Health & Wellbeing
Habitat & Species
Changes in aquatic ecosystem health in the Peace sub-basin are having moderate impacts on the health and wellbeing of Indigenous communities. Maintaining access to preferred traditional foods is viewed as essential to many Indigenous communities because of the nutritional, cultural, and spiritual values linked to these resources and the associated benefits they offer for health and wellbeing. Although fishing, hunting and trapping for country foods are still valued as core cultural practices, many Indigenous communities in the Peace sub-basin report consuming less fish than in the past due to contamination concerns and elevated mercury levels in some fish populations. Access to fishing and trapping areas is also disrupted by lower water levels. A team of scientists, elders and trappers has documented a significant decline in muskrat populations from the Peace-Athabasca Delta in recent decades, and as a result, fewer Indigenous communities consume muskrat as part of their diet. Low availability of scientific data was found for levels of country food consumption in the Peace sub-basin.
The following table summarizes the availability of information for each Health and Wellbeing indicator.
Signs and Signals
Indigenous Knowledge Information and Data
Indigenous Knowledge Availability in Public Sources1
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
Low data availability, inconsistent monitoring.
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
Decreases in the consumption of country foods and access and safety concerns in reaching harvesting areas have been reported in the Peace sub-basin.