Welcome to IPYCaribou.ca
Northern leaders identified the concept of “community resilience” as a priority research focus to build capacity for Arctic community health and sustainability. The hypothesis guiding the ACRC project is that resilience and adaptive capacity of Arctic communities can be understood by investigating a series of reciprocal community-land (natural resource) relationships that exist across the North. The research question is: How will Arctic Aboriginal communities continue to be resilient and healthy in relation to the social and ecological changes which threaten important human-environment relationships now and in the future?
This project will address this question through a series of projects taking place in Nunavut, Northwest Territories, the Yukon, Nunavik and Nunatsiavut. The 3-year program is comprised of 12 projects in the Eastern, Central and Western Canadian Arctic. The project consists of a series of varied projects, with several common projects taking place in 3 or more regions for comparative and general summative purposes (to identify common findings across regions and cultural groups). All cases investigate one or more central element of community resilience. Specifically, we explore the relationship between northern Indigenous peoples and a common valued and threatened resource - caribou. An International component focuses on exchanging lessons learned among regions dealing with the question of community resilience, health and caribou as well in one other circumpolar country.
The theoretical thread or theme linking all the projects and case studies is resilience and adaptive capacity. Although resilience has multiple meanings in different disciplines we are interested in individual, household and community resilience to environment change – specifically barren ground caribou population variability and change. Theoretically, we know that resilience is informed by many socio-economic, cultural and ecological factors. Among the most well understood are: human social networks, traditional knowledge and skills, and governance and institutional arrangements. By exploring these variables, as well as other emergent elements of resilience through this series of projects we hope to gain a better understanding of social-ecological health in Arctic communities.
International Polar Year
ACRC was approved as an International Polar Year project in 2008, to learn more about the potential effects and responses to declining caribou populations in the Canadian north. The project is being led by a network of northern Aboriginal organizations including the Arctic Athabaskan Council-AAC, Gwich’in Council International-GCI, Dene Nation, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami-ITK and the Inuit Circumpolar Council-Canada-ICC. The academic leads of the project are Dr. Chris Furgal (Trent University) and Dr. Brenda Parlee (University of Alberta).