A Polar Bear Traditional Knowledge Study
The WMACs (North Slope and Northwest Territories) have completed a multi-year polar bear traditional knowledge study. This project complements existing and proposed research efforts (population survey, harvest monitoring, coastal polar bear survey and denning survey) and will be used to direct management actions on a local and national scale.
Inuvialuit knowledge of polar bears was collected through interviews (2010) with individuals in each of the six Inuvialuit Settlement Region communities - Tuktoyaktuk, Paulatuk, Sachs Harbor, Ulukhaktok, Aklavik and Inuvik. The interviews were transcribed, verified and coded by a contractor. Spatial information associated with the interviews has been digitized and will be incorporated into the analysis and final report. In the fall of 2012, project researcher, Peter Armitage travelled to each of the six ISR communities to verify information collected during the interviews, and in January 2013 he returned to Inuvik for a three day workshop, during which traditional knowledge holders interpreted information concerning changes, if any, in polar bear numbers, distribution and health.