Results of Polar Bear Indigenous Knowledge Workshops in Inuvik, NWT Canada to Inform Northern and Southern Beaufort Integrated Population Model

Posted on Jan. 18, 2024

The Southern Beaufort Sea (SB) and Northern Beaufort Sea (NB) polar bear subpopulations are managed jointly by multiple organizations within Alaska and the Inuvialuit Settlement Region (SB subpopulation) and within Nunavut and the Inuvialuit Settlement Region (NB subpopulation). In recent years, commissioners of the Inuvialuit-Iñupiat Agreement have prioritized including Indigenous Knowledge (IK) in abundance estimates for SB polar bears and planning an IK workshop for a future Inuvialuit-Iñupiat meeting. 

This report documents workshops to gather IK of the SB and NB polar bear subpopulations. The workshops were held in October 2022 in Inuvik, NT and led by Stephen R. Braund and Associates. The workshop participants were active and knowledgeable polar bear harvesters from all six Inuvialuit Settlement Region Communities. The focus of the workshops was on gathering IK that could best fit into an integrated population model, bridging IK and science, for SB and NB polar bears. The report covers the context for the workshop, methods development, documents the workshop, and synthesizes workshop outcomes.

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