Use of traditional ecological knowledge in environmental assessment of uranium mining in the Athabasca Saskatchewan
Use of traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) is now a requirement of many environmental review panels. It was in the remit for the investigation into uranium mining in northern Saskatchewan, but there was a mismatch between the narrow, often technical, treatment of TEK and the broader, more cultural comments of the Dene Aboriginal intervenors. It is essential to recognize when a development proposal’s planning needs and social issues exceed the scope of environmental assessment (EA). TEK can relate to EA on three levels: detailed information from local people on the environment and wildlife; gaining insight into socio-cultural effects of a project; and changes to a landscape or a people’s relationship with it that may threaten their deep identification with their environment. The last may not be a part of an ordinary EA.
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