Activities

Resource Title/Description Resource Types Resource Subjects

PROGRAM IMPEMENTATION

Project support to the BRSEA will be jointly provided and managed by the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation for the Inuvialuit Settlement Region and by the Northern Affairs Organization at INAC

Strategic Plan,Report,Program

Aquatic Invasive Species: Community observations on Pacific Salmon in ISR

Recent community based, DFO collections of invasive Pacific salmon identified high levels of salmon in the ISR in 2016. These fish are probably invading from Alaskan rivers and their presence is problematic for native Dolly Varden and Arctic char. These studies need to be continued. Analysis of potential ship based introduction of other invasive species also needs to be subject to a risk analysis.

Organization: Fisheries Joint Management Committee

Lead Person: Kristin Hynes

Fisheries Joint Management Committee,Report

Socio-Cultural Economic Indicators

To assess wellness and employment indicators associated with the ‘life cycle’ of employment within the oil and gas industry within the Inuvialuit Settlement Region. This study will provide a strategic approach to identifying regional thresholds of wellness and economic impacts associated with several oil and gas development scenarios. This study will incorporate historical case studies (BREA results & Inuvialuit Indicators), current statistics, literature review and assessment of development scenarios. Results of this work will support cumulative effect indicators gaps identified during the 2017 community tour and form the basis of 2018-2019 cumulative effects research.

Organization: Inuvialuit Regional Corporation

Lead Person: Jenn Parrott

Inuvialuit Regional Corporation,Website

Understanding the Importance of Ice in the ISR

Life in the Arctic is dependent on movement, and that sea ice is integral to this movement. Inuvialuit mobilize between settlements to harvest resources that are sold, consumed, traded or are essential linked to wellness. This movement often takes place on ice connects infrastructure within the ISR. Through a literature review, community workshop and assessment, key areas of the Beaufort will be identified and the importance of ice will be reinforced. This project will be completed in conjunction with the Inuit Trails initiative and will form as the basis for identifying areas impacted by climate change in addition to areas of exclusion for oil and gas development within the Beaufort Sea.

Organization: Inuvialuit Regional Corporation

Lead Person: Cassandra Elliot

Inuvialuit Regional Corporation,Map,Report,White Paper

Assessment of Key Species in the Beaufort

Traditionally, scientific research has informed wildlife and environmental management planning within the Inuvialuit Settlement Region. These studies rarely include traditional or local knowledge and thus create a gap in information when conducting evidence-based decision making. This study aims to fill this knowledge gap by acquiring knowledge from Inuvialuit community members to identify key areas of current use throughout the Beaufort Sea. Priority species will be identified for each community and data will be collected using an interactive iPad application. Areas of current use of the Beaufort Sea, defined as: (a) areas commonly accessed by local harvesters; and/or, (b) areas of cultural or traditional value. Priority species of the Beaufort Sea, defined as: (a) Species commonly harvested and relied upon by community members; and/or, (b) Species with cultural or traditional value; and/or, (c) Species considered invasive or of concern by community members; and/or, (d) Species with significant economic value.

Organization: Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, IGC

Lead Person: Chloe Brogan

Inuvialuit Regional Corporation,IGC,Map

The Role of Harvest as a Cultural Activity

Traditional harvesting is of significant social, cultural and economic value to the Inuvialuit. Marine and terrestrial wildlife have provided food, clothing and materials for tools, arts and crafts for thousands of years within the Inuvialuit Settlement Region. It addition to improving food security, northern economy and sustainability, harvesting should be considered an essential component to Inuvialuit identity. This 1.5-year study will specifically focus the importance of harvest to the Inuvialuit within the Inuvialuit Settlement Region. A literature review will include all relevant literature and identify undocumented knowledge gaps related to the meaning of harvest to Inuvialuit, and similar projects done with other Indigenous groups. A short project planning workshop is planned during the community tour in November 2017 and will be leveraged to discuss logistics, methodology, and interview content. Semi structured interviews will be completed, analyzed and added to the literature review to provide a wholistic connection between the environment, harvest and culture.

