Paulatuk, Northwest Territories
Year(s) Funded: 2012-2013
Topic Area: Food Security
Contact: Paulatuk Hunters and Trappers Committee
Partners: Freshwater Institute – Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Fisheries Joint Management Committee, Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, Marine Protected Areas
Title: Paulatuk Beluga Whales: Health and Knowledge
Action:This project looked at the dynamics of community and traditional knowledge exchange between elders and youth regarding climate change, health and harvesting country foods in and around the community of Paulatuk. The Paulatuk Hunters and Trappers Committee (PHTC) hired a coordinator to plan a 2 day outing and workshop that included 10 Youth and 7 Elders and a portion of the Moonlight Drummers & Dancers. The outing was delivered at Green’s (egg) Island, which is about 15 Km West of Paulatuk, where the majority of the belugas are harvested. The outing began in late July when the boats were available to transport all Youth and Elders out, with PFD’s loaned by Parks Canada, and the PHTC a Trapper Radio for emergencies.
The project included 6 stages: a community consultation with a climate change questionnaire; a climate change workshop featuring a feast, basic surveying and interviewing; a traditional knowledge outing with data collection through discussions and activities; data compilation and analysis; and lastly, project evaluation through use of a climate change survey and evaluation form.
Results: This project provided the community with new tools, and the ability to better understand and manage the health impacts of climate change. Youth gained valuable knowledge on traditional hunting, fishing and harvesting practices taught by elders. In addition, they also learned about the changes to the land, water, vegetation and native and foreign organisms that are in the area. Elders were also able to learn from the youth perspectives. The information obtained from this project will be useful to other communities in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, specifically for knowledge exchange with and between the community of Tuktoyaktuk and their ongoing Hendrickson Island Beluga studies to compare best practices and findings on beluga health and community knowledge.
Outputs: Gathered community perspectives on climate change and health.