Informing and educating through active environmental monitoring
Our nationally and internationally recognized Community-Based Monitoring (CBM) Program began in 2008 and currently employs four full-time Mikisew staff. The program monitors triggers, based on a decade of data, to determine if Mikisew rights are being impacted with respect to fish health, water quality and quantity, ice thickness, air quality and more. Some activities recently conducted by the team include:
Annual whitefish and muskrat camps
Emergency flood response in the Peace-Athabasca Delta
Special research projects including the mink farm project
Current program highlights
Our goal is to protect our traditional lands and our Treaty and Aboriginal rights through active environmental monitoring. Through the CBM program, we can inform, educate and facilitate adaptation to changing environmental conditions in the Peace-Athabasca Delta. Our areas of focus include:
Areas of expertise
Federal environmental matters
The CBM program gathers important information about key areas of federal jurisdiction, such as navigability, fish habitat, migratory birds, species-at-risk, federal parks and Treaty rights in regions where each of those areas is under significant threat from industrial activities.
We help combat community health issues facing Fort Chipewyan by gathering baseline information about traditional resources and creating educational opportunities about environmental issues. While Mikisew directs the CBM program, information is shared with the entire Fort Chipewyan community.
Environmental assessments and policy development
We integrate Indigenous rights and traditional knowledge into environmental assessments, decision-making frameworks and consultation processes in a manner that recognizes a nation-to-nation relationship.
We partner with local schools to help youth learn about the state of the environment around the community and to inform youth of education and career opportunities in the environmental sciences. There is room to grow and formalize the educational aspect of the CBM program in a manner that also provides linkages between science curriculum and cultural programming.
Mikisew has worked hard to coordinate its research protocols and data storage so that the information being gathered can be utilized together with other programs. This allows CBM to be integrated into and complement existing provincial and federal research initiatives.
While the CBM program can coordinate with federal/provincial research initiatives and other aboriginal groups, an independent, Mikisew-driven CBM program can serve to empower a community that has been marginalized from research and data gathering.