One of the most important parts of Tracking Change has been the relationships and networks that it has built. Working together on important issues like habitat loss, climate change and cultural security is something that we hope to continue to do long after the project funds are spent. This was exactly the idea behind our spin-off project between the Gwich’in Tribal Council’s (GTC) Department of Cultural Heritage, the University of Alberta and independent publisher/film producer, Drew Ann Wake.
We are happy to announce that our joint project “Confronting Climate Change on the ‘Big River’ – Nagwichoonjik – Deh / Desh Cho – Sipi” was selected to receive funding as part of the Government of Canada’s $54 million Climate Action and Awareness Fund (CAAF). Our project will continue the GTC’s good work to document, using video and photographs, the dramatic changes related to climate change along the Mackenzie River. Community researchers will coordinate interviews with Elders and develop educational modules and toolkits for high school students in each of 22 communities along the river. The end result will be a series of videos, documenting the changes and adaptations of the communities whose lives are so closely tied to the flow of the Mackenzie River. These videos will be showcased in a travelling exhibit which we hope to set up in Fort Simpson, Norman Wells, Fort McMurray, Yellowknife and Inuvik as well as at the University of British Columbia, the University of Alberta, and the Edmonton Telus World of Science at the end of 2022.
The river excursion component of the project will begin next summer and we hope to be able to share photos of the journey through the Tracking Change social media channels as our community researchers take to the water to talk to locals about the changes they have been seeing.
More information about the Climate Action and Awareness Fund and the other successful grant recipients can be found here.