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Barriers to and Opportunities for Indigenous Involvement in the Management of Chronic Wasting Disease in Alberta, Canada

  • Author / Creator
    Cunningham, Hannah
  • The management of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in Alberta is a complex issue that affects multiple stakeholders, including Indigenous communities who highly value the affected species both nutritionally and culturally. Despite the relevancy of CWD management to the livelihoods of these Indigenous communities, particularly in central Alberta where the disease is an immediate threat, the focus of much of the existing research on the social aspects of CWD, as well as the provincial monitoring program, have been recreational hunters. The purpose of this thesis is to answer three questions: how do Indigenous hunters in central Alberta feel about CWD, what are the barriers that Indigenous people in central Alberta face to participating in current CWD management, and what are the best practices that could be utilized to develop a community-based monitoring program for CWD in Alberta? This thesis uses the concepts of knowledge and power, access theory, and the perception of risk to identify why the current CWD monitoring program in Alberta does not adequately reflect the views of Indigenous communities impacted by this disease, and presents community-based monitoring as a potential solution. Through a research partnership with Samson Cree Nation in Maskwacîs, Alberta, Indigenous hunters expressed that they were concerned about CWD and that this concern has some affect on where they choose to hunt, adding to existing barriers to accessing safe traditional foods. A series of best practices for the development of a community-based monitoring program for CWD in Alberta were developed with the aims of overcoming knowledge and cultural gaps that create barriers to participating in the provincial monitoring program, managing the risks associated with CWD, and increasing community confidence in traditional foods.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2022
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/r3-ns2k-4785
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.