Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in, Yukon
Year(s) Funded: 2010-2011
Topic Area: Food Security
Contact: Bill Kendrick (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Partners: Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in
Title: A Multi-disciplinary Investigation of Climate Change Impacts on Yukon River Traditional Foods and the Implications for Health and Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in River Culture and Lifestyle
Action: The primary focus of this project was to increase the understanding of climate change and its impacts along the Yukon River within Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Traditional Territory and the associated health implications for the community. The project addressed irregular water conditions and the impact on traditional food security, with a focus on salmon and river plants, including wild onion and bear root. Furthermore, the project fit with Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in’s culture and values that are associated with life on the river and have been a part of their existence since time immemorial.
Results: This project increased understanding of the watershed through the collection of baseline data on a variety of climate-related variables that are linked to traditional food security, more specifically monitoring the thermal regime of primary Chinook and chum salmon migration habitat and characterizing the thermal and chemical regimes and associated biological communities of ground water discharges utilized by Chinook salmon for rearing and over-wintering habitat. Additionally, the project reinvigorated the community’s interaction with the river system and encourages knowledge transfer from elders and scientists to youth and other members of the community.
Outputs: This project produced baseline information that can be used to inform adaptation strategies and produced a video documentary to share knowledge, encourage dialogue about the changes the community is experiencing along the river and to reinforce Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in’s relationship with the Yukon River water system.