This document provides detailed technical guidance and supporting rationale for best practices that should be fully considered by anyone contemplating, undertaking and applying traditional knowledge research. It was created by the Wildlife Management Advisory Council of the North Slope, Canada and its intended audience is traditional knowledge researchers and those organizations – government agencies, co-management bodies, environmental assessment boards, aboriginal authorities and industry – that require and work with traditional knowledge.
The objective of this document is to provide background information and practical guidance for principal investigators (research directors) and other researchers planning to conduct Traditional Knowledge research on the Yukon North Slope (YNS). In reviewing past research in the ISR and other parts of Canada, the authors have
observed that: (1) current research standards across northern Canada vary greatly from one project to the next; (2) a significant amount of the TK research does not meet minimal data quality standards; and, (3) TK research and studies are falling under increasing critical scrutiny, especially where documented TK is at odds with science-based knowledge.3 Well-documented and defensible TK research is important when preparing data/evidence in support of environmental assessment, land and water management, wildlife management, conservation planning, aboriginal
self-government decision making, land claims negotiations, and other applied purposes. These guidelines are an attempt to push standards in the direction of best practices. Researchers should strive for the best possible design and conduct within the constraints imposed by budgets, time, and logistics.