traditional knowledge

Land Use and Adaptation

Indigenous peoples’ resilience is rooted in traditional knowledge and their deep understanding of the land.

For indigenous peoples, resilience is rooted in traditional knowledge, as their capacity to adapt to environmental change is based first and foremost on in-depth understanding of the land.

As climate change increasingly impacts indigenous landscapes, communities are responding and adapting in unique ways.

United Nations University (2012)


Traditional Knowledge & Climate Science

Video Series where Science and Traditional Knowledge meet to respond to climate change.

With deep connections to nature, the world's indigenous people and local communities are experiencing some of the most pronounced effects of climate change. This video series focuses on some of the key links between traditional knowledge and science regarding climate change.

Video sub-titles are also available in Spanish, French, Portuguese and Russian

Tracking Change

 Tracking Change… is a new research initiative funded by the Social Sciences Humanities Research Council of Canada and led by the University of Alberta, the Traditional Knowledge Steering Committee of the Mackenzie River Basin Board, the Government of the Northwest Territories and many other valued partner organizations. Over six years (2015-2022), the project will fund local and traditional knowledge research activities in the Mackenzie River basin and sister projects in the Lower Amazon and Lower Mekong River Basins, with the long term goal of strengthening the voices of subsistence fishers and Indigenous communities in the governance of major fresh water ecosystems. The project developed in recognition that river systems are important social, economic, cultural and ecological places that contribute to the well-being of communities in diverse ways. River peoples, particularly Indigenous peoples who have well developed fishing livelihoods can offer extremely valuable insights about long term (historic and current) patterns of social and ecological change and the interconnections between the health and dynamics of these river systems and that of river communities. Although based on oral traditions, this system of observation or “tracking change” is much like monitoring. Like those who live on Canada’s east and west coasts, the ability of Indigenous communities in the Mackenzie River Basin to maintain fishing as a livelihood practice is of social, economic and cultural importance to all of Canada; if this river system is not healthy, how can we be?

Fishers have been tracking change in the same places, in the same ways, using the same signs & signals for many generations. Such traditional knowledge is key to our understanding of many kinds of issues resulting from resource development, climate change and other land uses. This tracking of change is not simply a technical process; people watch, listen, learn and communicate about change because they care about the health of the land and the health of their communities.

Zacharias Kunuk’s visit to Arviat (Nunavut) May 25 - 31, 2015

Meetings with Arviat Film Society (ArviatTV) and fishing at Maguse Lake, hunting guide Billy Ukutak, was an excellent guide, he made pancake breakfast for Zach, and hosted Zach and Eric Anoee (Arviat Film Society) in his cabin and took Zach to the hunting grounds. Zach caught Lake Trout, Arctic Char, and caribou.

Nunattinni - Bahai entertaiments _1986

Program name: Nunattinni
Nunattinni (In My Home) was an Inuit cultural program.
Producer: Iqaluit - Inuit Broadcasting Corporaion
Host: Nipisha Bracken
Location: Iqaluit

Tohaknaak EP 96A - 1989

Program name: Tohaknaak
Producer: James Kavana – Cambridge Bay – Inuit Broadcasting Corporation
Host: Sarah Green
Location: Cambridge Bay

Segment 1: Traditional clothing made out of sealskin and caribou skin is shown and traditional knowledge about how they are caught and prepared is shared.

ᓇᓂᓯᓂᖅ - Nanisiniq: A Journey of Discovery

Beginning in 2010 in Arviat Nunavut, the Nanisiniq Arviat History Project is a multi-media history project which brings together Inuit youth and Elders to re-discover Inuit history.

Ningiura (My Grandmother/Ma grand-mère)

DURATION: 29 min
GENRE: Docu-drama
FORMAT: Video (colour)
LANGUAGE: Inuktitut, Eng/Fr s-t
DIRECTORS: Mary Kunuk, Marie-Helene Cousineau
PRODUCER: Arnait Video Productions
SOUND: Pacome Qudlaut
CAMERA: Marie Helene Cousineau
SCRIPT WRITER: Mary Kunuk, Marie-Helene Cousineau
EDITOR: Marie-Christine Sarda
CAST/PERFORMERS: Rachel Uyarasuk, Sylvia Ivalu, Charlie Qulitalik, Marie David
FUNDING: Telefilm Canada, ATPN, Channel 24, Canada Council for the Arts, Conseil des arts et des lettres du Quebec
SELECTED SCREENINGS: APTN (Canada), Channel 24 (Igloolik), ImagineNative Film Festival (Toronto, 2001: Best Video), Native Americain Film and Video Festival (New-York, 2003)


Ningiura is an experimental fiction based on authentic oral histories, traditional knowledge and contemporary reality of Igloolik today.

An elder and her grand-daughter get to know and appreciate each other after a family tragedy.


Can REDD forests ever become green? Social and other safeguards are needed if REDD initiatives are to cut GHG emissions while doing no harm and benefiting indigenous peoples.

Deforestation, especially of tropical forests, makes up 18 percent of annual global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions — more emissions than the entire global transportation sector.

REDD initiatives aim to reduce GHG emissions by assigning forests a monetary value based on their capacity to absorb and store atmospheric carbon. REDD+ initiatives attempt to incorporate additional sources of forest value, such as ecosystem services, biodiversity conservation, and local livelihoods.

Both REDD and REDD+ approaches feed into carbon markets that are supposed to generate significant financial flows from companies with high degrees of GHG emissions in developed countries toward less polluting, carbon-neutral or carbon-negative activities in developing countries.

United Nations University (2012) 

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