Through millennia of interactions
and use of arctic ecosystems, Inuit have developed an extensive
ecological knowledge about northern environments. In recent
years, there has been an increased interest in finding innovative
ways to enhance the incorporation of this Traditional Ecological
Knowledge (TEK) within ecological investigations and environmental
In this context, Parks Canada has established a
first priority commitment to use TEK to help guide the management
and research on the ecological integrity of its parks in Nunavut.
For the specific area of the Sirmilik National Park, a workshop
held in 2001 led to the conclusion that the collection and integration
of TEK related to birds, wildlife behaviours and polar bear denning
areas should be set as priorities for this area.
In response to these recommendations, we have developed a project*
that aimed at collecting Inuit knowledge concerning Greater Snow
Geese as well as Arctic and Red Foxes (their behaviour, distribution,
population trends, harvesting methods, cultural importance, etc.).
Both species are important components of the local terrestrial
This Inuit Knowledge Project on foxes and geese has been conducted
in collaboration with the broader Parks Canada’s Inuit
Knowledge Project and the community of Pond Inlet. Throughout
the project, the investigators aimed to promote the occasions
for meaningful exchanges and collaboration between community members,
scientists and Parks Canada staff. All of whom have various roles
to play in the understanding and preservation of the ecological
integrity of the local environment.
* GAGNON, C.A. 2007. Complémentarité entre savoir
inuit et connaissances scientifiques: le cas de l’écologie
du renard arctique, du renard roux et de la grande oie des neiges
dans la region de Mittimatalik, Nunavut, Canada. MSc thesis, Université
du Québec à Rimouski, Rimouski, QC, Canada.