Health & Wellbeing
Habitat & Species
Changes in aquatic ecosystem health have moderate impacts on the health and wellbeing of Indigenous communities in the Great Slave sub-basin. The inclusion of traditional foods in local diets is viewed as essential to many Indigenous communities because of the nutritional, cultural, and spiritual values linked to these resources. Although fishing, hunting, trapping, and gathering country foods are still viewed as core cultural practices, many Indigenous communities in the sub-basin report consuming less fish than in the past due to many factors, particularly out of concern for elevated levels of mercury, arsenic and other toxins in certain waterbodies and fish populations. Access to preferred fishing sites and harvesting areas is also becoming more difficult and dangerous due to lower water levels such as in the Mackenzie River, Slave River and Slave River Delta. No scientific data was found for levels of country food consumption in the Great Slave sub-basin.
The following table summarizes the availability of information for each Health and Wellbeing indicator.
Indigenous Knowledge Information and Data
Indigenous Knowledge Availability 1
Science Information and Data
Science Data Availability2
Decrease in country food consumption (overall or specific species); access or safety considerations
Many observations from several locations.
Statistics on number of people eating wild food versus store food
No information available.
1 Qualifiers for the availability of local and Indigenous Knowledge observations in publicly available sources: Limited = 1-2 observations; Some = 3-4 observations; Many = 5 or more observations
2 Qualifiers for the availability of science data in publicly available sources: Low = Individual studies or locations; Many = Network of monitoring stations across the basin
Decreased consumption of country foods and access and safety concerns in reaching harvesting areas are reported in the Great Slave sub-basin.