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Arctic Peoples, Culture, Resilience and Caribou

Both barren-ground and woodland caribou are hugely important to Athabaskan peoples. The Arctic Climate Impact Assessment projected a northward shift of vegetation and many wildlife species with uncertain implications for caribou. in light of the cultural and economic importance of caribou, AAC led the development of a three-year proposal--Arctic Peoples, Culture, Resilience and Caribou (ACRC)--which in 2008 was approved as an International Polar Year project. This project, now well underway, seeks to reveal and explain the human-ecological relationship involving caribou and how to promote community resilience and adaptability in the face of climate change. The above map shows the geographical coverage of this multi-year project. This project brings together AAC, Gwich'in Council International, Dene Nation, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, and the Inuit Circumpolar Council. Chris Furgal of Trent University and Brenda Parlee of the University of Alberta are the academic leads in this project.

The basic and guiding research question which ACRC seeks to answer is: How will Arctic Aboriginal communities continue to be resilient and healthy in relation to the social and ecological changes which threaten important human-environmental relationships now and in the future? 12 projects being implemented across the Canadian Arctic will focus on this research question. Comparisons with the situation in other circumpolar countries is built-in to this project. A number of case studies are being conducted involving Inuit communities harvesting from the Beverly and Qaminirjuaq, George River and Porcupine herds; and Dene/Gwich'in in communities harvesting from the Bluenose East/West, Porcupine, Bathurst and Beverly herds. Visit our Summer 2009 AAC newsletter (page 5) for additional detail on ACRC.

A key task facing AAC is to use and apply nationally and internationally the information generated through this project. For more information, visit the ACRC website.

Arctic Athabaskan Council


Arctic Athabaskan Council
300 Range Rd, PO Box 39
Whitehorse STN C S C
Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 5X9
Phone: +1 867 335 6030

Allakaket Tribal Council
Chickaloon Village
Council of Yukon First Nations
Dene Nation
Dot Lake Traditional Council
Eagle Tribal Council

Native Village of Eklutna
Healy Lake Traditional Council
Huslia Tribal Council
Native Village of Kluti-kaah
Louden Tribal Council

Mentasta Tribal Council
Northway Tribal Council
Nulato Traditional Council
Stevens Village Tribal Government
Native Village of Tanana
Tetlin Tribal Council


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