Healthy people, healthy world, preserving aspects of traditional knowledge and improving its application to environmental assessment

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Inkpen, Tracey
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This study documents the knowledge of bush medicine among the Innu people of Labrador, and considers how this and other forms of traditional knowledge (TK) may be used in decision-making processes, such as environmental impact assessment (EIA). Objectives of the study were: (1) To document Innu knowledge and use of the land, specifically knowledge of Innu bush medicine and its transmission, and propose ways to improve this transmission using the educational system; (2) To examine the EIA process and discuss steps to improve the inclusion of aboriginal knowledge in that process. There were two main research components. One was the author's participation as a member of the research team documenting Innu ecological knowledge for presentation to the Voisey's Bay Nickel Mine Environmental Assessment Panel. This team research involved group and individual interviews. The experiences and observations during this process form the basis for the section on the inclusion of traditional knowledge in environmental assessment. The second research component was the study on Innu ethnobotany. Various informants were questioned on their knowledge of bush medicine in the communities of Sheshatshiu and Utshimassit during and after completion of the first study. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)