Traditional Environmental Knowledge (TEK) is a body of local environmental knowledge and beliefs transmitted through oral tradition and first hand observation based on living in close contact with nature. (Note: This knowledge was acquired through generations unknown.) It includes a system of classification, a set of empirical observations about the local environment, a system of self of management that governs sustainable resource base, and an understanding of the relationships of living beings (including humans) with one another and their environment. Environmental aspects are closely tied to social and spiritual aspects of the knowledge system. The quantity and quality of TEK varies among community members, depending upon gender, age, social status, intellectual capability, and profession (hunter, spiritual leader, etc). TEK is both cumulative and dynamic, building upon the experience of earlier generations and adapting to the new technological and socioeconomic changes of the present.
Kitaskino ta kanawitamahk etati kikway Ka pimatisimaka Kitaskinahk ta nakatiyiCiKatek TasKoc oma Kinipimino eKa ayiwak ta misowanatahk eKa ayiwak ta otinikatek EKwa oma hihiyono EKa ta mayatahk mina eKa ta picipopayik kitaskinahk mina eKa ta nipimaka eKa ta mayatahk KaKiyo KiKway Ka pimatisiyimakahk ta miyo opiKihK tapitawi Eka ta woniKisKisiyahk oma sakaw pimatisiwin Mamawi ta atoskotamahk tansisi ta miyo opiKiK KaKiyo KiKway Kapimatisimaka Kitaskinahk.
Rita Marten – Mikisew Cree First Nation
Traditional Knowledge Working Group
The CEMA Traditional Knowledge (TK) Working Group was established to promote the inclusion of traditional knowledge with CEMA and its work, and to complete TK work identified as important by the group, the Aboriginal Coordinating Committee, and other CEMA Working Groups. The goals are to ensure meaningful and equal Aboriginal input in environmental management frameworks and recommendations to government and hence to ensure the land, forest, air, water, wildlife and biodiversity in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo will be protected and reclaimed for long term sustainability.
The CEMA TK Working Group will promote the use of TK within the region, promote effective communication about CEMA with member Aboriginal communities, and undertake TK projects and research for CEMA, including its working groups, through the following objectives:
- Promote appropriate methodologies for the inclusion and use of TK, along with western science, in environmental management frameworks and recommendations;
- Undertake TK projects important to Aboriginal communities, as recommended by the Aboriginal Coordinating Committee, and within CEMA's mandate;
- Ensure equal and early collaboration and inclusion on all CEMA projects where TK can make a meaningful contribution;
- Maintain effective relationships between CEMA and member Aboriginal communities within and adjacent to the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.
- Ann Dort-MacLean, Fort McMurray Environmental Association
- Melanie Dene, Mikisew Cree First Nation
Aboriginal Coordinating Committee
The Aboriginal Coordinating Committee (ACC) was established to provide guidance to the Traditional Knowledge Working Group, other working groups, and the Board, on all Aboriginal activities within CEMA.
The ACC has the following objectives:
- Implement guidance on Aboriginal initiatives and programs within CEMA’s mandate;
- Ensure effective communication with member organizations, and between community reps and all working groups;
- Ensure opportunities and a supportive forum for equal involvement and participation;
- Encourage opportunities for learning, youth engagement, and capacity building in working group project scoping that is within CEMA’s mandate; and
- Respectful and effective inclusion of traditional knowledge into all working group projects in a way that is meaningful to the Aboriginal member communities.