Organization: Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, IGC

Lead Person: Cassandra Elliot

Inuvialuit Regional Corporation,IGC,Audio,Report,White Paper

Inuvialuit Place Names

Over the centuries that Inuvialuit have lived and travelled throughout their land, they have given names to camping places, settlements and landmarks. The names may reflect the kinds of activities that were carried out at those places, the kinds of resources the area is known for, or events that occurred there. Place names help to shape and define the cultural landscape, and are an enduring record of Inuvialuit history and heritage. Knowing place names and their meanings, the resources or landmarks at those locations, and the sequence of those place names as people journeyed along travel routes was one way that Inuvialuit learned to read the land without a writing system or printed maps. These locations are of central importance when identifying key areas of significance within the ISR. This initiative aims to identify, collect, overlap and quality controls previously collected Place Names research. Place name information will be complied from existing research and will include names documented on maps and in interviews (both English and Inuvialuktun).

Organization: Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, IGC

Lead Person: Cassandra Elliot

Map

Inuvialuit Harvest Study

The Inuvialuit Harvest Study (IHS) is the current activity and focus of the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation’s Community Based Monitoring Program. The Inuvialuit Harvest Study (IHS) collects harvest information from Inuvialuit harvesters, 16 years of age and older, whom are registered with their local Hunters and Trappers Committee. The IHS is a community based effort that recognizes the importance of traditional knowledge and meaningfully engages beneficiaries of the Inuvialuit Final Agreement in harvest data collection. In addition to harvest information, participants are asked to share their comments, observations, and concerns regarding environmental trends or changes they have experienced while out on the land. This not only ensures that the Inuvialuit Harvest Study is able to provide a more complete analysis of harvesting in the ISR, but facilitates meaningful community participation and self-advocacy.

Data collected from the IHS is used to better inform Inuvialuit decision and policy makers on wildlife and environmental matters including environmental assessments. The Inuvialuit Harvest Study fulfills core requirements of the Inuvialuit Final Agreement (IFA) by collecting the required information to continue to protect and preserve Inuvialuit harvesters and traditional harvesting lands. Through identifying key areas of harvest and associated ecosystem, results from this work will support the review of under which conditions do Inuvialuit endorse oil and gas activities in the Beaufort.

Organization: Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, IGC

Lead Person: Chloe Brogan

Inuvialuit Regional Corporation,IGC,Map,Report

Development of framework to assess thresholds

Once an assessment of cumulative impacts is complete, it becomes necessary to monitor the changes on valued components. Monitoring the health of valued components becomes useful once thresholds are established and management actions are implemented. This project will engage a consultant to assist the IRC and INAC in the development of a process by which thresholds for cumulative effects can be developed and monitored. This work will act as a basis for analyzing effects and developing response criteria and actions and will scope out and outline approaches on creating an inventory of effects that could result under a proposed scenario and the prioritization of those effects in terms of impact to the region. In addition, this work will also review existing threshold categories currently being used and assess whether they can be applied to serve as ecological benchmarks for the purposes of this RSEA.

Organization: Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, IGC

Lead Person: Contractor

Inuvialuit Regional Corporation,IGC,Report

Coastal Dynamics – The Acceleration of Change

The rate of coastal change in the Beaufort Region including declining sea ice, warming temperatures and increased forcing events has been accelerated by up to 200 percent. As these drivers will be a heavy burden on vulnerable Arctic ecosystems, infrastructure, and communities in the region, it is essential that an updated coastal assessment be conducted by NRCan’s Climate Change Geoscience Program. The project, in partnership with Northern stakeholders, will provide scientific data on the rate and quality of change, and is necessary to build coastal resilience in the North. Further, it will aid government agencies, corporations and community members understand and mitigate the impacts of these changes.

