“These Trees Have Stories to Tell” Linking Denésƍliné Knowledge and Dendroecology in the Monitoring of Barren-ground Caribou Movements in the Northwest Territories, Canada

  • Author / Creator
    Dokis-Jansen, Kelsey L
  • Grounded in an Indigenous methodological framework and using dendroecology as a scientific assessment tool in combination with oral history analysis, this thesis assesses changes to caribou movement patterns in the traditional territory of Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation (LKDFN), Northwest Territories, Canada. This approach was used to explore ways in which scientific methods can be used within an Indigenous research framework. This approach shows that Indigenous ways of knowing can set the basis for identifying the important research questions and methods, and that appropriate and complimentary scientific methods can be used to build upon that framework. I draw from methods of natural and social science disciplines including Participatory Action Research (PAR), ethnography, community-based research, participant observation, and dendroecology (tree-ring analysis). I worked with elders and harvesters to document oral histories about caribou movement patterns and augmented their observations and stories with information from dendroecological assessment techniques. This thesis provides a framework for those seeking to conduct ecological research by drawing linkages between Indigenous knowledge systems and scientific methods. I use the specific example of broadening our understanding of caribou movements by combing oral history narratives and dendroecology, however, the lessons learned could be applied across a wide range of disciplines. This research project is not only about asking questions related to the impacts of resource development to the community of Lutsel K’e and the caribou on which they depend, it also demonstrates that Indigenous communities can embrace and implement scientific methodologies while remaining grounded in our own Indigenous knowledge systems and practices.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2015
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • 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.