Caribou Patrol Program

Season 8


"I am pleased to provide support for the nomination of Aseniwuche Winewak Nation (AWN) for the 2015 Emerald Award.

With respect to wildlife restoration, the AWN has successfully led the Caribou Patrol Project. This project was created to enhance repopulation efforts of the Woodland Caribou in the Grande Cache region. Patrol crews diligently monitor roadways to prevent caribou-vehicle collisions, collect data on caribou sightings and educate citizens on caribou behavior...

The work of AWN is first-class, and I fully endorse this organization to be the successful recipient of the 2015 Emerald Award."         
~ Honourable Robin Campbell, MLA West Yellowhead, President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance

"The Caribou Patrol Program is an outstanding example of a multi-faceted and flexible program that will support the caribou conservation initiatives of the FLMF [Foothills Landscape Management Forum], its members, the Alberta government, and other partners. I expect that the Caribou Patrol Program will increase in importance and prominence when Alberta completes the ongoing Range Plan for the Little Smoky and A La Peche caribou herds sometime this year."

~ Rick Bonar, PhD, P. Biol., Chief Biologist, Hinton Wood Products, West Fraser Mills Ltd.

"The tools of government often focus on legislative and policy instruments, however, community level outreach and education can also be a powerful influence on achieving conservation outcomes. The work of Aseniwuche Winewak Nation through their Caribou Patrol Program provides important engagement and outreach to daily users of the lands of the Little Smoky and A La Peche woodland caribou ranges. Place-based initiatives and involvement of local communities are important to building awareness, understanding and fostering involvement in collaborative actions."

~ Dave Hervieux, Regional Resource Manager - Peace Region, and Provincial Woodland Caribou Management Coordinator

"As Minister of the Environment, I seek the highest level of environmental quality in order to enhance the well-being of Canadians. In this regard, one of my priorities is to encourage and support individuals and organizations engaged in activities to maintain or restore wildlife populations, in particular migratory birds and species at risk, to target levels. [The Caribou Patrol Program's] contribution is an essential part of the environmental agenda."

~ The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, P.C., M.P., Minister of the Environment

"Aseniwuche Winewak Nation of Canada has demonstrated leadership, creativity and success to the Caribou Patrol Program. Through periodic patrols they collect valuable information on industry and public use of roads and collection of wildlife sightings to gather knowledge that assists in the recovery efforts for Woodland Caribou in the Foothills of West Central Alberta. They also promote public awareness through effectively communicating the purpose of the Caribou Patrol Program to the road users and general public."

~ Dwight Weeks, RPFT, Planning Coordinator, Canadian Forest Products Ltd.

"ANC is proud to be part of such a successful initiative that actually delivers something meaningful on the ground."

~ Greg Branton, Alberta Newsprint Company

"This project meant keeping wildlife protected, and speaking for nature and animals that need a voice in their time of need. It means lots to me, in regards to "good deeds". It's a project that makes a person feel like they are actually making a difference."
~ Cheyenne Delorme, former Caribou Patrol Crew Member

"Caribou are an iconic Canadian species whose long term persistence in Alberta, and across the boreal forest, is threatened by habitat disturbance and associated increased predation risk. A well informed public that is aware of caribou, and what is driving their decline, is a vital part of conservation.

The Caribou Patrol EduKits provide such an avenue to educate the public about caribou. As a scientist that has spent nearly 17 years in wildlife biology, and the last 4 years focused upon caribou, I value any resources that make communication of conservation issues digestible to those outside academia. 

The Caribou Patrol EduKits are a valuable tool and the Caribou Program at fRI supports their nomination for this [Emerald] award."

~ Laura Finnegan, PhD, CBiol, Program Lead and Research Scientist, Caribou Program, Foothills Research Institute

"Hinton Wood Products is using the [Caribou Patrol Program EduKit] Industry version as part of our staff and contractor training program."

 ~ Rick Bonar, PhD, P. Biol., Chief Biologist, Hinton Wood Products, West Fraser Mills Ltd.

"The Caribou Patrol EduKits are a tremendous outreach tool that engages industry, students and the general public by providing important and easy to understand information regarding caribou. Further, the three EduKits (students, industry and public) are tailored to their target audiences communicating important information about caribou while also providing simple suggestions as to how to help protect them. 

Additionally, the Caribou Patrol EduKits are the outcome of a partnership between industry operators via the FLMF, Aseniwuche Winewak Nation of Canada, the Government of Alberta and the federal government via Environment Canada. The creation of this partnership provides a strong, diverse voice to the caribou issue and the EduKits themselves."

~ Terence Hughes, Regulatory and Community Affairs Advisor, Paramount Resources Ltd.

"The Caribou Patrol Program has shown to be a viable program as the main objectives are to reduce the potential of vehicle collisions, collect data on wildlife sightings, collect data on physical barriers to deter highway vehicles and to enhance caribou management education and outreach initiatives. The three educational kits were designed to reach different interest groups. The educational kits are informative, easy to read and give a good perspective of caribou in the Foothills and West Central Alberta."

~ Dwight Weeks, RPFT, Planning Coordinator, Canadian Forest Products Ltd.

"Overall, the information in the CP EduKits is very well done and very thorough. I especially like seeing the local information on our regional herds and population numbers and ranges - that hits home. Well done!"

~ Scott Sunderwald, Visitor Services Supervisor, Alberta Tourism, Parks & Recreation

"Your session was hugely well received on the part of the teachers (as evidence by so many following up) - I can tell you from experience, usually what happens is people 'mean to' and put it on their to-do list...then don't! That's definitely testimony to a great session."
~ Steve McIsaac, Inside Education

Joe Karakuntie has provided the following statement via a translator.

"He said that the Caribou Patrol Program is a good program. He went on to say that there used to be a lot of caribou, in or about 1966 he saw a bunch of Caribou in Between Grande and Flood Mountain. He does not know what happened to them. He went on to say another elder told a story when people arrived at what is now called “Town of Grande Cache”. There were people shooting mountain goats, he said maybe this is how the caribou disappeared also.

He also went on to say, one Elder had said, the Caribou does not have the stamina to travel long distances, it will run for about a half a mile, than stop to catch its breath. It is why the Caribou are easy game from the predators."

~ Joe Karakuntie, AWN Elder. He lives at the Kamisak Enterprise. He is seventy one years old. Translated and transcribed by Garry McDonald