Terrestrial Systems

Current research projects (2019-2024)

Indigenous Knowledge of Berries in the Northwest Territories

In the Northwest Territories berries hold ecological, cultural, and economic importance. However, knowledge holders across the territory have reported declines in berries and have identified a need to better understand berry status and trends. The goal of the Indigenous Knowledge of Berries in the Northwest Territories project is to complete a territory-wide Indigenous knowledge study. The project will seek to describe any changes to berries, identify potential causes of these changes, and outline what further information needs to be collected. This project will also be used as the basis for applying Indigenous protocols for community engagement and developing guidance or best practices to steer community-based research linked to specific programming, including biodiversity (wildlife and species at risk) and on-the-land research. Berries and berry plants will be the focus of this project and will be used as a proxy for wider application of community-directed research and protocols.

A working group and expert advisory committee were established to work together and with communities in the Northwest Territories to document Indigenous knowledge of berries/plants, in order to better understand their health and productivity. Information requirements within the Species at Risk (NWT) Act will also be considered to assist in preparing for a potential future assessment, if required, while establishing clear protocols for research focusing on Indigenous and community knowledges. This work will also provide a model for completing community-led research related to the Species at Risk (NWT) Act or related information-dependent processes.