communicate accomplishments.