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Collaborative Integrated Management in Canada's North: The Role of Local and Traditional Knowledge and Community-Based Monitoring

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The objective of this article is to take stock of integrated management in the Canadian North, assessing its contribution to the advancement of knowledge and practice regarding the role of indigenous knowledge and community-based monitoring. This is done in three steps. (1) The Beaufort Sea, designated a Large Ocean Management Area under Canada's Oceans Action Plan, is used as an example of a consultative planning process, with special attention to indigenous peoples. (2) How specifically can indigenous knowledge contribute to integrated management? The problem of Arctic marine food web contamination is used to illustrate the strengths and limitations of traditional ecological knowledge and its relationship to science. (3) The discussion of community-based monitoring relies on Voices From The Bay study involving the Inuit and Cree of Hudson and James Bay, and Inuit observations of climate change study in the Canadian western Arctic. The examples together address integrated coastal management and the health of ocean ecosystems, showing how stakeholder participation and knowledge helps widen the range of knowledge to understand and help monitor environmental change.

Keywords: Arctic; Beaufort Sea; Cree; Hudson Bay; Inuit; Inuvialuit; community-based monitoring; integrated management; traditional ecological knowledge

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Natural Resources Institute, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada 2: Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Central and Arctic Region, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Publication date: 2007-01-01

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