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Traditional Knowledge

From Section 3 of Toolkit

Since time immemorial, traditional knowledge (TK) has formed an integral role in how we understand changes to the environment. For First Nation communities, TK continues to serve an important basis in determining the environmental impacts of particular activities, including traditional activities (hunting, fishing, building, etc.). 

Environmental assessment (EA) in the broadest sense is not new to First Nations. However, over time, formalized processes for EA have been introduced and applied to First Nations and their territories. For example, both federal and provincial governments have formulated and regulated processes for EA. It has become necessary for First Nations to participate in these processes in order to have their views considered. 

This section provides advice on how TK can be incorporated into these EA processes. If your community has chosen to engage in an EA process, it may be important to include aspects of TK. This section includes the following topics: 

  • what traditional knowledge is;
  • why to use TK in an environmental assessment;
  • how to protect TK in an environmental assessment;
  • the legal and policy considerations for protecting TK; and
  • the process for conducting TK studies.
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