Changing Landscapes and Northern Ways of Life

The Northern Climate ExChange and the University of Saskatchewan are working with the Jean Marie River First Nation and Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation to make climate change research relevant to northern Indigenous adaptation planning. The communities of Old Crow, Yukon and Jean Marie River, NWT are both surrounded by permafrost and are dealing with the impacts of permafrost thaw. The “Human Dimensions of a Thawing Landscape” project will combine data on landscape thaw, traditional land use and climate change impacts to support community adaptation decision-making.

Project Overview

The project aims to answer the questions:

• How can biophysical and social science products combine to meet the needs of northern Indigenous communities?
• How are the traditional land uses of the Jean Marie River First Nation and the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation affected by climate change and a thawing landscape?

Students with the Yukon School of Visual Arts will work with researchers, community members, local artists and Elders to communicate biophysical and social science research products, and traditional and local knowledge using electronic arts. Communities will identify their concerns related landscape thaw and choose a social science method to provide the framework for the adaptation planning process.

Together the community and researchers will co-develop a process for incorporating traditional knowledge, western science and current community priorities into northern Indigenous community planning.

Collaborators
  • Margaret Ireland, Jean Marie River First Nation
  • Sophia Flather, Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation
  • Alison Perrin, Research Project Coordinator, Northern Climate ExChange, Yukon Research Centre, Yukon College
  • Fabrice Calmels, Permafrost Researcher, Northern Climate ExChange, Yukon Research Centre, Yukon College
  • Cyrielle Laurent, Principal, Geo Cardinal Services
  • Curtis Collins, Director, Yukon School of Visual Arts, Yukon College
  • Bill Burns, Instructor, Yukon School of Visual Arts, Yukon College
  • Scott Bell, Professor, Department of Geography & Planning, University of Saskatchewan
  • Lori Bradford, Research Associate, School of Public Health, University of Saskatchewan

Student researchers

  • Tyler Anderson
  • Sierra Megas
  • Isaac Roberts
  • Alex Stratulat
Partners
  • Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation
  • Jean Marie River First Nation
  • University of Saskatchewan
  • Geo Cardinal Services
Funders
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council