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Building Knowledge about Variability in the Abundance and Distribution of Natural Resources: A Case Study on Berry Harvesting from Northern Canada

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Parlee, Brenda; Berkes, Fikret; Teetlit Gwichin Renewable Resources Council
Conference: The Commons in an Age of Global Transition: Challenges, Risks and Opportunities, the Tenth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Oaxaca, Mexico
Conf. Date: August 9-13
Date: 2004
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/1872
Sector: Forestry
Region: North America
Subject(s): IASC
common pool resources--case studies
harvesting--case studies
forest products
traditional knowledge--case studies
information dissemination--case studies
indigenous institutions
Abstract: "Local and traditional knowledge is disappearing at an alarming rate, however, there are examples in many parts of the world, including northern Canada, where new knowledge is being created. This case study on berry harvesting provides valuable insight into how knowledge is generated; specifically knowledge about variability in the abundance and distribution of a common pool resource. Knowledge is created when observations about changes are interpreted and shared from year to year within a family group, the community or across the region. When this knowledge is shared and interpreted over many generations, traditional knowledge is generated. It is argued that the success of berry harvesting in any given year, is dependent upon feedback between what is observed and interpreted and the decisions women make about where, when and with whom to harvest."

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