Fisheries and Forestry Biologist
Sarah Lord is the Fisheries & Forestry Biologist for the Gwich’in Renewable Resources Board (GRRB|) in Inuvik, Northwest Territories, Canada. The GRRB was established by the Gwich’in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement (1992) to be the primary instrument for managing the wildlife, fish, and forests of the Gwich’in Settlement Area, an area in the northwestern part of the NWT roughly the size of Nova Scotia. The Gwich’in Settlement Area crosses the Arctic Circle; all four of its communities are north of 60 degrees latitude. It includes vast areas of boreal forest that transition to tundra in alpine and northern areas, as well as several very large rivers: the Peel River, the Arctic Red River, and the lower part of the Mackenzie River and its delta. Permanent settlements on these rivers are home to Gwich’in Participants in the communities of Fort McPherson, Tsiigehtchic, Aklavik, and Inuvik. Gwich’in people have relied on fish as an important food and cultural resource since time immemorial. Modern times have seen changes in people’s access to fish, driven by many different factors. The changes people are observing in the land and water, and how they might affect the fish people eat, is of great concern. Sarah works with fishers and Knowledge Holders in the Gwich’in communities, and with Tracking Change partners, to develop projects that document Traditional Knowledge about fish and water, and use both western science and Traditional Knowledge to investigate questions people have about how fish, water, and the land will continue to respond to climate change and what people can do to adapt to these changes.