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Wood Buffalo AB T0P

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 knowledge and land use effects assessment

Year: 2005

The objectives of the Traditional Knowledge and Land Use portion of the environmental impact assessment were to determine the extent of traditional land use; discuss the vegetation and wildlife used for nutritional and medicinal purposes; examine the potential effects the Christina Lake project may have; identify the traditional land uses including fishing, hunting, and plant harvesting, as well as cabin sites, spiritual sites, and graves; determine the project and cumulative impacts of development on these uses; and identify possible mitigation strategies. Interviews with 12 Conklin Métis Elders were conducted in their language of choice. Confidentiality was maintained through the use of numeric codes. Interview questions were semi-directed and focused on patterns of traditional occupancy use; interviewees were free to change the direction of discussion to other matters deemed important to the study. This report gives a broad and comprehensive discussion of the methodology and principles of approach used for the study, including working definitions, pre-existing issues and concerns, management goals, and assessment approach. A large section on baseline information describes historical and current information related to Conklin Métis traditional land use, exploring traditional lifestyles and values (spiritual values, travel, the seasonal round, food gathering, traditional sites, and health), traditional sites and areas (medicinal plant locales, grave sites, spiritual renewal sites, campsites, and trails), and ecological observations (air, "yellow scum," water quality, vegetation, fish and wildlife, industrial disturbance, sacred space, Métis access, preservation of cultural values, health and well-being). The last section of the report describes both the local study area and the regional study area effects to various sites and resources. It also provides MEG Energy Corporation's response to the identified issues and concerns, explaining mechanics of the project, suggesting issue-specific mitigation, or promising further discussion.