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Wood Buffalo AB

Effects of oil sands related aquatic reclamation on yellow perch (Perca flavescens). II. Chemical and biochemical indicators of exposure to oil sands related waters

Year: 1999

Adult yellow perch (Perca flavescens) were stocked into experimental ponds designed to emulate possible aquatic reclamation alternatives of the oil sands mining industry. After 5 and 11 months, mixed-function oxygenase (MFO) activity, liver conjugation enzymes, bile polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) equivalents, and plasma sex steroids were measured. Liver MFO activity and bile PAH equivalent concentration were closely correlated and showed the highest levels in the experimental ponds but also demonstrated a gradient of exposure among reference locations. Levels of steroid hormones in fall-captured fish did not show major differences among sites. However, during winter, yellow perch from three sites, including the experimental ponds, showed low levels of sex steroids in both males and females. Multivariate regressions showed no relationship between steroid hormone concentrations and gonad size or fecundity. Similarly, steroid hormones did not parallel the gradient of exposure as measured by MFO and bile PAH metabolites. Gonad size and fecundity also were not directly correlated with the gradient of exposure observed in this study. Although MFO activity and bile PAH equivalents were good indicators of exposure to oil sands related waters, they were not predictive of physiological endpoints, suggesting that the latter were influenced primarily by ecological and not by chemical factors.

Kai'Kos'Dehseh Den?the Red Willow River (Christina River) people: A traditional land use study of the Chipewyan Prairie First Nation

Year: 2007

The objective of this traditional land use study was to record and protect the traditional knowledge of Chipewyan Prairie Elders and ancestors, as well as to research and document the original lifeways of the First Nation and trace the changes that have occurred in the use of traditional lands following the arrival of settlers up to the present day. A traditional land use Study was initiated in 2003 by Chief, Council, and interested community members and was assisted by various Elders and community members. Fish Creek Consulting was commissioned to assist in the management, conducting, and final writing of the study. Interviews were conducted with 26 Elders and active traditional land users from 2004 to 2006. Historical research and ground truthing of gravesites, cabins, and spiritual sites were carried out in the winter of 2004 and 2005. The study begins with a six-chapter history of the area and the Chipewyan Prairie people and is followed by five chapters detailing traditional land use activities and resources. Four final chapters round out the study with discussions of the traditional diet; work, leisure, and cultural activities; female perspectives on traditional life; and environmental changes, losses of traditional livelihood and language, and place names.

Traditional foods study literature review

Year: 2003

The purpose of this traditional foods study was to "provide baseline information regarding trace concentrations of metals in First Nation traditional foods to which impacts of future development activities can be compared, and to identify traditional use resources and food gathering areas." This study, which includes the First Nations of Fort McMurray and Chipewyan Prairie, is meant to complement an earlier northern study that had included the communities of Fort McKay and Fort Chipewyan. For information on trace metals in traditional foods, the literature reviewed included six environmental impact assessments, a report by the Trace Metals and Air Contaminants Working Group, several reports from the Northern River Basin Study, the NRBS Human Health Monitoring Program report, the Aquatic Resource Management Study report, the Lesko Study report, and the RAMP Report on Chemical and Biological Monitoring. A summary of metal contaminants found is provided for each report. For information on traditional use resources and food gathering areas, the authors also reviewed six environmental impact assessments, three traditional land use and occupancy studies done for the Forest management Task Force, and the Northern River Basins Study. The traditional use and knowledge, concerns, and recommendations from each are summarized. A section on information gaps notes that very little monitoring of metals in wildlife, fish, and vegetation has been done south of Fort McMurray. Indeed, there is very little information from which to build a baseline assessment. RAMP and TEEM do not actively monitor in the study area. The possibility for exposure to contaminants identified in environmental impact assessments was not followed up with sampling. No dietary studies have been completed on communities in the area. Furthermore, TLU studies done with Fort McMurray First Nation and Chipewyan Prairie First Nation have been industry initiated and may not reflect all the traditional knowledge available. Likewise, GIS data from ANDC/AlPac is ten years out of date and needs to be cleaned up to be usable. The report provides several recommendations towards completing a baseline study of the region and identifies gaps in the traditional knowledge presented in environmental impact assessments that should be filled to assist in the design of broader environment management programmes.