Table 1 Practices and institutions (rules) of northern Indigenous communities for taking care of caribou and dealing with variability in arctic/subarctic ecosystems.
Mechanism and case study exampleAdaptive outcome
Adaptive caribou harvesting—decreased harvesting during periods of decline (and
corresponding increase in harvest of other species and/or substitution for market
foods) (11, 62, 64, 110, 113115)
Decreased hunting pressure on declining resources;
diversification of traditional diets and/or increased
dependence on market foods of lesser nutritional value
Increase in depth of observation by individual harvesters, communities
(39, 54, 92, 93, 114, 116119)
Increase in the scope of traditional knowledge available on
which to make harvest decisions
Increase in organization and communication at larger scales (36, 120, 121)More complex institutional arrangements; opportunities
for cross-scale decision-making
Increased in enforcement of informal property rights (for example,
traditional hunting territory) and rules for caribou harvest (122, 123)
Self-organized enforcement of rules to protect caribou
Strengthening and/or expansion of food sharing networks within
and outside the caribou range (63, 124, 125)
Increase in knowledge generation and transmission (including with
younger generations) within and between communities
Cultural rediscovery, social learning, and innovation to address
food shortages (108, 126)
Increase in the breadth of potential solutions to food shortages
Cultural and spiritual learning (35, 127)New spiritual learning; changes in the sociocultural and spiritual
relationship of people and caribou