The Gwich’in Harvest Study (GHS) is a requirement of Section 12.5.6 of the Gwich’in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement signed in 1992 between the Gwich’in Tribal Council and Canada. The objective of the GHS is to provide harvest data that are necessary for calculating the Gwich’in Minimum Need Level and the effective management of wildlife by the Gwich’in Renewable Resources Board (GRRB) and government. The Study counted the number of animals, fish and birds harvested by Gwich’in participants in the Settlement Area.
The Harvest Study was conducted in the Gwich’in Settlement Area (GSA) with data collection September 1995 to July 2004. Five years of data were required by the Land Claim Agreement. The following four years provided additional information on harvest locations and biological information on harvested animals. Other harvest study information (Inuvialuit Harvest Study, National Harvest Study for migratory game bird species in Canada, etc.) should be reviewed in conjunction with the GHS to ensure an accurate picture of harvesting in the GSA.
Harvest Study coordinators and community interviewers hired for the GHS attempted to contact all of the hunters (Gwich’in participants living in the GSA who were expected to hunt, trap or fish). Hunters were asked monthly to recall the number of animals they harvested, location of harvests and biological information for some animals. All information was recorded in a database and included mapping data. The names of hunters were kept confidential. 57 species and groups of animals were included in the GHS. Over 540 hunters were recorded in many interviews. Consultations with Renewable Resource Councils and the GRRB continued on a regular basis. Radio announcements, posters, monthly draws, presentations and an annual calendar were developed to promote the Study.
The Gwich’in Harvest Study would not have been possible without the voluntary participation of many participants and Study coordinators. Thanks are extended to all of those people for making the Harvest Study successful.
Requests for additional harvest study information can be made by contacting the Executive Director.
A final report of the methods and results was produced, as well as a summary of the Harvest Study.
Gwich’in Harvest Study Publications:
The GRRB has a data release policy which outlines measures for the release of specific information, including a data request form.
Gwich’in Harvest Study Data Release: