Health & Wellbeing
Habitat & Species
Changes in aquatic ecosystem health in the Peel sub-basin are having moderate impacts on the health and wellbeing of local Indigenous communities. Health and wellbeing are closely linked to access to traditional foods. Some traditional harvesters report consuming less fish than in the past in response to declines in fish stocks and concerns about potential contamination to water and fish from upstream sources. Similarly, other harvesters report a reduction in access to preferred fishing areas given the increased frequency of riverbank erosion, lower water levels and more sandbars forming in rivers. Gwich’in and Inuvialuit trappers have reported the disappearance of muskrat populations from the upper Mackenzie River Delta in the past 5 to 10 years, and as a result fewer people consume muskrat as part of their diet. The reduced quality and availability of country foods in the Peel sub-basin is viewed as having a negative impact on the health and wellbeing of indigenous communities as it limits opportunities to practice a traditional way of life and threatens the continuity of local cultures. A low availability of scientific data for levels of country food consumption was found.
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
No data found.
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 Peel sub-basin