Open access

Qanuq ukua kanguit sunialiqpitigu? (What should we do with all of these geese?) Collaborative research to support wildlife co-management and Inuit self-determination

Publication: Arctic Science
7 July 2020

Abstract

Inuit living in Nunavut have harvested light geese and lived near goose colonies for generations. Inuit knowledge includes important information about light goose ecology and management that can inform co-management and enhance scientific research and monitoring. Since the 1970s, populations of light geese (Snow and Ross’ Geese; kanguit and kangunnait in Inuktut; Chen caerulescens (Linnaeus, 1758) and Chen rossii (Cassin, 1861)) have experienced significant increases in abundance which led to habitat alteration in some portions of the central and eastern Canadian Arctic. In response to concerns expressed by Inuit and wildlife managers about light goose abundance, we conducted a collaborative research project in Arviat and Salliq (Coral Harbour), Nunavut, aiming to mobilize and document Inuit knowledge about light goose ecology and management in the Kivalliq region. Here, we explore the potential of collaborative research for mobilizing Inuit knowledge to support informed and inclusive decision-making about wildlife resources. First, we describe the participatory research methods employed to explore Inuit-identified management recommendations for light geese and engage co-management partners and research contributors to explore select management options. Then, we present these light goose management recommendations and options. Lastly, we discuss opportunities and challenges around the use of collaborative research to support wildlife co-management and Inuit self-determination.
Inuit nunaqaqtut Nunavuumi angunasuksimalirmata kanguqpangnik kangurniglu nunaqarvingita sanianni araagunik unuqtunnik. Inuit qaujimaningat ilaqaqpuq aturnilingnik kanguit niqinginnik mianirijauninginniklu tusaumatitaulutik qaujisarningit mianiriyaunigillu. Taimangat 1970s atuqtilugit, kanguit unirningit (kanguit amma kanguaryuit Inuktut; Chen caerulescens (Linnaeus, 1758) amma Chen rossii (Cassin, 1861)) ayunganaqtukut pisimangmata unulialiqlutik amma niqiqatiarungnauqlutik Kanataup uqiuktaqtunngani. Tamana piblugu Inuit uumayuliriyillu isumaalulirmata kanguit unulualirninginnik, taima qaujisarnirmik pigialauqpugut Arvianni and Sallim (Coral Harbour), Nunavuumi, aulataulutik amma qaujisagaulutik Inuit kaujimajagit kangurnik Kivallirmi. Tavani atuqtuuluaqtunik qaujisarnirmut mianiqsinirmullu pitaqaqpuq Inuit nagminiq isumaliurlutik nirjutinut atugaksanullu. Sivullirmik, qaujisarniup qanuinninga isumagilugu kanguit mianirijauninginut. Amma suli, uqausirilirlugu kanguit mianirijauningat atugaujuuluaqtullu. Kingulirmik, uqausirilugu atuinnaujut amma ajurutaujut qaujisarniup iluanni nirjutinik amma Inuit nagminiq aulatuulualirninginnik.

Graphical Abstract

Résumé

Les Inuits qui vivent au Nunavut récoltent des oies blanches et vivent près des colonies d’oies depuis des générations. Les connaissances des Inuits comprennent des renseignements importants sur l’écologie et la gestion des oies blanches qui peuvent éclairer la cogestion et améliorer la recherche scientifique et la surveillance. Depuis les années 1970, les populations d’oies blanches (oies des neiges et oies de Ross; kanguit et kangunnait en Inuktut; Chen caerulescens (Linnaeus, 1758) et Chen rossii (Cassin, 1861)) ont connu une augmentation importante de leur abondance, ce qui a entraîné la modification de l’habitat dans certaines parties du centre et de l’est de l’Arctique canadien. En réponse aux préoccupations exprimées par les Inuits et les gestionnaires de la faune au sujet de l’abondance des oies blanches, nous avons mené un projet de recherche concertée à Arviat et à Salliq (Coral Harbour), Nunavut, visant à mobiliser et à documenter les connaissances des Inuits sur l’écologie et la gestion des oies blanches dans la région de Kivalliq. Nous explorons ici le potentiel de la recherche concertée pour mobiliser les connaissances des Inuits afin de soutenir la prise de décisions éclairées et inclusives au sujet des ressources fauniques. Tout d’abord, nous décrivons les méthodes de recherche participative utilisées pour explorer les recommandations de gestion des oies blanches formulées par les Inuits, et nous invitons les partenaires de cogestion et les chercheurs à explorer certaines options de gestion. Ensuite, nous présentons ces recommandations et options en matière de gestion des oies blanches. Enfin, nous discutons des possibilités et des défis liés à l’utilisation de la recherche concertée pour appuyer la cogestion de la faune et l’autodétermination des Inuits. [Traduit par la Rédaction]

