CanNorth Community Programs
CanNorth works in numerous capacities with communities and Indigenous peoples, both nationally and internationally. We specialize in designing, completing, and managing Community-based Environmental Monitoring Programs (CB-EMP) and traditional foods studies, and providing capability building and training to Indigenous communities. Descriptions of services and select programs conducted by CanNorth are provided below.
AWG (Athabasca Working Group) Environmental Monitoring Program 2000-2017
The AWG CB-EMP included seven northern Saskatchewan communities located downstream of uranium mining and milling operations. Community members were trained to monitor water, sediment, fish, plants, wildlife, and air quality near their communities either alongside our staff or independently. The sampling locations and components were designed with significant input from community members. Each year, the results were communicated through community brochures and other means. CanNorth conducted the AWG CB-EMP for 17 years before it was replaced by the Yá Thi Néné CB-EMP (see traditional foods studies below).
EARMP (Eastern Athabasca Regional Monitoring Program) 2011-ongoing
The EARMP is a CB-EMP funded by the Province of Saskatchewan in partnership with Cameco Corp., Orano Canada Inc., and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. The EARMP is comprised of a community program and a technical program. The objective of the community program is to ensure the safety of traditionally harvested foods by monitoring and testing foods provided by communities in the eastern Athabasca region of northern Saskatchewan. The technical program was designed to provide long-term environmental data and identify potential cumulative impacts downstream of uranium mining and milling operations. Both components involve a high level of community involvement and communication. Results and more information can be found on the EARMP website.
Traditional Foods Studies
CanNorth conducts research programs that assess consumption patterns and chemical safety of traditional foods hunted and gathered by Indigenous peoples and communities. These programs have a high level of community involvement and capacity building, and include completing dietary questionnaires, collecting and chemically testing traditional foods samples, and evaluating their safety for consumption. Research results are disseminated to community members through written reports, oral presentations, brochures, and discussions at meetings. We have completed traditional foods studies in the Uranium City area for Cameco Corp., at 3 communities/First Nations in northern Saskatchewan as part of the Yá Thi Néné CB-EMP, in partnership with 2 First Nations in Saskatchewan and 2 First Nations in Ontario utilizing Health Canada funding, and in the NWT for the Giant Mine Remediation Project.
Traditional Land Use (TLU)
CanNorth works with Indigenous communities to support development of community-led TLU studies to help communities reach identified goals. CanNorth staff supports community members to collect information from Elders and key knowledge holders, conduct historical research, and explore other information sources. CanNorth compiles information collected by community members into detailed maps and reports, and provides confidential long-term database management and GIS services for TLU clients.
Stakeholder and Rights-holder Engagement and Technical Advisory Services
CanNorth assists clients with rights-holder, stakeholder, and regulatory engagement planning, facilitation, and reporting with the intention of creating meaningful opportunities for those with the greatest potential to be impacted by a project or decision to be heard and involved in the decision-making process. We also work with Indigenous groups and communities to provide technical document reviews, advisory services, and to facilitate informed and effective communication.
CanNorth are EcoCanada certified BEAHR (Building Environmental Aboriginal Human Resources) trainers. The BEAHR program provides nationally recognized certificate training programs for Indigenous communities that are short-term (2 to 16 weeks), culturally relevant, and skill building. As examples, we have provided in-community training programs on environmental monitoring to the Yellowknives Dene First Nation and the Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation.