Culture &Lands Protection Dept hosted Tlicho Caribou Workshop
The Department of Culture and Lands Protection hosted the Tłı̨chǫ Caribou Workshop from Dec 3-5 in Yellowknife. A variety of harvesters, elders and youth were brought together to discuss the history, current status and future management of the Bathurst caribou, and to seek their input on co-management recommendations with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (ENR). ENR biologists participated, giving community members an opportunity to discuss issues and ask questions and gain greater understanding regarding the science associated with caribou. There was much to talk about but some of the major topics included issues related to the next steps in Caribou co-management including:
- Considering harvest for the coming years given that the Bathurst caribou are estimated to still be at relatively low numbers of approximately 35,000. Though the herd seems to have stabilized we still need to exercise caution in our harvest and to continue with conservative recommendations, including minimizing the hunting of cows.
- Considering increasing wolf harvest in the coming years to reduce predation and help the Bathurst herd grow and. We discussed whether the communities would support this and the best ways to increase hunting and trapping of wolves on the Bathurst winter range that would involve Tłı̨chǫ people.
- Considering Increasing the number of collars on caribou as a way to improve our monitoring and understanding of the Bathurst caribou herd in order for us to understand the herd better and to make management decisions.
The workshop was a success in engaging with community members and bringing them together to discuss these important issues. We are thankful to all participants for their input, which will help inform co-management recommendations by Tłı̨chǫ Government and the Government of the NWT. The Tłı̨chǫ Agreement established co-management as the way the Tłı̨chǫ Government works together with the GNWT and Wek’ èezhı̀i Renewable Resources Board, for the sake of the caribou and future generations.
For more info or if you have any thoughts on the above issues please contact Kerri Garner at kerrigarner[at]tlicho[dot]com or Sean Richardson at seanrichardson[at]tlicho[dot]com at the Department of Culture and Lands Protection.