Local and Traditional Knowledge in Watershed Governance

By Water Canada 05:02PM October 10, 2017



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A new report released today by researchers from the University of Alberta shares the early results of efforts to capture Traditional Indigenous Knowledge about social-ecological changes that are occurring in the Mackenzie River Basin.

Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences (ALES) researcher Brenda Parlee, who co-authored the report, is an associate professor in the Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology. Her research team is exploring the valuable role of local and traditional knowledge in understanding many complex historical and contemporary issues of social and ecological change.

The report, entitled Tracking Change: Local and Traditional Knowledge in Watershed Governance, is the first deliverable that is part of the six-year project to track changes in fishing livelihood and aquatic ecosystems in the Basin and document the implications for the 400,000 people living there.

Research nodes have also been established in Thailand and Brazil to exchange information with similar community-based projects working in the Lower Mekong River Basin and Lower Amazon Basin.

The report was produced with support of a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and contributions from the Government of the Northwest Territories, the University of Alberta, the Mackenzie River Basin Board, the Northern Scientific Training Program (Aboriginal and Northern Affairs, Canada), the Inuvialuit Fisheries Joint Management Committee, the Gwich’in Renewable Resources Board, the Sahtú Renewable Resources Board, Deh Cho First Nations, the Wek’èezhìı Renewable Resources Board, the Akaitcho Territorial Government, Łutsël K’e Dene First Nation, Treaty 8 Tribal Association of British Columbia, Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta, Mikisew Cree First Nation, Prince Albert Grand Council, and Nacho Nayak Dun First Nation.

Tracking Change: Local and Traditional Knowledge in Watershed Governance is available at

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