Introduction

Every spring, Snow Geese and Ross’ Geese (kanguit and kangunnait in Inuktut;Chen caerulescens (Linnaeus, 1758) and Chen rossii (Cassin, 1861)) migrate to the Arctic tundra where they breed in colonies in coastal areas (Ryder and Alisauskas 1995; Mowbray et al. 2000). Commonly referred to as “light geese” due to their typically white plumage, they are important for northern Indigenous peoples who harvest geese and their eggs for subsistence (Kuhnlein and Humphries 2017). In Canada, light geese are harvested by Inuit living in Inuit Nunangat (Inuit homelands), which includes four land claim regions: the Inuvialuit Settlement Region (Northwest Territories), Nunavut, Nunavik (northern Québec), and Nunatsiavut (northern Labrador) (Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami 2018). In Nunavut, Inuit have lived near goose colonies for generations and harvest light geese for their meat and eggs (Freeman 1976; Bennett and Rowley 2004; Nunavut Wildlife Management Board 2004). Light geese are harvested in spring for immediate consumption or stored in community freezers for year-round availability. Meat and eggs are routinely shared within families and shipped to communities that have little or no access to light geese (Berkes and Jolly 2001). Light geese are an important part of Inuit seasonal cycles, diet, and hunting culture. Their value goes beyond economic, nutritional, and physical health benefits as harvesting and sharing country food contributes to maintaining Inuit cultural identity, continuity, and well-being (Donaldson et al. 2010).
Indeed, light geese are part of a complex web of relationships between people, land, and all living beings (Bennett and Rowley 2004; Laugrand and Oosten 2010; Karetak et al. 2017; Ljubicic et al. 2018). Inuit knowledge of light geese is acquired and shared through personal experience, careful observation, and oral histories (Houde 2007; Gagnon and Berteaux 2009). As an ever-evolving knowledge-practice-belief complex (Berkes 2012), Inuit knowledge about birds includes holistic ecological perspectives that can contribute unique information to environmental research and decision-making (Mallory et al. 2003; Gilchrist et al. 2005; Henri et al. 2018). In Nunavut, Inuit traditional knowledge is referred to as “Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit” (IQ). IQ reflects Inuit extensive knowledge and experience passed from generation to generation. It incorporates cultural values, practices, ethics, and ontologies, and has been recognized through co-management (Wenzel 2004; Tester and Irniq 2008). According to Karetak et al. (2017, p. 3): “[IQ] is an ethical framework and detailed plan for having a good life. It is a way of thinking, connecting all aspects of life in a coherent way”. Tester and Irniq (2008, p. 49) maintain that IQ is properly defined as “the Inuit way of doing things, and includes the past, present and future knowledge of Inuit society” (see also McCluskey 2001; Simpson 2001; Bell 2002; IQ Task Force 2002). IQ therefore includes ethical principles (maligarjuat; literally “big things that must be followed”). The four main maligarjuat are: (1) working for the common good, (2) living in respectful relationships with every person and thing that one encounters, (3) maintaining harmony and balance, and (4) planning and preparing for the future (Karetak et al. 2017, p. 3). Given the importance of light geese to Inuit, consideration of IQ and involvement of Inuit in wildlife research and co-management initiatives are of crucial importance in Inuit Nunangat (Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and the Nunavut Research Institute 2007; Brunet et al. 2016; Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami 2018).
According to scientific research, populations of Snow and Ross’s Geese have increased significantly since the 1970s (Abraham et al. 2005; Leafloor et al. 2012). The population size of Midcontinent Lesser Snow Goose (Chen caerulescens caerulescens (Linnaeus, 1758)), which breeds in the central and eastern Canadian Arctic, is currently estimated at 12 600 000 individuals, with an annual rate of increase of 6.3% over the 1970–2014 period (Fox and Leafloor 2018). Ross’ Geese, with a current population estimated at 2 350 000, are increasing in abundance at an even faster rate: 11.7% per year over the 1975–2014 period (Fox and Leafloor 2018). These population sizes and growth rates are in part due to geese making increased use of agricultural areas on their wintering grounds (Batt 1997; Jefferies et al. 2004), which has improved their nutritional status and supported increased survival and reproduction (Batt 1997). A shift away from traditional coastal habitats to an increased number of wildlife refuges (Batt 1997; Abraham et al. 2005) combined with widespread declines in hunting pressure (Ankney 1996; Abraham and Jefferies 1997; Jefferies et al. 2004) has also encouraged population growth.
This growth has consequences for northern ecosystems. In the Canadian Arctic, foraging activities of abundant light geese are linked to changes in habitat structure and function (Alisauskas et al. 2006; Abraham et al. 2012). Grubbing of below-ground roots and rhizomes reduces stored energy in forage plants (e.g., sedges and grasses; Ryder and Alisauskas 1995), impeding plant growth and long-term viability (Srivastava and Jefferies 1996; Batt 1997; Jefferies et al. 2004). Overgrazing of shoots, shoot pulling, nest-building, and trampling of vegetation can also lead to increased salinity, erosion, desertification, long-term vegetation loss (Srivastava and Jefferies 1996; Abraham and Jefferies 1997; Jefferies and Rockwell 2002), and reduced vegetation biomass and species diversity (Didiuk and Ferguson 2005; Alisauskas et al. 2006). These impacts on habitat have led to hypotheses about potential effects on co-occurring birds and mammals (Samelius and Alisauskas 2009; Giroux et al. 2012; Flemming et al. 2016; Lamarre et al. 2017).
In 1999, due to scientific concerns over light goose abundance, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the Canadian Wildlife Service initiated efforts to reduce the Greater Snow Geese (Anser caerulescens atlanticus (Kennard, 1927)) population, by amending migratory bird regulations and liberalizing harvest in Canada and the United States (Kerbes et al. 2014). This approach has not been effective in reducing population size (Alisauskas et al. 2011, 2012; Leafloor et al. 2012). In North America, light goose numbers remain well beyond management objectives, and the species remains designated as overabundant in Canada and the United States (North American Waterfowl Management Plan 2012; Canadian Wildlife Service Waterfowl Committee 2014).
In Canada, consideration of Indigenous knowledge in resource management is a legal and policy requirement (Usher 2000; Berkes 2007). With regard to migratory birds, “the use of […] indigenous knowledge, institutions and practices” (Government of Canada 1994, art. 2) is now recognized by the Migratory Birds Convention Act as a means to ensure the long-term conservation of migratory birds. IQ must be considered equally alongside scientific knowledge in environmental governance and decision-making (Government of Canada and Tunngavik Federation of Nunavut 1993; Government of Nunavut 2013). However, past legislation in Canada restricted Indigenous harvesting rights related to migratory birds, including light geese, which negatively impacted Inuit cultural practices, food security, and self-determination (Tester and Kulchyski 1994; Damas 2002; Kulchyski and Tester 2007; Ljubicic et al. 2018). Early game laws and regulations were developed and imposed without Inuit input, and early wildlife management regimes in Canada did not value IQ, seeking instead to “educate” Inuit on sustainable harvesting practices (Kulchyski and Tester 2007; Tester and Irniq 2008; Henri 2012). For example, with the passage of the Migratory Birds Convention Act and the Northwest Game Act of 1917, Inuit were subject to seasonal restrictions on geese hunting and egg picking to address government concerns over population declines (Kulchyski and Tester 2007; Henri 2012). Inuit were prohibited from hunting geese and taking eggs unless they were “actually in need of such game or eggs to prevent starvation” (Northwest Game Act, sect. 3, cited in Kulchyski and Tester 2007, p. 32). “As a result, Inuit often had to starve or hunt illegally, and hide their catches from the authorities, because otherwise they could face significant fines or threats of incarceration” (Qikiqtani Inuit Association 2013, p. 37).
Today, within Inuit Nunangat, Inuit are assured of their rights to harvest light geese and eggs for domestic use, which includes areas within federally regulated Migratory Bird Sanctuaries (MBS) and National Wildlife Areas. Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) established nine Area Co-Management Committees to manage protected National Wildlife Areas and MBS in partnership with Nunavut Inuit (Government of Canada 2016). As co-management organizations, the committees advise ECCC on all aspects of the management of these protected areas, and develop procedures ensuring that IQ substantially informs decision-making (Government of Canada 2014).
The impetus for this study came from two sources. During MBS management planning, members of two Area Co-Management Committees expressed concerns that overabundant light geese were negatively impacting the land and other animals around the Qaqsauqtuuq (East Bay) and Ikattuaq (Harry Gibbons) MBS, located on Southampton Island near the community of Salliq (Coral Harbour), and the Kuugaarjuk (McConnell River) MBS located near the community of Arviat (Fig. 1). Hunters and Trappers Organizations in both communities echoed this concern. During the 2013–2015 Canadian Chairmanship of the Arctic Council, a widespread concern about declining populations of Arctic migratory birds worldwide along their migration routes led to the development of the Arctic Migratory Birds Initiative (Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna 2013, 2019). This initiative was designed to improve the conservation status and secure the long-term sustainability of declining Arctic breeding migratory bird populations (Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna 2019), and aimed to address Arctic Indigenous peoples’ concerns about abundant light goose populations, particularly in Nunavut (Provencher et al. 2018). To address those concerns, this research project was developed by members of the Area Co-Management Committees and Hunters and Trappers Organizations from Salliq and Arviat, and ECCC representatives. Our goal was to mobilize and document IQ about light goose ecology and management in the Kivalliq region of Nunavut. Our objectives were to: (1) document IQ about light goose abundance, habitat impacts, and interactions with the land, water, other animals, and people; (2) document Inuit-identified strategies for light goose management that address Inuit concerns and perspectives; (3) increase the capacity of Kivalliq residents to conduct research on wildlife; and (4) explore opportunities for the combined use of IQ and scientific information in light goose research and management.
Fig. 1.
Fig. 1. The study area includes the communities of Salliq (Coral Harbour) and Arviat, and three Migratory Bird Sanctuaries (MBS) (hatched areas). The Qaqsauqtuuq (East Bay) and Ikattuaq (Harry Gibbons) MBS are located east and southwest of Salliq, respectively, and the Kuugaarjuk (McConnell River) MBS is located south of Arviat. Map created with ESRI ArcGIS Desktop, Release 10.4. Environmental Systems Research Institute 2016, Redlands, CA, USA. Data sources: Natural Resources Canada 2017, Atlas of Canada National Scale Data 1:15 000 000; Latour et al. 2008.
Our paper reports specifically on our second objective (project results pertaining to other objectives are discussed elsewhere; see Carter et al. 2018a, 2018b; Henri et al. 2019, project website (www.kangut.ca) and forthcoming manuscripts not available at the time of publication). First, we describe the collaborative research methods employed to ascertain and document Inuit-identified management recommendations for light geese in the Kivalliq region and mobilize co-management partners and research contributors to explore select management options. Then, we present light goose management strategies discussed by Inuit contributors and co-management partners. In doing so, we explore the potential of collaborative research to support knowledge mobilization for effective wildlife co-management and Inuit self-determination. We hope this contribution will support future wildlife research and co-management efforts.

Materials and methods

This study was jointly undertaken by the Irniurviit Area Co-Management Committee and the Aiviit Hunters and Trappers Organization based in Salliq, Nunavut, Canada (population: 891; Statistics Canada 2016a; Fig. 1), the Nivvialik Area Co-Management Committee and Arviat Hunters and Trappers Organization based in Arviat, Nunavut, Canada (population: 2657; Statistics Canada 2016b; Fig. 1), and government, university, and community researchers from Arviat and Salliq. It was conducted under research license 0301517N-M from the Nunavut Research Institute. We employed a community-based research approach to: (1) collaboratively address and investigate a concern that was important to the communities of Salliq and Arviat, (2) add credibility to the study through the integration of community input, (3) foster trust between visiting researchers and participating communities, and (4) encourage skills development through training opportunities for community members (Castleden et al. 2008; Christopher et al. 2008; Kue et al. 2015).
In this paper, we employ the term “Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit” to refer to Inuit perspectives documented through this study, as well as to principles that guided the research process. Aajiiqatigiingniq is an essential component of IQ; it is a method for reaching consensus wherein solutions to issues faced by the collective are sought (Ferrazzi et al. 2019). In all research phases (inception through dissemination), we were guided by aajiiqatigiingniq. To do this, we applied the four foundational beliefs of aajiiqatigiingniq: “(1) respectful and open communication; (2) planning, advice and support; (3) focus on the common good and meeting the needs; and (4) restoring harmony and peace” (Arviani Aqqiumavvik Society n.d., p. 2).
Our research was led by a project management committee (PMC) consisting of chairs and members of Area Co-Management Committees and Hunters and Trappers Organizations in Arviat and Salliq (see acknowledgements section for names), as well as ECCC researchers (D.A. Henri, N.A. Carter, V. Johnston, and P.A. Smith). The PMC provided input and guidance at every project stage. Local PMC members were remunerated for their time according to local guidelines. Following joint research proposal development from October to December 2016 and in-person research design meetings in Arviat and Salliq in February and March 2017, the PMC recruited four community researchers (L. Emiktaut and B. Saviakjuk in Salliq; A. Irkok and S. Nipisar in Arviat) in May and July 2017. Community and ECCC researchers led all research activities under the guidance of PMC members, and G.J. Ljubicic (Associate Professor at Carleton University at the time) was involved as an academic advisor regarding methodology. Inuit-identified management strategies for light geese in the Kivalliq region were documented, refined, and explored in three main stages.

