Effectiveness of fish habitat compensatory measures in Eeyou Istchee: Indigenous and scientific perspectives
Fish and fish habitat are shared resources that provide social, cultural, economic, ecological, and spiritual benefits to Canadians, particularly for Indigenous Peoples. In Eeyou Istchee (Cree territory), healthy aquatic ecosystems are integral parts of Cree cultural wellbeing. Several fish and fish habitat compensation projects have occurred in this region to compensate development. However, there has been no comprehensive assessment of their relevance and effectiveness according to Cree traditional ecological knowledge (TEK). This project will combine Cree TEK and SEK (scientific ecological knowledge) to inform planning and decision-making in terms of fish habitat compensation and fish habitat banking in Eeyou Istchee. Overall, the proposed project will enable the Cree communities to better preserve fish and fish habitat, to ensure the continuity of Cree traditional activities on their lands, and to alleviate the concerns they have toward fish habitat compensation projects. This project is timely and can significantly contribute to reconciliation efforts across Canada and to intercultural socio-political cooperation.