Environmental Education Projects
Informing youth, other Gwich'in beneficiaries and
the general public about co-management of renewable resources in
the GSA is an important part of the Board's activities. The Board
has initiated several programs to help youth learn about renewable
resources and encourage them to pursue careers in environmental fields.
Youth Work Experience Program
The Youth Work Experience Program (YWEP) was established by the GRRB in 2000 in order to provide youth from the Gwich’in Settlement Area (GSA) with hands on experience in the renewable resources field. The Program takes place during the summer (Jun-Aug).
When wildlife, fisheries, forestry, culture and education projects are undertaken near a community, youth from that community may be hired on a short-term basis to assist researchers in the field. Activities will be supervised by a responsible adult and may include collecting samples in the field, assisting with recording data, assisting with the delivery of education programs, heavy lifting, working with equipment and travel by vehicle or boat. The length of work experience will vary with the projects. Most work experience will involve 2-5 days of participation.
School Environmental Programs
GRRB staff are active in schools throughout the
GSA. In the past, staff have participated in Career Quests,
class presentations and special events like forestry and wildlife
week (including Nature Day). Staff have also assisted as instructors
and in program development for the Natural Resources Technology
Program at Aurora College (Inuvik).
The Board also sponsors outings on Gwich'in Lands,
for example canoe trips with overnight camping, for youth and elders.
All programs help to increase knowledge and appreciation for the
land and for Gwich'in traditions.
Student Trainee Programs
Each year the Board offers a number of job training
positions to Gwich'in community members. Trainees gain a
unique perspective on how the GRRB helps to manage renewable
resources in the GSA. Work experience encourages future
success in their field. The positions include:
- Fisheries Technician Trainee
- Database & General Office Trainee
- Renewable Resource Technician Trainee
- Summer Student
The following people have worked
for the Board in trainee positions:
- Trina Edwards
- Norman Snowshoe
- Bobbie Jo Greenland
- Julia Neyelle
- Lena Church
- Steven Charlie
- Jozef Carnogursky
- Catherine Jorstead (Summer Student)
- Ian McLeod
- Shaun Firth
- Doug Villenueve
- Cheryl Wright
- Beverly Arey
- Allen Firth
- Sheldon Bernard
- Dave Gardlund (Technician Trainee 2005-2006)
- Ryan McLeod (Technician Trainee 2006, Fisheries Technician 2015)
- Lisa Cardinal (Summer Student 2007)
- Chris Greenland (Summer Student 2008)
- Linda Wright (Summer Student 2008)
- Rebecca Kaufman/Amy Charlie (Summer Students 2010)
- Maja Haogak (Summer Student 2011)
- Davis Neyando (Summer Student 2012)
- Alicia McRae (Summer Student 2013, Technician Trainee 2014)
- Ryan Brooks (Technician 2013)
- Jozef Semmler (Summer Student 2014 & 2015)
Nature Day Program
kids about wildlife, fish and forests is an important part of the
activities. Encouraging young people to develop a deeper
understanding and respect for the land and its resources is important
since they are the future caretakers of the GSA.
Each June, staff at the GRRB
and other volunteers run the Nature Day Program for the grade
three students in Aklavik, Inuvik, Tsiigehtchic and Fort McPherson.
Through active outdoor activities, students can learn more about
wildlife, fish and forests.
Jàk Park Northern Forest
and the Town of Inuvik, the GRRB enhanced an existing
trail at Jàk Park. A brochure pointing out marked features
along the trail was also developed which focused on features
unique or significant to the ecology of northern forests and
cultural elements, such as, traditional and present day use
of forest resources by Gwich'in members.
Jàk Park Northern Forest Interpretive Trail
Other Educational Programs
Environmental educational projects can vary from day activities
to longer overnight tenting and/or trekking/canoeing. Each program
centers on collecting information about the biodiversity, historical
use and traditional ecological knowledge of the GSA. For example,
GRRB staff and summer students spent a month in the Rat River area
surveying and identifying birds, mammals, fish and vegetation.
In addition, a group of elders and youth from Fort
McPherson hiked (and used boat/canoe) part of the area, through Rat
River Pass, over the continental divide and down the Porcupine River
to Old Crow in the fall of 2005, to relive their experiences and
share their knowledge of the pass as a traditional use area. GRRB
staff interviewed people from Fort McPherson who have traditionally
used the area.
River Biodiversity, Cultural & Historical Assessment
A two day On-the-Land camp was held at Summit
Lake with elders and biologists. This trek encouraged participants
to learn more about the land, traditional skills, plants and wildlife.
Fish Dissections, March 5th-7th, 2008
DFO organized a fish dissection workshop at the elementary school in Inuvik (SAMS). Amy Thompson, GRRB Fisheries Biologist, was invited to volunteer and help find fish donations for the dissections.
This workshop was structured to have four booths. The first was a fish identification table where the students learned the names of local fish and how to identify them. They also got to look at otoliths under a dissecting microscope. Amy worked at this booth for the last day.
The second booth was a fish tagging and dissection table. Amy worked at this booth for the first two days. Here, the students learned how to insert floy tags into fish and why mark-recapture studies are important to collect information of fish populations. Then, Amy and the students extracted the otolith from a whitefish and a loche for comparison. If time was permitting, they then dissected the rest of the fish and identified the anatomy. The students were the most interested in opening loche stomachs to see how many fish were inside. In one loche stomach, they found over 40 tiny fish!
The third booth (run by Jonathon with DFO) was a fish measurement table. Students had the opportunity to weigh and measure fish.
In the last booth, all the students gathered together while Wade, Jonathon and Amy spoke about conservation, co-management and the importance of not littering. This initiative was a huge success. Wade Norman (DFO) and Amy were interviewed by CBC North. The plan is to continue this workshop and expand it into the surrounding communities.