Stage 1 – Community level: identification of light goose management recommendations in Salliq and Arviat

The ECCC researchers trained community researchers on theoretical concepts and practical applications of qualitative research, interview and focus group facilitation, and participatory mapping, with an emphasis on documenting IQ about light geese. Following training, community and ECCC researchers conducted individual and group interviews in Arviat (June 2017) and Salliq (August 2017), which included participatory mapping exercises and site visits (on the land) to document IQ about light goose ecology and management. Local PMC members identified interpreters and IQ holders (hereafter referred to as contributors) to be interviewed. Community researchers led contributor recruitment through methods they deemed most appropriate in their community, co-facilitated interviews, and organized and participated in site visits. Contributors were recruited through purposeful and opportunistic sampling (Coyne 1997; Patton 2005), and selected on the basis of their expert knowledge about light geese (Ferguson and Messier 1997).
Interviews were conducted with 41 contributors (21 in Salliq and 20 in Arviat, including eight women and 33 men) and ceased upon data saturation. Contributors included Inuit hunters, Elders, and community members ranging in age from their early 20s to late 80s. Most engaged in light goose harvesting activities or had recently retired from harvesting. Informed consent was received from contributors and they could choose to be identified or not. Contributors were remunerated an amount deemed appropriate by the PMC. Interviews were conducted in contributors’ language of choice (Inuktut or English) with the assistance of local interpreters. Site visits took place in areas of importance for light geese, as identified by contributors.
Semi-directed interviews were conducted using an interview guide (Huntington 2000; Huntington et al. 2004). Community researchers actively assisted in refining the guide. They iteratively translated the guide from English into the local Inuktut dialect, then back into English using a method known as forward and backward translation (Bullinger et al. 1993). This ensured that the English and Inuktut versions of the guide were conceptually equivalent in the local dialect and culture. Interview questions were piloted once and jointly revised by ECCC and community researchers to improve clarity and ensure cultural appropriateness (Hermanowicz 2002; Agee 2009). Interviews were recorded with permission, and biogeographical information (light goose density and distribution over time) was collected on six field maps (two at scale 1:250, 000 for Arviat and four at scale 1:150 000 for Salliq) using mapping conventions described in Tobias (2009).
Audio recordings were transcribed by N.A. Carter, S. Nipisar, and L. Emiktaut and identifiers were removed (i.e., names) to preserve anonymity. Using conventional content analysis, common themes and categories were determined through transcript coding (Hsieh and Shannon 2005; Nowell et al. 2017). Themes and categories were iteratively reviewed at multiple stages of analysis. Collating and comparing contributions from individual interviews and group discussions provided a sense of common and unique experiences in each community (Patton and Cochran 2002). For each community, a report summarizing key preliminary findings was produced. The National Wildlife Research Centre Geomatics Lab (ECCC) team digitized all field maps into a geographic information system using ArcMap (ESRI Inc., Redlands, California, USA). All polygons mapped by contributors were categorized, and a set of preliminary maps presenting contributor knowledge about light goose distribution and density over time was produced.
During in-person meetings facilitated by ECCC researchers in Arviat (November 2017) and Salliq (December 2017), these draft reports and maps were validated; first by community researchers, and then by PMC members and available contributors. Feedback was incorporated into final outputs (see www.kangut.ca). Revised reports and maps were presented in-person to Salliq and Arviat residents in April 2018 by community and ECCC researchers, as well as PMC members via meetings, community open houses, distribution of project reports to all contributors, call-in radio shows, and school presentations. This process allowed contributor consensus to be strengthened (Breton-Honeyman et al. 2016), including regarding light goose management recommendations.

Stage 2 – PMC level: refinement of light goose management recommendations among PMC members

During in-person meetings (April 2018) and phone conversations (July and September 2018), facilitated by ECCC and community researchers, local PMC members refined and synthesized contributor-identified light goose management recommendations, and discussed the merit and applicability of each recommendation. They considered the following factors when refining management options: (1) alignment and linkages with IQ principles; (2) the mandates, activities, and views of their representative organizations; (3) their personal knowledge and experience; and (4) community views at large (with the proviso that residents would be given an opportunity to voice their opinions directly via radio call-in shows and public meetings). Light goose management recommendations for Salliq and Arviat were refined in preparation for in-depth discussions among IQ holders, managers, and researchers that would take place during a regional workshop (stage 3).

Stage 3 – Regional level: exploration of select management options with co-management partners and stakeholders

A regional light goose management workshop involving knowledge sharing and collaborative in-depth discussions between IQ holders, wildlife managers, and researchers was held in September 2018 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. ECCC team members led workshop planning and implementation with guidance and support from PMC members and community researchers. Thirty-six participants met over a 2.5 day period to discuss light goose management in the Kivalliq region of Nunavut. Joanasie Akumalik facilitated the workshop. He is a personable, engaging, bilingual Inuk who is highly experienced in working in Inuit organizations and facilitating meetings. He adeptly united participants and encouraged an atmosphere of mutual respect and open communication. Workshop participants (hereafter referred to as “participants”) included representatives from co-management partner organizations and participating communities: Inuit Elders and community members from Arviat and Salliq, Area Co-Management Committee members, Hunters and Trappers Organization board members, as well as representatives from Inuit organizations, territorial/federal government (including biologists, social scientists, and wildlife managers), and other interested co-management organizations. All participants completed a consent form (with an option of being identified) and shared knowledge and perspectives with the understanding that all views expressed were their own, and not necessarily those of the organizations they represented. Notes were taken throughout the workshop.
Specific workshop objectives were to:
1.
affirm Inuit rights to the use of light geese and eggs;
2.
support the protection and promotion of Inuit culture and traditional practices;
3.
support the co-management of light geese;
4.
share knowledge about past and current light goose management strategies employed in Inuit Nunangat;
5.
develop a common management objective for light goose populations in the Kivalliq region of Nunavut, and beyond;
6.
explore options for collaborative management of light goose populations; and
7.
fully describe the resources required to implement these options.
The discussion of light goose management options was structured around three key steps, presented below: (1) identification of a common management objective, (2) discussion of management options for light geese, and (3) evaluation of light goose management options.

Identification of a common management objective

The workshop organizers (D. Henri, N. Carter. P. Smith, and V. Johnston) guided participants to develop a common light goose management objective, which formed the basis for a later evaluation of management options (Hammond et al. 2015). Working in four small groups, each guided by one moderator (workshop organizers), participants discussed their fundamental light goose management objectives regarding: (1) the type of actions that should be taken (if any) about light goose abundance, and (2) the type of land/ecosystems light geese and people should live in. For each objective, moderators asked “Why is this objective important?” until the group could not further refine the objective. Each group presented their shared objectives in plenary. Moderators synthesized objectives from all groups into a single common light goose management objective, which was refined and approved by participants in plenary.

Discussion of management options for light geese

Two representatives from the PMC (one each from Arviat and Salliq) presented the light goose management recommendations identified by PMC members in stage 2 and described the collaborative research process that led to the development of these community-identified recommendations. Workshop participants were then provided with a list of five light goose management options, which reflected and encompassed all recommendations presented by PMC members: (1) increase non-commercial harvest, (2) implement commercial harvest, (3) expand recreational hunting and tourism, (4) conduct research and monitoring, and (5) implement additional strategies. Importantly, participants were invited to discuss under “(5) implement additional strategies” any management interventions not included under options (1) to (4) but which they deemed relevant. Participants were explicitly invited to discuss the option of “taking no action” under option (5) as this option was mentioned by several contributors. For each option, participants were invited to discuss in detail: resources required; implementation time frame; lead, support, and funding organizations (data not shown; see Henri et al. 2019); as well as potential benefits, challenges, and risks. Modified World Café method was employed to facilitate these discussions in small groups (Brown et al. 2005). Each group included participants with varying expertise and experience. Two groups conversed in English and Inuktut (with interpretation provided) and two groups conversed in English only. Discussions were guided by four moderators (workshop organizers) employing pre-developed semi-structured questions (see Henri et al. 2019 for a detailed list of questions). Each moderator was assigned one management option. After every 30 min of discussion, moderators moved to a new group of participants, shared the information provided by the previous group, and requested feedback and additional information until they had facilitated discussions with all four groups. Moderators shared discussion summaries in plenary.

Evaluation of light goose management options

Participants then engaged in ordinal scale ranking during a comparative voting exercise (Salkind 2010). For each management option, participants compared: (1) ease of implementation, (2) time frame, (3) resource requirements, and (4) contribution to their common management objectives for healthy communities and ecosystems. To do so, each participant self-identified as being a “community member”, “researcher”, “manager”, or “other”. Using stickers of a unique colour corresponding to their group, participants voted by placing stickers in locations of their choice on five posters labelled: “ease of implementation”, “required resources”, “time frame”, “contribution to healthy communities”, and “contribution to healthy ecosystems” (Table 1 and Fig. 2). Each poster listed the four management options discussed (“y” axis), and a choice of three descriptors (“x” axis). Participants compared management options by voting for descriptors that best described each management option (e.g., a little, medium, a lot; short, medium, long). To examine differences in perceptions of feasibility and desirability of four management options among participants, descriptive statistical analyses were conducted using variables shown in Table 1. For each management option, percentages were computed for these variables for each self-identified participant group.
Table 1.
Table 1. Descriptors and assessment factors employed during voting exercise at the 2018 Light Goose Management Workshop.

Note: Workshop participants compared the feasibility or effectiveness of four light goose management options by voting for descriptors that best described five assessment factors.

Fig. 2.
Fig. 2. Example of poster employed to assess “ease of implementation” of four management options. Workshop participants voted by placing one sticker under the appropriate descriptor (i.e., easy, medium, or hard) for each of the four management options.
The ECCC researchers prepared a workshop summary report and shared it via email with all participants for feedback. Analysis aimed at understanding participants’ perspectives regarding the necessary components and feasibility of light goose management options. We iteratively reviewed all perspectives at multiple stages of analysis. Collating and comparing perspectives provided common and unique views (Patton and Cochran 2002). Results validation was conducted through email, in-person meetings, and phone conversations according to participants’ preference, from December 2018 through March 2019. Feedback was incorporated into a final workshop report (available in Inuktut and English), which was distributed to all workshop participants in April 2019 (Henri et al. 2019) and made available on the project website.