Organization: Natural Resources Canada

Lead Person: Dustin Whalen

Natural Resources Canada

Arctic Pockmarks, near shore permafrost decay and environmental study

NRCan proposes a pilot study to examine geomorphological features in shallow-water along the edge of the Canadian Arctic Ocean where water and gas is known to vent from the seafloor. Pockmark features will be investigated with a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and instruments will deployed to monitor environmental conditions. Previous work has explored the outer Arctic shelf where permafrost degradation was caused by geothermal heating. This proposal will shift focus to shallower waters in the Mackenzie River outflow region where mean annual temperatures are above freezing and permafrost decomposition is caused primarily by overlying waters. The geomorphology of the shoreline environment contains active features and is likely to support unique sea floor habitat and active methane venting. This research will support our understanding of this dynamic environment and its implications for sensitive habitat, hazards to coastal infrastructure, and GHG emissions.

Organization: Natural Resources Canada

Lead Person: Scott Dallimore

Natural Resources Canada

Local knowledge and new technologies to understand beluga-fish interactions and key habitats in the Beaufort Sea.

As identified at recent Inuvialuit and researcher joint Beluga meetings, it is possible to address climate-related changes in the Beaufort Sea ecosystem by understanding and analyzing interactions trends between beluga whales and their prey over time. Observed shifts in beluga harvest trends, distribution, and diet have led to a call to develop an integrated ecosystem program that tracks marine mammals and coastal and marine fishes that can employee technologies such as three-dimensional predator-prey habitat use with remote sensing techniques. In order to address knowledge gaps, the design of the integrated spatial habitat project to characterize beluga-prey interactions will need to incorporate local knowledge, community involvement and will build on existing partnerships. The planning and consultation period will occur in 2017-18; field work will continue throughout 2018-2020; with the report and wrap-up set for 2020-21..

Organization: Department of Fisheries and Oceans

Lead Person: Lisa Loseto

Department of Fisheries and Oceans

Regional coastal monitoring in the ISR: Ecosystem Indicators Part II

This project grows from the previously BREA supported community-based regional coastal monitoring program that recognized the already strong coastal monitoring programs and grows to bolster them with increased inclusion of TEK along with the use of novel biotracers for food web linkages. The objective is to better define ecosystem linkages among coastal species as well as offshore food webs; focusing on coastal fish, beluga, and their supporting habitat at numerous hunting sites. Through this program the Beaufort Sea ecosystem will be better characterized in terms of structure, function and health; and managers/decision makers will be better informed on ecosystem response to stressors such as climate change and development activities.

Organization: Department of Fisheries and Oceans

Lead Person: Lisa Loseto

Department of Fisheries and Oceans

FJMC/DFO Task Group - DFO/FJMC Arctic State of the Ocean Environment Report - Lead DFO

DFO will be undertaking periodic (3-5 years) reports on the state of Canada’s three oceans. This will provide a baseline and indicators for assessing potential impacts, including cumulative effects, in the future. The scientific and traditional knowledge that has been acquired on the Beaufort Sea ecosystems should be a critical component of the overall Arctic Ocean state of the environment. Funding will be required to ensure that information is adequately incorporated to meet Inuvialuit needs.

Organization: Department of Fisheries and Oceans and Fisheries Joint Management Committee

Lead Person: Burton Ayles and Robert Young

Department of Fisheries and Oceans,Fisheries Joint Management Committee

FJMC/DFO Task Group - DFO Offshore Vessel Based Studies. Lead DFO.

DFO will be undertaking periodic (3-5 years) reports on the state of Canada’s three oceans. This will provide a baseline and indicators for assessing potential impacts, including cumulative effects, in the future. The scientific and traditional knowledge that has been acquired on the Beaufort Sea ecosystems should be a critical component of the overall Arctic Ocean state of the environment. Funding will be required to ensure that information is adequately incorporated to meet Inuvialuit needs.

Organization: Department of Fisheries and Oceans and Fisheries Joint Management Committee

Lead Person: Burton Ayles and Robert Young

Department of Fisheries and Oceans,Fisheries Joint Management Committee