Tuesday, February 16

 3:30pm - 5:00pm

Planning for Change – Values Cultural/Heritage

This session examines the strong connections to land, culture and tradition and how those values are shaping climate, sustainability and land use policy in the north.

Venue: Longhouse

Moderator: Jim Bell -Manager, Regional Land Use Planning, Yukon Government.

Tuesday, February 16, 3:30 - 4:00

Cultural landscapes and traditional foods: Considering the multiple dimensions of food systems in planning and design.

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According to the Florence Declaration on Heritage and Landscape as Human Values (2014), cultural heritage and landscape are fundamental for community identity and should be preserved through traditional practices and knowledge that also guarantees that biodiversity is safeguarded. The term Cultural Landscape describes the relationship Indigenous peoples have with the land and spiritual environment.  It represents and embodies traditional knowledge of places, land use and ecology. This presentation will consider these linkages through the lens of indigenous food systems and traditional foods that express the deep ties between land and culture.

This presentation will explore how we might include cultural and heritage values in a way that considers indigenous food systems in conservation planning processes in the north and other jurisdictions. Outcomes of the presentation will be to have an increased understanding of how practically traditional ecological knowledge and conservation science can work together to ensure that conservation goals can support enhanced food security in northern regions.

Additional Speaker: Douglas Neasloss

Tuesday, February 16, 4:00 - 4:30

Dimensions of Northern Indigenous Sustainability: Perspectives from Hopedale, Nunatsiavut

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Effects of development and planning without thorough consideration of context are commonly manifests in loss of traditional lifestyles, cultural strength and social stability. This issue is particularly apparent in Northern Indigenous communities, which face large-scale climate change challenges, resource development and other forces. However, a proliferation of sustainability initiatives at various scales continue to ignore socio-cultural concerns, or address them as secondary to economic or environmental goals rather than essential preconditions for sustainability,This project was conducted as part of the Nunatsiavut Government’s SakKijânginnatuk Nunalik (Sustainable Communities) Initiative, in cooperation with Inuit communities of northern Labrador.

The objective was to better understand the values, principles and norms that are important to residents and should be considered in future  community planning. Fieldwork used focus groups and participatory mapping to explore socio-cultural and environmental components of community sustainability. Results show that issues of connectivity (to others and the land) were central to participants’ sense of community sustainability. The need to retain strong cultural identity, grounded in language, land-based skills, traditional games and crafting, as well as maintain social cohesion were identified as critical to overall community sustainability. The natural environment was  considered a fundamental resource that facilitates these relationships, traditions, and identity. As current and future threats change both social and natural landscapes, it is urgent that socio-cultural, and environmental, principles be identified by Indigenous communities and understood. They are foundational to appropriate planning, as they inform interaction with the environment, and determine communities’ capacity to adapt and plan for future sustainability.

Research Contributors:

Diana Kouril B.A. – Researcher, Health, Environment and Indigenous Communities Research Group

Chris Furgal Ph.D. – Associate professor, Indigenous Studies & Environmental Studies at Trent University

Tuesday, February 16, 4:30 - 5:00

Indigenous Climate Change Adaptation Planning Using a Values Focused Approach

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Local values and knowledge can be important components in creating robust climate change adaptation strategies  for marginalized communities.  Incorporating local values into the climate change planning process in a structured  way and effectively using local knowledge not only improves the identification of priority actions for climate  change adaptation, but also supports successful implementation.  The values of each community influence how  climate change impacts are perceived, and what adaptation actions are locally acceptable and will have local buy in  for implementation.  Thus, it is important that planning incorporates local values if the goal is successful  adaptation to climate change.

This presentation will reveal one approach for addressing this through a participatory, values based process for  climate change adaptation planning.  The approach is contextualized through a case study of the Gitga at Nation,  located in northern coastal British Columbia, Canada, where key values included culturally important food sources,  culture, environmental resources, self sufficiency, health, infrastructure to enable us to live well, among others.   These values were used throughout the planning process to contextualize climate change impacts on Gitga at  members  way of life and to develop and evaluate adaptation actions.  It is hoped that this case study provides  further proof of the utility of values based planning in the context of adaptation planning in communities. 

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