Podcast: Canadian Mountain Podcast

Revitalization of Yukon Salmon Culture

Most of the Yukon Territory is covered by the Yukon River watershed, fed by glacial lakes that flow into the Yukon River system, which is home to diverse species, including salmon. The Salmon people, who are made up of 14 Yukon First Nations, are the stewards and the Indigenous peoples of this land and continue to have a deep connection with salmon.

Canada is home to nearly 20 percent of the world’s surface freshwater (Statistics Canada, 2018), which is an ideal environment for salmon. However, Yukon salmon populations have been declining for decades. For generations of Salmon People, this means losing a connection with their culture, especially with increasingly rare summer fish camps, where knowledge and practices are passed down.

In this episode of the Canadian Mountain Podcast, Chief Nicole Tom of the Little Salmon Carmacks First Nation and Elizabeth MacDonald, Manager of Fisheries at Yukon First Nation Salmon Stewardship Alliance, discuss the history of the Yukon salmon and Salmon People, the multiple factors behind their declines, such as commercial overharvesting, industrial mining and climate change and ultimately, how to move forward. Chief Tom and Elizabeth discuss community-led solutions, conciliatory management, Western science and Indigenous knowledge to revitalize the salmon population and connect the Salmon People to their heritage and the salmon.

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Restoration of culture and land through Tatâga (bison) reintroduction

Welcome to Season 5 of the Canadian Mountain Podcast! We’re starting this season by understanding how reintroducing Tatâga (bison) into the Rocky Mountains is a meaningful part of healing the landscape but also a restoration of the relationship between Indigenous peoples and Tatâga. Buffalo were nearly extirpated from Alberta because of colonization, and Indigenous peoples were removed from their land when Banff National Park was created. This is why the reintroduction of Tatâga is so important for Indigenous peoples and resilient ecosystems, as well as forging a path towards reconciliation. Join us in the conversation as Bill Snow tells us about the Stoney Nakoda Nations report, “Enhancing the Reintroduction of Plains Bison in Banff National Park Through Cultural Monitoring and Traditional Knowledge.” In the second half of the episode, we will hear from Marie-Eve Marchand, who will discuss the ecological, cultural and political impacts of reintroducing Tatâga to their native lands.

Hosts: Sydney Klassen-Rosewarn and Vanessa Forbyster


Bill Snow, Consultation Manager, Stoney Nakota First Nations

Marie-Eve Marchand, Organizer, Bison Belong initiative

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The Mountain Risk Knowledge Exchange Project

Mountain landscapes are dynamic systems, and life in the mountains is inherently exposed to a wide range of natural hazards, including landslides, mudslides, volcanoes, avalanches, earthquakes, wildfires and flooding.

This episode of the Canadian Mountain Podcast focuses on the Mountain Risk Knowledge Exchange, which was designed to integrate citizen and community science into monitoring mountain hazards. This new community-based approach is harnessing Indigenous and non-Indigenous local knowledge and building risk management capacity and resilience in mountain communities.

This podcast episode features Principal Investigator Dr. Glyn Williams-Jones from Simon Fraser University, who is leading the Mountain Risk Knowledge Exchange. The second guest is Juan Anzieta, a PhD student from Simon Fraser University who works alongside Williams-Jones on the project.

They discuss their work in developing an open-access portal, where knowledge is co-produced with contributions from citizen scientists, some of which have gathered local knowledge through generations of observations. Users can also learn from the portal, which is a one-stop-shop of information, data and knowledge related to mountain hazards.

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The Canadian Mountain Assessment

In this episode, we learn more about the Canadian Mountain Assessment, which is a flagship initiative of the Canadian Mountain Network that will clarify what we know, do not know, and need to know about Canada’s diverse and rapidly changing mountain systems. This assessment is led by Dr. Graham McDowell, who is supported by a team of international and Canadian advisors that help steward the project as it moves forward. The assessment is the first of its kind in Canada and the first in the world to put a primary focus on working and collaborating with Indigenous peoples.

Host: Ethan Ward


Dr. Graham McDowell is the Project Leader of the Canadian Mountain Assessment. He has also led community-level projects in the Nepal Himalayas, Peruvian Andes, Rocky Mountains, Greenland, and the Canadian Arctic as well as numerous large-scale assessments of the human dimensions of climate change in cold regions.

Dr. Carolina Adler is a member of the Canadian Mountain Assessment’s International Advisory Committee and Executive Director at the Mountain Research Initiative. She is an environmental scientist and geographer with broad international professional experience with a career spanning both research and practice in the public and private sectors.

Dr. Philippus (Flip) Wester is a member of the Canadian Mountain Assessment’s International Advisory Committee, who provides guidance on the project based on his extensive work on other mountain assessments, specifically the Hindu Kush assessment that examined the Himalaya mountain range.

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International Mountain Day 2021: Sustainable Mountain Tourism

In this extended-length special edition of the Canadian Mountain Podcast, hear all about conserving natural and cultural heritage through sustainable mountain tourism. This episode includes the virtual recording from the Canadian Mountain Network’s webinar for International Mountain Day 2021 that took place on Jan. 26, 2022. The event was originally scheduled for December 2021 but was postponed out of respect for the communities mourning the passing of Nii Gaani Aki Inini (Elder Dave Courchene).

Hear panellists Barbara Wilson (Haida Nation), William Snow (Stoney Nakoda Nation), Isabelle Falardeau (Université Quebec à Trois-Rivières) and Stephanie Yuill (M.Sc, Gov’t of NWT) discuss their insights on sustainable mountain tourism, including the role of conventional vs. ecological tourism, fostering reconciliation, and sustaining and recovering biodiversity. David Suzuki also makes an appearance at the end of the episode to provide his comments on these issues.

This is our longest podcast yet, but this is to preserve many of the thoughtful and insightful ideas and perspectives during the event. If you weren’t able to attend on Jan. 26, then this is the perfect opportunity for you to learn more about sustainable mountain tourism on your own time.

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Behind the scenes with the Canadian Mountain Podcast

On this episode of the Canadian Mountain Podcast, we look inward and discuss the hosting and production process of the team working behind the scenes of this series. We’ve expanded! As the podcast enters its fourth season, we now have new storytellers and co-hosts joining us. And so, we’ve decided to introduce ourselves as a team and share our perspectives with you.

Co-hosts Catalina Berguno and Eric Tanner lead two group panels with members of the Canadian Mountain Network podcast team. The two discussions dive into the team’s history and experiences in the podcast, as well as the expectations for future episodes and other audio endeavours. Each discussion group also touches on the evolution of the podcast’s land acknowledgement and knowledge mobilization initiatives since they’ve joined the team.

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Water quality and security in mountain headwaters

Water is essential for life. Yet, the privilege of water quality and security is often overlooked. Most of Canada’s sustainable water sources come from glacial runoff and mountain headwaters. These same waters are also being threatened by human impacts like pollution and climate change. As the quality of these sources continues to dwindle, communities ranging from sparsely populated mountain towns to major cities will start to feel the impacts.
In this episode of the Canadian Mountain Podcast, we’ll be discussing the significance of water quality and security and how it relates to Canadian mountains. Three CMN experts share their research on water quality in the mountains to discuss effects on wildlife, ecosystems and communities across the country. They also discuss the outlook towards the future of Canada’s water security.
Host: Eric Tanner
• Elliot Fox, member of the Kainai Nation (Blood Tribe) and consultant for CMN’s Knowledge Hub, the Blackfoot Guardianship of East Slope Watersheds
• Matt Coombs, fisheries biologist and consultant for FINtegrate Fisheries & Watershed Consulting, working in collaboration with the Blackfoot Guardianship of East Slope Watersheds.
• Dr. Vincent St Louis, Professor at the University of Alberta and lead for CMN’s project, “From the Mountains to Our Tables: Freshwater Security in Three Canadian Eastern Rocky Mountain Watersheds”.

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Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas

Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas, or IPCAs, are lands and waters where Indigenous governments are at the forefront of protecting and conserving the ecosystems within these areas. IPCAs are also centered around culture, language, and the dedication to conserve these areas for future generations. These areas play a major role in biodiversity conservation and the protection of cultural heritage. In 2015, Canada published a report on the “Biodiversity Goals and Targets for Canada”, stating that by 2020, at least 17 per cent of terrestrial areas would be protected. However, only 12.5 per cent of Canada’s terrestrial areas were protected as of the end of 2020. In this episode of the Canadian Mountain Podcast, host Gabrielle Pyska invites guests Dr. Courtney Mason, a professor in Rural Livelihoods and Sustainable Communities at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, and Eli Enns, the Co-founder of the Ha’uukmin Tribal Park in Clayoquot Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island, to discuss the importance of IPCAs in Canada and other places around the world. We also touch on what listeners of the Canadian Mountain Podcast can do to support the creation of more IPCAs in the future.

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United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and their relation to Canadian mountains

In 2015, the United Nations adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for all member countries to achieve by 2030. These goals encompass all aspects of sustainability from equality to water rights. Despite the importance of these goals and their relevance to today’s problems, the SDGs only represent mountain landscapes in a limited fashion, with mountains mentioned in 2 of the 17 goals. However, mountains cover 26.5 per cent of land on earth and 24 per cent of the landmass in Canada. Host Ethan Ward met virtually with Dr. Pamela Shaw, Courtney Vageouis, and Jenica Ng-Cornish. The three researchers are working with the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region Research Institute to tackle he implementation of the SDGs and determining their place in relation to Canadian mountains. Over the course of the episode, they discuss what SDGs are, why they matter to mountain ecosystems in Canada, and the work that CMN is doing to achieve these goals.

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Mountain research through Indigenous and Western knowledge systems

How do we gain knowledge about mountain systems? Our understanding of mountains has predominantly been studied using Western scientific methods of research. However, Indigenous knowledge and ways of thinking have often been underappreciated, and in some cases, even excluded from mountain research, which leaves an important part of mountain heritage and knowledge unlearned. This is beginning to shift as more scientists and researchers working in mountains embrace and engage with traditional forms of knowledge and learning. Host Eric Tanner met virtually with Leon Andrew and Glen MacKay, who are both involved in scientific research in the Northwest Territories. They explain their research methods and projects, and examine how their respective methods of understanding work together. They also describe how they benefit from this relationship, while also realizing that there is much more work needed to value and integrate Indigenous ways of knowing.

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