Results

Management recommendations

Recommendations for light goose population management varied between and within communities. In Arviat, most contributors (70%) recommended taking no action, and 30% identified actions that should be pursued to manage light goose abundance. Conversely, in Salliq most contributors (59%) recommended taking management actions, whereas 41% advised taking no action. Figure 3 presents a summary of light goose management recommendations and associated guiding principles identified by contributors from Salliq and Arviat.
Fig. 3.
Fig. 3. Light goose management recommendations and associated guiding principles identified by contributors from Salliq and Arviat, Nunavut.
Contributors who advised taking no action with regard to light goose population management highlighted various reasons why they thought maintaining status quo was preferable. Reasons included: light goose abundance is sufficient for community harvesting needs, existing population regulation mechanisms (i.e., human harvest and animal predation) are adequate, and current harvesting levels are having no effect on population size.
I think the number of geese is fine the way they are. They seem to be regulating themselves and, like I said, people pick their eggs which should have an impact on the population size. And then the seagulls take a good number of eggs and goslings. (Arviat interview #5)
Nothing maybe could be done about the number of light geese […] We’re all shooting as many as we can and that [doesn’t] seem to affect the numbers […] They are right there, and real nice diet for us. I think that the numbers are good. (Salliq interview #15)
Among contributors who recommended taking specific actions to address light goose abundance, many suggested expanding the local subsistence harvest; meat and eggs could be consumed locally and (or) shared with other communities and countries in need.
I believe it would be a great idea to hire local hunters to harvest enough for everyone in the community, and for other communities that don’t get the [light] geese as much as we do, to do something about the concern. (Salliq individual interview #17)
Contributors also recommended commercially harvesting light geese for their meat and down:
Because a lot of communities don’t get the [light] geese […] they could commercialize it to hunt them and the whole Nunavut could be fed […] A processing plant [could be built] to do that kind of work […] If there was commercial [harvesting] it would help a lot of the communities because there are no industries or exploration or development projects, so that can be very useful for young guys who need work. That would be awesome if we can do that here. (Salliq individual interview #6)
Various contributors highlighted the need to combine Inuit and non-Inuit harvesting efforts, emphasizing that concerns over light goose abundance resonated beyond their community and region:
This is not only a Kivalliq concern. Kitikmeot and Baffin have the same concern and so does northern Québec and so does government themselves nowadays […] It doesn’t hurt to try! […] By sitting, doing nothing, it’s nothing […] We have to do something about this. Not just talk about it. Do something. That’s my words, voice. It may not happen right away but everybody knows now anyways if this is a concern. Too much. Too many [geese]. (Arviat group interview #3)
Some contributors therefore advised revising current hunting regulations (i.e., removing or modifying bag limits and seasonal restrictions applicable to non-Inuit hunters) to allow for increased light goose harvest by non-Inuit hunters.
Although many contributors suggested that the current light goose harvest be increased, some contributors recognized that local efforts were unlikely to significantly reduce the global light goose population:
You could hire half the town to shoot them and I don’t think you would even make a dent in the population. (Arviat individual interview #4)
Hire a lot of hunters to kill a lot of [light geese]. I don’t know if that would be helping the whole Canada but I’m sure it would be helping the island [Southampton]. (Salliq individual interview #8)
Another recommendation was to expand community-based outfitting and tourism opportunities related to light geese: “[Interest has been expressed by] people that follow the geese migration […] [they] want to see where [the geese] nest” (Salliq individual interview #3). The same contributor explained that Salliq residents had started “hiring local hunters to take out guys from the South to go geese hunting”, and hoped others would follow suit which would be “financially helpful for the people in our community”.
Other recommendations from contributors included using light geese as dog food, and bringing harvested geese to polar bear denning areas in order for polar bear cubs to get a head start nutritionally. One contributor stated that government agencies responsible for implementing harvesting restrictions in the past should be responsible for reducing the size of the light goose population.
Lastly, the need for additional research to be conducted was identified by some contributors. They suggested conducting research outside the MBS to know if light goose numbers are changing; performing baseline and 10-year comparison studies of light goose grazing impacts; and conducting baseline measurements and monitoring of freshwater levels (ponds, marshes, lakes, and rivers).

Guiding principles

Community, environment, and wildlife health were central to contributor-identified recommendations for light goose management. Health considerations included habitat alteration (through grazing, nesting, and defecating), wildlife wellness (overcrowding, lack of food/space, and risk of disease), and human wellbeing as it related to drinking water quality, food security (access to light goose meat and eggs, as well as berries consumed by geese) and income or employment opportunities.
Contributors’ recommendations for light goose management supported the cultural importance of light geese to Inuit. Five keys principles guided contributors’ light goose management recommendations (Fig. 3): (1) assuring Inuit harvesting rights, (2) promoting the importance of light geese as food, (3) optimizing the opportunity to share, (4) harvesting only as needed (not wasting) and respecting animals, and (5) consideration for natural cycles and stewardship of the land and wildlife.
Contributors lamented the historical loss of Inuit harvesting rights, celebrated current rights, and recommended that Inuit harvesting rights continue to be assured. Many noted the negative impacts of historical migratory bird harvesting restrictions. One contributor pointed to the fact that past restrictions had led to overabundant geese observed today: “We stopped [harvesting light geese and eggs] for a while, the numbers exploded, and now we have a problem with the birds. They should not have done that in the past” (Arviat group interview #2). An Elder in Arviat referred to historical harvest restrictions as “a wound on Inuit”. He recalled:
In those days, it was really hard being an Inuk […] Migratory birds were not allowed to be harvested by Inuit […] Even I remember when a poor Inuk would come back from hunting, the RCMP officer would meet that person and took what he caught. And if that person caught a goose or something they would take that goose away as well as the rifle. (Arviat group interview #3)
Noting that today the Nunavut Agreement assures Inuit of harvesting rights, the same Elder exclaimed: “Hallelujah! Amen! And that is being respected today! Nowadays, we don’t have to be hiding any of the geese that we harvest. That is what is different now.”
Recommendations also promoted the importance of light geese as food. Light goose meat and eggs were noted as being an important food source to Inuit: “As Inuit we can’t eat the same meal for so long. So up to today [geese] are still very important to us” (Salliq group interview #14). Contributors explained that meat and eggs provided welcome diversity in springtime, were a respite from “sky high” food prices (Salliq group interview #14), and contributed to food security and healthy nutrition: “The importance of all geese is that they’re food on the table […] [They] can feed so many families in a day when hunted” (Salliq individual interview #2). Contributors noted that light goose harvesting in Arviat and Salliq is restricted to the spring migration due to body condition and taste: “They’re just so fat and healthy coming in from the south. Their meat [is] better when they’re really coming in whereas during the summer they’re not as fat and healthy as they are when they first arrive in the spring” (Salliq individual interview #14).
Contributors in both communities described the abundance of light geese as an opportunity to share with others. They explained that teenagers give geese to Elders, and hunters announce on the radio that they have geese to share; people lacking transportation, hunting gear, a hunter/provider or time to hunt are frequent recipients of light geese. Sharing light geese extended to other communities in Nunavut and countries in need:
[There are] places in Nunavut that do not get [light] geese or very little […] where they cannot even say: “We caught 20 today!” We even have to send them to other settlements when people ask. (Salliq individual interview #1)
Maybe the geese from this area can be harvested so that they can [be] sent to the third world [developing] nations where a lot of the people are going hungry. (Arviat individual interview #7)
Recommendations that enabled sharing were closely linked with the principle of harvesting only as much as is needed:
I don’t want to waste just to kill them; but just to eat them. We Inuit don’t just kill when we are not going to eat them. Just give them [to] someone. (Salliq individual interview #1)
That is not our tradition. As Inuit, we do not just kill […] It’s just not good to kill off animals if you’re not going to eat [them]. (Salliq individual interview #12)
Furthermore, contributors frequently spoke of respect for wildlife as a reason for not wasting animals: “We respect the animals so much that we don’t like to waste. [We harvest for] food source and share what we catch” (Salliq individual interview #13). Even contributors who reported that they did not eat light geese due to personal taste preferences (i.e., preferring other types of geese, store-bought food or caribou) harvested geese mainly to feed to dog teams and ensured geese were not wasted.
Consideration for natural cycles and stewardship of the land and wildlife also informed management recommendations. One contributor in Arviat reflected that light geese seemed to be regulating themselves. Another felt that an increased local harvest would be insufficient to decrease the global light goose population, and thus “it may just have to go its natural cycle unless some kind of disease or scourge infects the population” (Arviat individual interview #4). Indeed, recognizing known natural cycles within wildlife populations, a common concern among contributors was that the abundance of light geese may result in a sudden drop in light goose population size due to overcrowding, lack of food/space or disease. Several contributors expressed fears that the population could be drastically reduced by disease. Referring to “the old IQ”, an Elder in Arviat explained: “If we let them [light geese] grow and grow and grow [in numbers] then […] IQ has it if we leave them as it is then they are going to drop. Then there will be no geese” (Arviat group interview #3). Noting that this would impact food security and traditional harvesting practices, some contributors explained that “too much of a good thing isn’t necessarily good in the long run, so something really does have to be done” (Salliq individual interview #4).

