Engaging Inuit Youth in Science and Developing Community Expertise in Wildlife Health
In the face of rapid environmental, social, and political change in the Arctic, it is increasingly important that northern Indigenous peoples have capacity to exercise their rights for self-determination. To do this, engagement of youth to science, in a manner that is culturally and contextually relevant and stimulates sustained interest, is critical.
In partnership with schools, Hunters and Trappers organizations, and government wildlife professionals in Ulukhaktok, NWT and Kugluktuk, Nunavut, we are implementing a science education program that reaches youth through interactive classroom presentations, hands-on activities, and ‘on-the-land’ education about wildlife biology, health, and management. The program is facilitated and made immediately relevant by the fact that we have active research programs on muskox and caribou health conducted by young scientists of our group in both communities. We believe that by directly engaging youth in locally relevant science activities we will provide them with the necessary knowledge, tools, and most importantly, inspiration, to be future leaders.
This project is funded by NSERC PromoScience
Wildlife Health Workshops and Training of Wildlife Health Monitors
Wildlife health surveillance in remote regions is extremely difficult because of logistical and financial challenges. Our group works with local communities, hunters, outfitters and guides to improve wildlife health monitoring and detection of unusual wildlife health issues (new diseases, mortality events, unusual behaviours, etc.). A key component to this is building capacity in wildlife health monitoring. We do this by working directly with community members (i) to provide information on wildlife disease and sampling from healthy, hunter killed animals, and also by (ii) providing wildlife disease short courses for more advanced training in locally relevant wildlife diseases, biosafety, and sampling and data collection from abnormal animals.
This work is supported by Irving Maritime Ship Building and Nunavut Arctic College, the Tahltan Guide and Outfitters Association, and Polar Knowledge Canada
NSERC CREATE Host-Parasite Interactions Training Program Graduate and Post-Graduate training to enhance professional skills.
Rangifer Anatomy Project - Caribou Anatomy, Hunting, and Traditional Uses
Muskox Health Ecology Symposium, Nov 8-10th, 2016 at the University of Calgary.