Richard Boivin

Student Speaker | Étudiant.e
There has been a resurgent interest in Indigenous traditional food systems and wildlife use, however recent documentation of traditional harvest is lacking for northern Quebec. Detailed harvest surveys by the James Bay and Northern Québec Native Harvesting Research Committee for the Cree territory of Eeyou Istchee (1972-79) and the Inuit territory of Nunavik (1976-80) allow us to revisit past harvest data using current multivariate ecological approaches. Using a species-by-community matrix of annual edible kilogram harvested per capita, we first explore how Cree and Inuit communities are positioned and clustered in harvested species space. Then we examine how harvest niche breath varies between communities and how pairwise harvest niche overlap between communities varies with geographic distance and bio-cultural relatedness. For 8 Cree communities and 13 Inuit communities, we show Cree harvest is oriented towards terrestrial and freshwater species with coastal communities differentiating from inland communities, while Inuit harvest is marine species-oriented with some communities having a more specialized harvest and others a more generalized harvest. Pairwise harvest niche overlap between communities decreased with geographic distance and increased with bio-cultural relatedness. These results provide insight into regional and local patterns in harvested wildlife species amongst Indigenous communities of northern Quebec and contribute to a better understanding of the role of culture and the environment in shaping current and future patterns of Indigenous wildlife harvest.