Project Management Committee light goose management recommendations

Light goose management recommendations identified by PMC members from Salliq and Arviat are presented in Table 2. Overall, PMC-refined light goose management recommendations were to: (1) increase non-commercial harvest, (2) implement commercial harvest, (3) expand recreational hunting and tourism, (4) conduct research and monitoring, and (5) implement additional strategies. PMC members decided that these five key options would be presented for discussion at the regional workshop. Members from both Arviat and Salliq recommended not wasting light geese. They also specifically discussed the recommendation to “take no action”, which was identified by several contributors during interviews.
Table 2.
Table 2. Light goose management recommendations identified by PMC members from Salliq and Arviat.
Although many interview contributors (70% in Arviat and 41% in Salliq) recommended “taking no action” to manage light goose abundance, PMC members chose not to present this option as a stand-alone for in-depth discussion at the regional workshop. PMC members reflected that light goose abundance presented an immense opportunity to address food insecurity; unemployment; lack of opportunities and resources to enable traditional harvesting; and an unmet desire to harvest, share, and consume country food. They also reflected that with light goose abundance came new knowledge gaps needing to be addressed through collaborative research. Along with those reflections, PMC members considered the principles that guided contributors’ light goose management recommendations (see guiding principles presented in Fig. 3), and anticipated workshop participant interest in action-oriented discussions. Thus, PMC members opted to focus on management options that could result in taking action while creating an opportunity for workshop participants to decide if “taking no action” should be discussed.

Light goose management workshop

Common management objective for light geese and guiding principles for action

Workshop participants identified a common management objective, which served to assess the value of management options discussed during the workshop:
Our shared management objective is to have light goose populations at a level that allows us to have healthy communities and a healthy land, where all species thrive and survive. We agree that the size of the light goose population must be decreased to keep the land and the animals strong for future generations. We understand actions shall be undertaken in Nunavut and in other jurisdictions to meet our shared objective.
The participants further identified 11 guiding principles for light goose management (Table 3). Participants emphasized that any actions taken to manage goose populations must be guided by and encourage the principles they listed.
Table 3.
Table 3. Guiding principles for light goose management identified by participants at the 2018 Light Goose Management Workshop, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Light goose management options

Workshop participants chose to discuss four light goose management options: (1) increase non-commercial harvest, (2) implement commercial harvest, (3) expand recreational hunting and tourism, and (4) conduct research and monitoring. Workshop participants opted not to discuss management option (5) “implement additional strategies”, which included the “take no action” option. For each of the other management options, we present participant-identified: (1) scope; (2) implementation steps or timeline; (3) potential benefits, risks, and challenges (Table 4); and (4) contribution to participants’ common management objective (Fig. 4). We also present participants’ ratings of the feasibility and effectiveness of each management option (Figs. 59).
Table 4.
Table 4. Potential benefits, risks, and challenges of implementing four management options as identified by participants during the 2018 Light Goose Management Workshop, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
Fig. 4.
Fig. 4. Contributions of four light goose management options to common management objective as identified by participants during the 2018 Light Goose Management Workshop, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
Fig. 5.
Fig. 5. Ease of implementation for four management options according to workshop participants (n = 28, 28, 27, and 26 for (a) increase non-commercial harvest, (b) implement commercial harvest, (c) expand recreational hunting and tourism opportunities, and (d) conduct additional research and monitoring, respectively).
Fig. 6.
Fig. 6. Amount of resources (human and financial) required to implement four management options according to workshop participants (n = 28, 24, 27, and 25 for (a) increase non-commercial harvest, (b) implement commercial harvest, (c) expand recreational hunting and tourism opportunities, and (d) conduct additional research and monitoring, respectively).
Fig. 7.
Fig. 7. Implementation time frame for four management options according to workshop participants (n = 26, 26, 26, and 25 for (a) increase non-commercial harvest, (b) implement commercial harvest, (c) expand recreational hunting and tourism opportunities, and (d) conduct additional research and monitoring, respectively).
Fig. 8.
Fig. 8. Contribution of four management options to supporting healthy communities according to workshop participants (n = 25, 25, 24, and 23 for (a) increase non-commercial harvest, (b) implement commercial harvest, (c) expand recreational hunting and tourism opportunities, and (d) conduct additional research and monitoring, respectively).
Fig. 9.
Fig. 9. Contribution of four management options to supporting healthy ecosystems according to workshop participants (n = 26, 22, 27, and 24 for (a) increase non-commercial harvest, (b) implement commercial harvest, (c) expand recreational hunting and tourism opportunities, and (d) conduct additional research and monitoring, respectively).
Management option 1 – Increase non-commercial harvest
This management option would entail conducting facilitated harvests to increase the non-commercial harvest of light geese in Arviat and Salliq via the Nunavut Harvester Support Program. In exchange for harvesting light geese, community Hunters and Trappers Organizations could advance funds to local harvesters for receipted expenses. Local coordinators would manage logistics. A survey of light goose distribution demand led by local Hunters and Trappers Organizations would enable decision-making to maximize harvest and minimize wastage. A pilot harvest program could commence during the 2019 light goose spring harvest then be evaluated by supporting organizations. The facilitated hunt could be expanded to other Nunavut communities in future years using lessons learned from the 2019 pilot. Steps to implementation included: (1) mobilize lead and supporting organizations; (2) secure necessary resources; (3) have all harvesters complete a Canadian firearms safety course and obtain a Possession and Acquisition License; and (4) install necessary infrastructure for harvester safety and waste prevention such as bear-proof cabins, temporary storage facilities and bridges near goose colonies, and larger community freezers.
In the ranking exercise, most participants (61%) rated the degree of difficulty of increasing the non-commercial harvest as “medium”, 32% rated it “easy”, and 7% rated it “hard” (Fig. 5a). Most participants (68%) rated this option as requiring “a lot” of resources to implement, 18% rated it “medium”, and 14% rated it as requiring “a little” (Fig. 6a). All community members indicated that “a lot” of resources would be required, and no researchers indicated that “a little” resources would be required. This management option could be implemented “for as long as grass grows, wind blows and the sky is blue” (one participant said this quoting the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868). Most participants (77%) felt it could be implemented in “one to five years” (Fig. 7a). No participants felt it would take “more than 10 years” to implement.
Increasing the non-commercial harvest would directly contribute to the common management objective of having healthy communities (Fig. 4). Most participants (72%) rated the contribution to healthy communities as “a lot”, and 24% rated it as “medium” (Fig. 8a). No community members, researchers, or managers were among the 4% of participants who rated the contribution as being “a little”. Depending on the scale of harvest, it could also potentially reduce the size of the light goose population locally, which can contribute to the common management objective of having healthy ecosystems (Fig. 4). Most participants (65%) rated this management options’ contribution to healthy ecosystems as “medium”, 31% rated it as “a lot”, and 4% rated is as “a little” (Fig. 9a). Only managers rated the contribution as being “a little”.
Management option 2 – Implement commercial harvest
This option would consist of developing and implementing the harvest of light geese for commercial processing and sale of light goose meat, down, feathers, and (or) value-added products (e.g., jerky). It would start with inter-community sales within Nunavut and could be expanded outside of the territory. Community country food needs would take priority over sales. Where, when, and how many birds would be harvested would require careful consideration. Inuit would lead implementing this option with government support. Commercial harvests could be facilitated and controlled by a community organization (e.g., Hunters and Trappers Organizations). Policy, legislative and regulatory contexts and requirements would require review. Agreements between federal, territorial, and community agencies and organizations would need to be established.
In the ranking exercise, most participants (57%) rated implementing this option as “hard”, and 43% said “medium” (Fig. 5b). No participants rated this option as “easy” to implement. Most participants (83%) indicated that this option would require “a lot” of resources, and 17% rated it as requiring a “medium” amount (Fig. 6b). No participants indicated that “a little” resources would be required. Most participants (69%) felt this option could be implemented in “five to 10 years”, and 19% thought it would take “more than 10 years” (Fig. 7b).
Implementing a commercial harvest would contribute to the common management objective of having healthy communities by reducing contamination of drinking water from light geese droppings, and by providing employment, country food, and income for communities (Fig. 4). Most participants (54%) rated the contribution to healthy communities as “medium”, and 33% rated the contribution as being “a lot” (Fig. 8b). No community members or researchers were among the 13% of participants who rated the contribution as “a little”. A commercial harvest would also contribute to the objective of having healthy ecosystems as it would help to provide some control over local goose populations (Fig. 4). This option could support healthy land and wildlife in areas where light geese are commercially harvested. Participants rated the contribution to healthy ecosystems as “a lot” (46%), “medium” (41%) and “a little” (13%) (Fig. 9b). No community members or researchers rated the contribution to healthy ecosystems as “a little”.
Management option 3 – Expand recreational hunting and tourism
This management option would entail increasing recreational light goose hunting and expanding other bird-related tourism opportunities in Nunavut. Here, “recreational hunting” (commonly referred to as “sport hunting”) refers to hunting activities performed in Nunavut by visitors residing outside the territory and Nunavut residents not enrolled under or subject to rights assured under the Nunavut Agreement. This option would involve revising hunting regulations applicable to recreational hunters; training Nunavummiut (Nunavut residents) as guides, outfitters, and tour operators; and developing and marketing local tourism opportunities for bird watching, light goose hunting and (or) egg-picking. A portion of the geese harvested recreationally would be distributed in communities.
To lead this option, community organizations could be supported by the federal government and territorial organizations. The Migratory Birds Convention Act restricts light goose harvesting by people without beneficiary rights through harvest seasons and daily bag limits, and prohibits egg harvesting (Government of Canada 1994). Eliminating restrictions and increasing the daily limit would encourage recreational hunters to harvest light geese in Nunavut. Hunters and Trappers Organizations in collaboration with interested communities and regional/territorial organizations would define limits and restrictions for harvesting light geese and (or) eggs for recreational hunters. The Canadian Wildlife Service would then consult with appropriate parties. New regulations would undergo revisions according to changing circumstances (adaptive management). IQ would be included in planning and implementing any regulatory changes and promoting tourism opportunities. The IQ principles of respecting animals (ikpigusuttiarniq nirjutilimaanik), sharing harvested geese and eggs, as well as harvesting only what is needed and avoiding waste (surattittailimaniq) would be respected (cf. Government of Nunavut 2003). Revised regulations would be communicated to all stakeholders. Local outfitters and interested community members would lead tourism development supported by organizations that could provide training, and financial and marketing support.
Most participants (63%) rated the degree of difficulty of expanding recreational hunting and tourism as “medium”, 33% rated it “hard” and 4% rated it “easy” (Fig. 5c). Most participants (56%) indicated that this option would require “a lot” of resources, and 44% rated the resources required as “medium” (Fig. 6c). No participants indicated that “a little” resources would be required. Nearly half of the participants (46%) predicted implementation would take “one to five years”, 35% predicted “five to 10 years”, and 19% predicted “more than 10 years” (Fig. 7c).
This management option would contribute to the common management objective of supporting healthy communities by providing employment, income, and skills development to community members engaged in recreational hunting and tourism (Fig. 4). Recreational hunting and tourism could also lead to greater emotional well-being associated with employment and opportunities for community members to be out on the land. Through interactions with visitors, tourism could increase awareness about and sensitivity to other cultures among Nunavummiut. Participants evaluated the contribution of this option to healthy communities as “a lot” (35%), “medium” (35%), and “a little” (30%) (Fig. 8c). This management option may also contribute to healthy ecosystems by decreasing light goose abundance locally (Fig. 4). Participants described the contribution of this option to healthy ecosystems as “a lot” (15%), “medium“(48%), and “a little” (37%) (Fig. 9c).
Management option 4 – Conduct research and monitoring
This management option focuses on the development of local-scale, locally relevant, scientifically robust research and monitoring programs to explore characteristics of light goose populations in support of local-scale decision-making. Specifically, community-based research and monitoring programs to measure light goose condition and health, number of nests, distribution, and total harvest of light geese by each community. Inuit would play a significant role including defining the research goals and mobilizing community-based monitors; thus, empowering communities in decision-making. Research and monitoring programs could be delivered primarily by local participants by engaging and employing communities in monitoring and managing light geese. Community and federal and territorial science organization collaborations could increase the likelihood of success, and ensure scientific standards are met.
Light goose research and monitoring already happens throughout Nunavut. Thus, development of community-based programs could begin once community leaders are identified. Depending on objectives, these programs could begin immediately or might require significant fund-raising efforts and training. Implementation steps would include: (1) communities identify local parties interested in program development and leadership, and assemble a local monitoring team; (2) with support from researchers, the monitoring team identifies goals, methods, logistics, training needs, constraints, and co-develop funding proposals; and (3) the monitoring program commences once funding and trained people are in place.
Most participants (65%) rated implementing this option as “easy” to implement, 27% rated it “medium” and 8% rated it “hard” (Fig. 5d). No community members, researchers or managers rated it “hard”. Participants indicated this option would require “a little” (32%), “medium” (36%) and “a lot” (32%) of resources (Fig. 6d). No researchers indicated that “a little” resources would be required. No community members indicated that “a lot” of resources would be required. Most participants (72%) predicted implementation would take “one to five years”, 16% said “five to 10 years”, and 12% said “more than 10 years” (Fig. 7d).
Conducting research and monitoring would contribute to participants’ common management objective by: (1) improving the management of light goose populations through a better understanding of their local/regional responses to management efforts; (2) empowering communities to manage goose populations following their own vision; (3) enhancing local capacity and providing employment opportunities in communities; and (4) getting community members out on the land, trained and employed (Fig. 4). Most participants (61%) rated the contribution to healthy communities as “a lot”, 35% rated it “medium”, and 4% rated it “a little” (Fig. 8d). Only community members rated the contribution to healthy communities “a little” and no community members rated it “a lot”. Half of the participants rated the contribution to healthy ecosystems as “medium”, 46% rated it “a lot”, and 4% rated it “a little” (Fig. 9d). Only community members rated the option as contributing “a little” to healthy ecosystems. No community members rated it “a lot”.

