Year(s) Funded: 2018-2019
Topic Area: Adaptation Planning, Traditional Medicine
Title: Evaluation of current and potential future impacts of traditional way of life, traditionally significant flora and fauna and health of Maliseet First Nations, New Brunswick
Summary: This project was conducted to determine the impacts of climate change on First Nations health by examining the impacts to the traditional food systems that have sustained Maliseet peoples. The traditional foods of the Maliseet peoples have provided a rich array of nutrients from a variety of complementary sources for millennia. The traditional practices associated with sourcing these foods also play a vital role in the health of Maliseet communities. Limited access to traditional foods can cause a shift in diet and a reliance on alternative food sources that are potentially of lesser nutritional value. Over time, wild populations of these traditional food sources have become more scarce and as a result of direct and indirect impacts attributable to a changing climate. As part of this project, past and present impacts of climate change on these traditional systems were documented and an action plan was created by the community. Major components of the project included: field surveys, traditional knowledge interviews, climate change adaptation planning training workshop; and a closing meeting to provide a feedback to communities on the outcomes of the project. Through the interviews within Maliseet communities, project leaders were able to identify shifts in access to traditional foods and medicines. The interviews were conducted in all six Maliseet communities in New Brunswick to evaluate impacts of climate change on main livelihoods and other traditional practices of Maliseet people.