Caribou Patrol Program

Caribou Patrol is an Indigenous-led stewardship program that promotes caribou conservation within AWN's traditional territory.

In 2012, AWN started this grassroots program in response to the declining caribou herd populations in west-central Alberta. It is a collaborative effort with support from Environment an​d Climate Change Canada, Foothills Landscape Management Forum (forestry and energy sector companies), Government of Alberta, and fRI Research.

Listen to their interview with Nature Labs

Critical Thinking Questions

  • Caribou Patrol clearly still believes in a future that includes the caribou. Do you?
  • Is the time, money, and controversial strategies, such a wolf culling, justified to keep alive a subspecies?
  • What is the value of a subspecies?
  • How much do we stand to lose if they disappear, given how little we know about their unique role in sustaining unique ecosystems? Do we have a cultural and moral responsibility to save animals like the caribou, even if our resources are stretched thinly? What might we be able to save if we let the caribou go?
  • Do we need more community-driven approaches, like Caribou Patrol, even if larger factors remain the bigger threat?
  • Can community-driven approaches tackle those bigger problems?
  • How much ownership should we all take for both the problems and the solutions?
  • What role do we play – should we play – in determining regulations, strategies, and allocation of public funds?

More on Caribou Patrol Program

Learn more about the program: About the Caribou Patrol Program, Frequently Asked Questions

Favourite Programs: We are particularly proud of being able to partner with the fRI Research Caribou Program. On a few occasions, we have been able to give AWN community members the opportunity to work directly in the western science world and contribute to research projects. On the flip side, those at fRI have been able to learn more about the traditional knowledge of Indigenous peoples and that experience and knowledge transfer has led to a deeper understanding and mutual respect between and among those involved.

We also like the North American Caribou Workshop where people from all over the world gather every 2nd year to discuss conservation of this iconic species on a global scale.