Discussion and conclusion

Our methods and results highlight how this project mobilized IQ through a collaborative and iterative process. Here we discuss lessons learned throughout this project regarding the mobilization of IQ to support inclusive and adaptive wildlife co-management practices. We also examine the potential for collaborative research to support Inuit self-determination in Inuit Nunangat.

Mobilizing IQ to support wildlife co-management

In recent decades, co-management through comprehensive land claims processes has become the main approach to wildlife management in northern Canada (Diduck 2004). Co-management is considered “an important vehicle for substantially enhanced [Indigenous] involvement in and influence over government decisions affecting wildlife and environment of traditional [Indigenous] lands” (White 2008, p. 71). Co-management broadly refers to the sharing of power and responsibilities between government and local resource users for joint decision-making concerning a set of resources or an area (Berkes et al. 1991; Berkes 1994). As an approach to wildlife governance, co-management implies an adaptive process characterized by extensive deliberation, negotiation, joint learning, and problem solving within co-management networks (Pinkerton 2003; Plummer and Fitzgibbon 2004; Carlsson and Berkes 2005).
Central to co-management regimes is the mobilization of multiple knowledge systems, including Indigenous knowledge, to support joint knowledge generation and decision-making among co-management partners (Cash and Moser 2000; Carlsson and Berkes 2005; Eamer 2006; Houde 2007). Indeed, Indigenous knowledge can make unique and important contributions to co-management processes by providing cumulative and dynamic information linked to historical and ongoing resource use (Huntington 2000; Houde 2007), and is particularly relevant within the context of harvest management (Moller et al. 2004; Gilchrist et al. 2005; Henri et al. 2018). Considering Indigenous and local perspectives in co-management can also enhance the meaningful involvement of resource users in decisions that affect them, and support decision-making processes based on local customs and social norms (Kearney et al. 2007; Ban et al. 2018).
However, research conducted on wildlife co-management to date has pointed to significant challenges related to the meaningful inclusion and consideration of Indigenous knowledge systems in co-management processes (Usher 2000; Nadasdy 2003; Menzies and Butler 2006; Stevenson 2006; Sandlos 2007; Henri 2012). Co-management regimes have been criticized for reducing Indigenous knowledge systems to a collection of mere factual data about the environment; thus, failing to acknowledge the value system and cosmological context within which this knowledge was generated and makes sense (McGregor 2000; Usher 2000; Simpson 2001; Gallagher 2003; White 2008). In some cases, efforts to include Indigenous knowledge in decision-making have led to its decontextualization and compartmentalization through translation (and distortion) into forms that could be incorporated into existing management bureaucracies, and acted upon by scientists and resource managers (Cruikshank 1998; Nadasdy 1999, 2005; Kendrick 2000; Peters 2003; Rodon 2003; Spak 2005; White 2008).
We highlight here some lessons learned regarding the potential of collaborative research for supporting meaningful inclusion of IQ into light goose co-management processes. First, the breadth and diversity of perspectives offered by interview contributors and workshop participants relating to light goose management clearly illustrates the value and complexity of Inuit perspectives on this subject, and their relevance in the context of light goose harvest management. By design, our project allowed documenting Inuit-identified light goose management recommendations and exploring Inuit ethics and values relating to managing the relationship between humans and light geese. Project participants also highlighted guiding principles for management actions. Thus, through this project, Inuit values and world views, as well as ecological observations were discussed, documented, and reported. This marked an important step in ensuring to keep Inuit perspectives in context to avoid their compartmentalization and decontextualization. Indeed, we feel that research aiming to mobilize IQ to inform wildlife co-management decision-making should explore not only Inuit ecological observations, but also Inuit values, world views, and perspectives on preferred courses of action.
Despite commitments to equal consideration of science and IQ in co-management, a disconnect often persists between community understanding and approaches to managing wildlife, and those of government or management boards (Henri 2012; Ljubicic et al. 2018; Jos and Watson 2019). Our experience with this project also illustrates that collaborative interdisciplinary research offers opportunities for bridging that disconnect. The bottom-up model we employed allowed us to bring community voices to a regional forum involving light goose co-management partners and stakeholders; thus, addressing an ongoing need to strengthen connections between collaborative research and cooperative management approaches (Ljubicic et al. 2018).
However, conducting collaborative research that informs wildlife co-management decision-making can pose challenges. The delicate task of reconciling or dealing with divergent opinions and perspectives expressed by PMC members and project participants and adequately representing those voices in project reports and publications is one of them. Through this project, we developed collaborative research methods to ascertain and document Inuit-identified management recommendations for light geese in the Kivalliq region and mobilize co-management partners and research contributors to explore key management options in a manner that we wished to be inclusive and respectful of everyone’s ideas. We followed a bottom-up approach to IQ mobilization by exploring community perspectives first (stage 1); then, we brought those perspectives for discussion at the PMC (stage 2) and regional (stage 3) levels. Through an iterative process rooted in dialogue among PMC members, light goose management recommendations formulated by 41 community members were summarized into five key recommendations that were presented for discussion at a regional workshop. To identify these select recommendations, PMC members employed a consensus-based approach inspired by aajiiqatigiingniq (Ferrazzi et al. 2019; Arviani Aqqiumavvik Society n.d.), and designed to be as inclusive as possible given the constraints of research operating within certain time, financial, and capacity limitations. For example, this meant that the only community recommendations that were dismissed by PMC members for inclusion into their final list of key recommendations were the ones that did not respect important IQ principles relating to wildlife (such as not wasting animals). All other community recommendations were merged under five overarching management recommendations that were presented for discussion at the regional workshop; one of which included the “take no action” option, plus an opportunity for workshop participants to raise new ideas or suggestions.
Workshop participant perspectives on the feasibility and effectiveness of the management options discussed at the regional workshop presented both similarities and differences, and level of consensus varied across topics. Participants identified increasing non-commercial harvest and conducting additional research as the two easiest management options to implement (Figs. 2 and 5). Participants rated implementing commercial harvest as the most resource intensive option to pursue (Fig. 6b). Most workshop participants considered it feasible to implement all four management options within one to 10 years (Fig. 7). Most participants also indicated that all four management options contributed moderately or a lot to supporting healthy communities and ecosystems (Figs. 8 and 9). In addition, perspectives on the feasibility and effectiveness of some management options presented some differences between self-identified groups, for example with regard to expanding recreational hunting and tourism. Although all of the researchers indicated that expanding recreational hunting and tourism would take one to five years to implement, members of other groups indicated varying time frames (Fig. 7c). None of the researchers or managers indicated that expanding recreational hunting and tourism would contribute “a lot” to healthy ecosystems, whereas members of the other groups indicated that it would (Fig. 9c). Perspectives also varied between self-identified groups of participants with regard to conducting research and monitoring. For this management option, perspectives differed between community members and researchers as to the amount of resources required. None of the community members indicated that it would take “a lot” of resources, whereas none of the researchers said it would require “a little” (Fig. 6d). Community members’ perspectives on the contribution of research and monitoring to healthy communities and ecosystems differed from all other participants. None of the community members indicated that research and monitoring would contribute “a lot” to healthy communities and ecosystems, whereas participants from all of the other self-identified groups indicated that it would (Figs. 8d and 9d).
We were unable to explore these similar and differing perspectives further, due to time and budgetary restrictions. However, it may be demonstrative of participants sharing some common values while also having varied world views, i.e., “beliefs and assumptions by which an individual makes sense of experiences that are hidden deep within the language and traditions of the surrounding society” (Clark 2002, p. 5). Participant ability to engage in constructive dialogue while working toward the common workshop goal reinforces this argument. Further research is needed to explore similarities and differences in perspectives between community members, researchers, managers and other stakeholders. That exploration may illuminate contrasting world views and shared or common values, as well as historical and ongoing practices requiring change and (or) enhancement (e.g., policies, research methodologies, training; see review by Carter et al. 2019). Further investigations and understandings of world views may prove valuable to the success and appropriateness of this and other wildlife management and collaborative research initiatives (Nielsen and Meilby 2013; Vaudry 2016; Ljubicic et al. 2018).
Our experience with this project also supports the view that bringing to the discussion table knowledge acquired at different scales and stemming from diverse intellectual or cultural traditions can result in improved understanding of an issue (in this case, light goose abundance and impacts in the Kivalliq region) which, in turn, can lead to better decision-making (Berkes 1994; Cash and Moser 2000; Eamer 2006; Reid et al. 2006). For example, although Inuit contributors were uniquely positioned to articulate light goose management recommendations in line with their values and priorities, biologists and wildlife managers involved in the project shared their knowledge of light goose ecology and management processes at regional and national scales, which resulted in joint learning. As suggested by Carlsson and Berkes (2005), cultural diversity can enhance the pool of human resources from which management decisions are drawn, and group heterogeneity can generate a diverse set of problem-based solutions.
Another significant lesson learned through this project related to the importance of acknowledging the legacy of past top-down wildlife management practices. This was a crucial step toward meaningful dialogue and the building of trusting relationships between IQ holders and government representatives. Recognizing the colonial legacy of early wildlife management regimes is necessary for establishing renewed research and co-management relationships between government agencies and Inuit communities and organizations, based on recognition of rights, respect, cooperation, and partnership (Government of Canada 2017). During our regional workshop, an Elder and PMC member from Arviat spoke eloquently of the journey travelled by Inuit from early colonial government interventions in wildlife management to this day:
I am proud of our ancestors. Our ancestors wanted to see some changes […] When negotiations started for Nunavut, Inuit started to have a voice. Today, we are here and we are talking about geese. Before Nunavut, we were very silent. The claim ignited this. We are now able to share our ideas about wildlife issues.
Wildlife co-management often has more to do with managing human relationships than resources per se (Natcher et al. 2005). By creating space for relationship-building and joint learning among research participants, our project highlighted the positive role that collaborative research can play in (re)building trust and fostering respectful and mutually beneficial relationships among Inuit communities, researchers and co-management partners.

