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Trajectory Surveillance Tools for Boreal Caribou Conservation and Management

Finding new applications for modelling individual and population parameters from boreal caribou collaring data for conservation and planning needs.

Ka’a’gee Tu First Nation Exploration of Climate Change, Food Security and Health (Northern Water Futures (NWF))

Establishing adaptation plan to ensure community food security and to build resilience through collaborative work.


Ka’a’gee Tu Atlas: Community-Based Monitoring of Landscape Change (NWF)

Community-based mapping and monitoring project enabling community members record impacts of environmental change and developments on the land.


Investigation into Fish Health and Variable Fish Mercury Concentrations in Regional Lakes (NWF)

Surveying general health and mercury levels in fish in response to community questions regarding fish population status and variable mercury levels in regional lakes.

  • Research location: Kakisa Lake and Tathlina Lake
  • Contact: Deborah MacLatchy, Andrea Lister, Heidi Swanson


Dehcho K’éhodi Community-Based Strategic Planning

Supporting communities to conduct strategic planning for Dehcho K’éhodi land and water stewardship, including Indigenous Guardians.

  • Research location: Kakisa and Sambaa K'e
  • Contact: Alex Latta

Climate Change Adaptation Planning in Sambaa K’e and Ka’a’gee Tu

Conducting climate change planning, share knowledge, and determine research and monitoring needs to enhance community adaptation.

  • Research location: Kakisa and Sambaa K'e
  • Contact: Ka’a’gee Tu First Nation (Laurier contact: Andrew Spring)

Northern Agriculture Futures: Adapting to a Changing Climate Through Agriculture

Addressing barriers that may limit the ability of communities to take advantage of potential agriculture opportunities now, and into the future.

  • Research location: South Slave and Dehcho
  • Contact: Ka’a’gee Tu First Nation (Laurier contact: Andrew Spring)


Neomi Jayaratne

Neomi Jayaratne, Laurier master's student in environmental studies created a video about her research on food security in the Northwest Territories, winning her third place in a Polar Knowledge Canada contest.

Watch the video.

Contact Us:

Laurier Yellowknife Research Office

T: 867.688.2605
Office Location: 5007 – 50th Avenue, Yellowknife, NT, X1A 2P8

For more information, or to participate in our projects, visit our Yellowknife offices and speak with our researchers.

Mapping Knowledge on the Land

Kaitlin Kok in front of water fall

The Ka'a'gee Tu Atlas, a project funded by the Government of the Northwest Territories’ Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program (CIMP), emerged in response to the experiences of community members wanting to map and monitor changes to their lands due to the impacts of development and climate change.

In 2016/17, Masters of Science student Kaitlin Kok worked alongside Elders and knowledge holders to address these concerns by creating a series of maps with the community. Using photos of the past, voice recordings to tell stories, and mapping technology, Kok has been documenting the climatic changes to the land, based on the stories from Elders and traditional knowledge, and its impact on traditional food and community health.

The community has been adding to maps of trails and safe places by documenting potential hazards on the landscape to help them adapt to variable and unsafe conditions that are becoming more frequent with the impacts of climate change.

During her work with the community Kok engaged youth in several on-the- land experiences and taught students how to use mapping technology to document important locations, and record observations of plants, animals and culturally significant areas along their route.

Taking Care of the Land Through Waste Management

group posing in community garden

The Kakisa Waste Management Initiative evolved out of Laurier’s work to create a Climate Change Adaption and Food Security Plan for the community.

In 2014/15, geography and environmental studies doctoral student Andrew Spring interviewed community members about changes they have witnessed to the land, how they were impacting community health and well-being, and what steps the community wanted to take to address these issues. Taking care of the land was a theme that emerged out of this work, and waste management and composting were identified as high priority issues.

In 2015, a grant was obtained through GNWT in partnership with Ecology North and the Ka’a’gee Tu First Nation to start community consultation on how to design the program.

In 2017, Master’s student Michelle Malandra, alongside members of the community, worked to finalize the community plan and put it into action. She ordered infrastructure for the project and worked to engage and educate the youth. She went door-to-door in the community with a translator to speak with Elders and knowledge holders to ensure all members of the community were aware of the program.

In 2018, the community built five waste sorting stations and installed a composter at the school. The program in Kakisa has resulted in approximately a 50% reduction in waste going to the dump.