Christine Wray

Ph.D. Candidate, Environmental Sociology

Supervisor: Brenda Parlee

Collaboration with: Akaitcho Territorial Government / Deh Cho First Nations

Research Topic: Linking Fishers Knowledge and Science to Understand Ecological Change in the Mackenzie River Basin

Freshwater fisheries are an important resource in Canada, particularly to Indigenous communities whose livelihoods have been interconnected to sustainable fishing practices for generations; commercial fishing operations present new challenges to the sustainability of these Indigenous fishing livelihoods that have been little explored in northern Canada. Governance arrangements for managing an emerging commercial fishery on Great Slave Lake historically marginalized Indigenous voices; current regimes developed circa 1945 do not consider the rights of Akitcho Dene First Nations nor their Traditional Knowledge related to the fishery.  Working collaboratively with the Akaitcho Territory Government, the research involves the documentation of oral histories about the impacts of the commercial fishery on subsistence, and investigates the contemporary knowledge, practices and institutions of Akaitcho fishers.