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Views of traditional ecological knowledge in co-management bodies in Nunavik, Quebec

Peters, E. J.



Polar Record



Although there is increasing recognition that traditional ecological knowledge can make important contributions to environmental and resource-management issues, there are also indications that its use in co-management committees has not been straightforward. Three main sets of challenges have been documented - differences in knowledge systems between western scientific and traditional ecological knowledge, the relatively powerful position of western science and scientists in comparison to traditional ecological knowledge and its users, and challenges in documenting and presenting traditional ecological knowledge. This paper reports the results of a study that surveyed members of co-management committees established in Nunavik, northern Quebec, pursuant to the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement to explore their perspectives on these issues. Three elements emerged from this study. They are the complex and sometimes contradictory nature of the views that committee members held about traditional ecological knowledge, the active role of the Inuit in attempting to shape how traditional ecological knowledge is used in decision-making, and the need for documentation of, and research funding for, the collection of traditional ecological knowledge.

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