(08 11 10) Polar Bear Research Underway in Fort Severn First Nation

Fort Severn First Nation is leading a project to better understand the profile and migration of the Polar Bear population in the area. KORI's Franz Seibel, Dr. Lemelin and Dr. Dowsley of Lakehead University were invited to speak with Elders and trappers in the community about their experiences and knowledge of the species during a community visit October 29-31, 2008. The researchers were pleased with the enthusiasm and interest in this project. Many stories were shared that will be linked to a map of the area. All the data will be owned by the community in keeping with the OCAP Principals (Ownership, Control, Access, Posession). A local coodinator will carry-on the work of collecting traditional knowledge of polar bears and the interaction with people. Councillor Tommy Miles spends a lot of time on the land and is interested in seeing the community understanding and owning information about the Polar Bear population in the area. Chief Mathews stated in an interview with the Chronicle Journal that he wants to see the youth involved and learning about polar bears and the land.See the photos.