Collaborative research and Inuit self-determination

[Researchers] remind us of ducks. We see them first in the late spring after break-up and they go South before freeze-up in the fall (James Ross, Fort McPherson, Northwest Territories, 1994; cited in Robinson 1996, p. 127).
In Inuit Nunangat, efforts are ongoing to address the colonial legacy of research and respond to community concerns around exploitative research conduct (Gearheard and Shirley 2007; Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and the Nunavut Research Institute 2007; Tondu et al. 2014). Inuit have long insisted that researchers must respect Inuit self-determination in research through partnerships that serve the needs and priorities of Inuit (Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami 2018). The National Inuit Strategy on Research recently developed by Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami states:
Colonial approaches to research in which the role of Inuit is imagined as being marginal and of little value remain commonplace, even as governments and wider Canadian society have taken steps to achieve reconciliation with Inuit on multiple fronts […] Inuit self-determination in research requires that Inuit research priorities no longer be ignored or marginalized by governments, researchers, and research institutions (Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami 2018, p. 5).
In Nunavut, funding agencies, licensing bodies and regulatory agencies established under the Nunavut Agreement now require researchers to engage and consult with Inuit communities during all phases of research, to provide local training and other benefits, to communicate project results effectively, and to obtain adequate territorial research licenses (Gearheard and Shirley 2007; Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and the Nunavut Research Institute 2007; Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami 2018). According to Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami President Natan Obed, Inuit self-determination in research “involves Inuit deciding what issues are worthy of study, how research about our people is carried out, how data about Inuit are used and interpreted, and with whom and in what manner research findings are shared” (Obed 2016).
We designed and carried out our project with this vision in mind, aspiring to support Inuit self-determination in research to the best of our abilities. Our collaborative project addressed a topic of interest and concern to Inuit from Salliq and Arviat. Representatives from local partner organizations offered project guidance at every step. Insights offered by Inuit PMC members were critical to ensuring that the research process addressed and reflected Inuit priorities and needs, and that research activities were carried out in a culturally appropriate manner. In addition, the involvement of four community researchers in data collection, interpretation and results sharing activities was, in the opinion of all PMC members, a meaningful approach to promoting Inuit leadership in research as well as the sharing of Inuit knowledge between generations. Co-author L. Emiktaut reflected: “This project was very good for me as a young person. I learned about what my ancestors did. I learned that my Elders used to use geese wings as brooms. Getting knowledge from scientists and Elders was good. There should be more of this.” Lastly, to PMC members, supporting Inuit self-determination through research also meant making best efforts to conduct research following maligarjuat or ethical principles offered by IQ.
Although we see great potential and value for collaborative interdisciplinary research to support Inuit self-determination, our experience with this project also highlighted that this approach to research is resource intensive, requiring significant financial and capacity commitments from partner and funding organizations. Employing collaborative research as an approach for fostering Inuit self-determination will be challenging to sustain without significant long-term investments from institutions who see value in this model.

Moving forward

A key project objective was to mobilize and document Inuit knowledge about light geese to make it more publicly accessible to Nunavummiut, researchers, and wildlife managers, to support inclusive and informed decision-making. We have done so here, within the limitations of what can be expressed in written form in a journal article. We hope that by sharing our novel process and approach for undertaking joint management decisions we can contribute important foundational information that will support future decisions, management actions and initiatives.
Two community-driven initiatives were sparked by the network of people and organizations mobilized over the course of our collaborative project. First, the Aiviit Hunters and Trappers Organization initiated a community light goose harvest program to seize the opportunity to address food insecurity in Salliq through an increased light goose harvest. In May and June 2019, Inuit harvesters collected light geese and eggs, which were freely distributed to Salliq households. Second, a community-based monitoring project was developed in partnership between Hunters and Trappers Organizations from Arviat, Salliq, and Cape Dorset and the Canadian Wildlife Service (ECCC). This project aimed to assess the body condition of light geese upon arrival to breeding areas near Arviat, Salliq, and Cape Dorset by examining patterns of pre-nesting protein acquisition. In May and early June 2019, the Hunters and Trappers Organizations coordinated the harvest of Lesser Snow and Ross’ Geese (n = 240) by local hunters; ECCC researchers analyzed goose samples and reported findings to participating communities. The two projects described above were made possible through communication and knowledge exchange among individuals and organizations mobilized through our research process, which further emphasizes the potential of collaborative research to support Inuit self-determination and foster positive social change.
Through our work, we asked: “What should we do with all of these geese?” Our project highlighted that building cross-cultural and cross-organizational relationships and positioning Inuit knowledge at the center of discussions are necessary steps toward answering this question in an effective and inclusive manner. We hope that the knowledge shared through this paper will contribute to Inuit perspectives being more meaningfully included in future light goose research and management. More work certainly remains to be done to offer ongoing opportunities for Inuit knowledge holders, researchers and wildlife managers to meet and learn together to ensure the mobilization of multiple ways of knowing in wildlife research and co-management in Inuit Nunangat and beyond.

