Co-Chairs: Brigitte Leblon (University of New Brunswick)

C. Julián Idrobo (Niskamoon Corporation)

Eeyou Istchee is a traditional Cree territory that has experienced anthropogenic pressures. Cree, who depend on migratory waterfowl for their food security, livelihoods, and lifeways, have witnessed negative trends in eelgrass and migratory waterfowl. The Comprehensive Research Program on Coastal Habitat of Eeyou Istchee is a Cree driven initiative that employs knowledge co-production between Cree Knowledge and western Science. Composed of interrelated scientific components, including waterfowl, eelgrass, coastal oceanography, and river input, together with Cree knowledge, the program aims to examine eelgrass conditions, environmental factors affecting its growth and distribution, and how eelgrass affects migratory waterfowl presence in Eeyou Istchee. We mapped eelgrass health and geese habitats, assessed ocean and river water quality and gathered Cree knowledge to understand environmental change. The purpose of this session is to present preliminary findings of this research program.