Studying the cumulative effects of development to Indigenous land-use practices in Saskatchewan.
IEG worked with the Battle River Indigenous Relations Council (BRIRC) and three Indigenous communities near North Battleford in Saskatchewan to document past and current land-use patterns of community members and assess the cumulative effects of anthropogenic activities on the ability for members to access the land, exercise their rights, practice their culture, and maintain their way of life. Cumulative effects were assessed by modelling how settlement, agriculture, and industry activities have altered the ability of members to access the land and the capacity of ecosystems to support Indigenous practices such as wildlife harvest. Modelling was also completed to estimate ecosystem capacity prior to settlement, thereby providing a pre-settlement baseline for assessing effects. The analysis supported an improved understanding of the land area remaining in the study area that is part of an intact ecosystem and accessible for Indigenous land uses. The study also examined effects to water quality, wildlife habitat, and wildlife hunting opportunity for members, relative to pre-settlement conditions.