Acknowledgements

The authors acknowledge Salliq and Arviat residents who participated in this study as interview and group discussion contributors, and generously shared their knowledge and experience about kanguit and kangunnait in the Kivalliq region (in alphabetical order): Matthew Adams, Evano Aggark Sr., David Aglukark, Sr., Peter Alareak, Louie Angalik, John Aupaq, Dino Bruce, Bobby Eetuk, Ayowna Emiktaut, Leo Ikakhik, Paul K. Irksuk, Noah Kadlak, Johnny Kataluk, Luke Kinniksie, George Kuksuk, Jimmy Main, Catherina Manik, Jacque John Mikiyungiak, Josiah Nakoolak, Lucassie Nakoolak, Marguerite Nakoolak, Pauloosie Nakoolak, Peter Nakoolak, Willie Nakoolak, Leonard Netser, Arden Nibgoarsi, Bobby Saviakjuk, Joe Saviakjuk, Mark Paniyuk, Jerry Paniuq, Danny Pee, Lizzie Pootoolik, Joe Savikataaq Sr., John Sikikauk, Melanie Tabvahtah, Timothy Taleriktok, as well as five contributors who wished to remain anonymous. We would also like to thank all participants of the 2018 Light Goose Management Workshop held in Winnipeg, Manitoba. This research was conducted as a partnership between Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Nivvialik and Irniurviit Area Co-Management Committees, and the Arviat and Aiviit Hunters and Trappers Organizations. We acknowledge the significant contribution of Project Management Committee (PMC) members who participated in project planning and implementation: (Salliq PMC members) Noah Kadlak, Ron Ningeongan, Moses Nakoolak, Casey Paniyuk, and Tapia Jar; (Arviat PMC members) David Aglukark, Sr., Angelina Suluk, Thomas Ubluriak and Gordy Kidlapik. We would also like to thank Bobby Suluk, Angelina Suluk, and Suzie Napayok-Short (interpreting/translation); Natasha Hattie Ottokie, Louisa Kalai, Andrea Ishalook, Mary Issumatardjuak, Qovik Netser, Toghwemu Akande, and the Kivalliq Wildlife Board (administrative support); Bhavana Chaudhary, Andrew Murray, Jon Pasher, and Jason Duffe from the National Wildlife Research Centre Geomatics Lab (mapping support); Matilde Tomaselli and Pamela B.Y. Wong (technical support); Jean-François Dufour, Hamlet of Arviat, Hamlet of Coral Harbour, Nunavut Arctic College, Sakku School, Troy Netser, and the Government of Nunavut Department of Environment (logistical support). We acknowledge the insights and advice offered by Joe Bennett from Carleton University during workshop planning. We are grateful to Debby Talbot and Frankie Jean-Gagnon for technical support with figures. Thank you to Shirley Tagalik, Joe Bennett and two anonymous reviewers for commenting on earlier versions of this manuscript. The authors acknowledge the financial support of Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board, the Nunavut General Monitoring Plan, and Polar Knowledge Canada.
Taapsuminga titiraqtut nalunairuaqput nunaqaqtunik Salliq amma Arviat ilaulaurmata tagvani qaujisarnirmi apiqsugaublutik amma tunisiblutik qaujimajamingnik ukuninga kanguit amma kangunnait Kivalliup nunangani (atingit maliklugit titiraqsimajut): Matthew Adams, Evano Aggark Sr., David Aglukark Sr., Peter Alareak, Louie Angalik, John Aupaq, Dino Bruce, Bobby Eetuk, Ayowna Emiktaut, Leo Ikakhik, Paul K. Irksuk, Noah Kadlak, Johnny Kataluk, Luke Kinniksie, George Kuksuk, Jimmy Main, Catherina Manik, Jacque John Mikiyungiak, Josiah Nakoolak, Lucassie Nakoolak, Marguerite Nakoolak, Pauloosie Nakoolak, Peter Nakoolak, Willie Nakoolak, Leonard Netser, Arden Nibgoarsi, Bobby Saviakjuk, Joe Saviakjuk, Mark Paniyuk, Jerry Paniuq, Danny Pee, Lizzie Pootoolik, Joe Savikataaq Sr., John Sikikauk, Melanie Tabvahtah, Timothy Taleriktok, ammalu tallimat atirmingnik tusaumaqujinngitut. Mutnaapuguttauq ilaulauqtunik 2018 kanguit mianiriyauninginnut Katimanirmi Winnipeg, Manitoba-mi. Qaujisarniq kayusititaujuq katujiblutik Avatilirijit Silaublu Asianguqpalianinga Kanatami, Nivvialik amma Irniurviit Nunaganik Mianiqsijit Katimajialaangit, amma Arviat amma Aiviit Maqaitit Katinajinngit. Tusaqtitivugut ukua kiinajatigut ikajulaurmata ukununga Piliriarmut Aulatauninganut Katimajialaanut (PMC) ilaujunut isumaliurlutik mianiqsiblutiglu: (Salliq PMC Ilagijuajut) Noah Kadlak, Ron Ningeongan, Moses Nakoolak, Casey Paniyuk, amma Tapia Jar; (Arviat PMC ilagijaujut) David Aglukark Sr., Angelina Suluk, Thomas Ubluriak amma Gordy Kidlapik. Mutnaarumagivugut ukua: Bobby Suluk, Angelina Suluk, amma Suzie Napayok-Short (uqaqtiublutik tukiliurijiublutiglu); Natasha Hattie Ottokie, Louisa Kalai, Andrea Ishalook, Mary Issumatardjuak, Qovik Netser, Toghwemu Akande, ukualu Kivallirmi Uumajuliriyiryuakut Katimajinngiut (titiraviktigut ikayuqtut); Bhavana Chaudhary, Andrew Murray, Jon Pasher, amma Jason Duffe ukunangat Kanatami Niryutit Qaujisarvingannit (nunagualiurnikut); Matilde Tomaselli amma Pamela B.Y. Wong (qaritauyatigut ikayurlutik); Jean-François Dufour, Hamlitga Arviat, Hamlitga Salliup, Nunavuumi Silattuqsarvik, Sakku Ilinniarvinga, Troy Netser, amma Nunavut Gavamangata Avatilirijinngit (sunamianik ikayurlutik). Tusartitijumavugutauq isumalaumata tunisiblutiklu qaujimajamingnik ukua Joe Bennett uvangat Carleton Ilinniarvigjuanganit isumaliulaurmata katimaniup qanuiniarninganik. Mutnaaqpugut ukununga Debby Talbot amma Frankie Jean-Gagnon ikayulaurmanik qaritauyatigut naasautinik. Mutna ukua Shirley Tagalik, Joe Bennett amma maruuk kisiani atirmingnik tunisingituk titiralaurmanik taapkununga. Titiraqtut tusaqtitivut kiinaujatigut ikajulaurmata Avatilirijit Silaublu Ajanguqpalianinga Canada-mi, Nunavuumi Uumajulirijirjuakut Katimajingiy. Nunavuumi Sunamianik Qaujisaqtit Parnautingat amma Ukuaqtaqtumi Qaujimajiit Canada-mi.

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Information & Authors

Information

Published In

cover image Arctic Science
Arctic Science
Volume 6Number 3September 2020
Pages: 173 - 207

History

Received: 8 July 2019
Accepted: 8 June 2020
Accepted manuscript online: 7 July 2020
Version of record online: 7 July 2020

Notes

This paper is part of a Special Issue entitled: Knowledge Mobilization on Co-Management, Co-Production of Knowledge, and Community-Based Monitoring to Support Effective Wildlife Resource Decision Making and Inuit Self-Determination. This Special Issue was financially supported by ArcticNet.

Key Words

  1. Snow Goose
  2. Ross’ Goose
  3. Inuit
  4. co-management
  5. Nunavut
  6. Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit
  7. Kanguq
  8. kangurnak
  9. Inuit
  10. aulattiqatauniq
  11. Nunavut
  12. Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit.

Mots-clés

  1. oie des neiges
  2. oie de Ross
  3. Inuit
  4. cogestion
  5. Nunavut
  6. Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit

Plain Language Summary

Qanuq ukua kanguit sunialiqpitigu? (What should we do with all of these geese?)

Authors

Affiliations

Dominique A. Henri* [email protected]
Wildlife Research Division, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Montreal, QC H2Y 2E7, Canada.
Natalie A. Carter*
Wildlife Research Division, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Ottawa, ON K1A 0H3, Canada.
Aupaa Irkok
Arviat, NU X0C 0E0, Canada.
Shelton Nipisar
Arviat, NU X0C 0E0, Canada.
Lenny Emiktaut
Salliq, NU X0C 0C0, Canada.
Canadian Wildlife Service, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Yellowknife, NT X1A 2P7, Canada.
Bobbie Saviakjuk
Salliq, NU X0C 0C0, Canada.
Salliq Project Management Committee
Salliq, NU X0C 0C0, Canada.
Arviat Project Management Committee
Arviat, NU X0C 0E0, Canada.
Gita J. Ljubicic
School of Earth, Environment and Society, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON L8S 4K1, Canada.
Paul A. Smith
Wildlife Research Division, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Ottawa, ON K1A 0H3, Canada.
Vicky Johnston
Canadian Wildlife Service, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Yellowknife, NT X1A 2P7, Canada.

Notes

*
First authors
Copyright remains with the author(s) or their institution(s). This work is licensed under a Creative Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0) http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/deed.en_GB, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

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