Science/traditional knowledge presentation upcoming

  • Feb. 18, 2008 10:00 a.m.

Submitted by the Haida Gwaii Abalone Stewards–On the rocky shores of the tip of Kenai Peninsula in south central Alaska, Sugpiaq (also known as Chugach Alutiiq – essentially coastal Eskimo) people have observed remarkable changes through time along their shores. One of the most recent changes has been a decline in the black leather chiton, locally called bidarki. This intertidal mollusc is a culturally important subsistence resource and an important intertidal plant grazer. By weaving together traditional knowledge and western science, researchers Anne Salomon and Sugpiaq Elder Nick Tanape Sr. reveal the roles of natural factors and shoreline harvest leading to recent bidarki declines. Nick and Anne will tell this story in public presentations on Thurdsay evening, February 28 in Skidegate at the Haida Heritage Centre Performing House, and on Friday evening, February 29th in Masset at the Nature Centre at Delkatla (see coming events and ads in this paper).Traditional knowledge documentation through interviews, combined with collaborative fieldwork, allowed Anne and Nick to innovatively reconstruct ecological history. They uncovered important human factors responsible for driving the sequential decline in bidarki and other marine invertebrates. Anne and Nick’s work built community partnerships, raised local awareness and provided key data to inform future marine resource management.These researchers will also be traveling to Prince Rupert and Vancouver for other presentations. Funding is being provided by the Haida Gwaii Abalone Stewards, Haida Fisheries Program, Gwaii Haanas, DFO Conservation and Protection, World Wildlife Fund Canada, the North Coast – Skeena First Nations Stewardship Society and Coastal First Nations on behalf of the Central Coast communities.