Clifford Paul

Moose Management Coordinator
Unama’ki Institute of Natural Resources

In advance of the upcoming Indigenous Consultation Atlantic conference, taking place in Moncton on November 7 and 8, 2017, The Canadian Institute took the time to engage with one of the speakers on the program. Conference producer Desiree Finhert interviewed Clifford Paul, the Moose Management Coordinator at the Unama’ki Institute of Natural Resources, in Nova Scotia.

Finhert: Please tell me a little bit about your work as the Moose Management Coordinator for Unama’ki Institute of Natural Resources?

Paul: I am working to build the pillars of what a Mi’kmaq-led moose management plan should look like.  Through community engagement, ongoing discussions with harvesters and community leaders, I have been very successful in bringing Mi’kmaq issues to our Moose Working Group who meet regularly throughout the year.  A strong component of my work is to blend the tenets of traditional knowledge with that of modern Western scientific knowledge and to blend/weave both into the proposed management plan. The MWG is comprised of Mi’kmaq reps, Department of Natural Resources, Parks Canada, etc.  We are also working on a comprehensive management plan for moose that reflects the capacities of our partners – Mi’kmaq, Provincial, and Federal agencies.

Finhert: I understand there are some interesting things happening with moose management in Cape Breton. Can you tell me more about one of your initiatives?

Paul: I’m currently assisting the Cape Breton Highlands National Park’s with its Bringing Back the Boreal project. This involves successive traditional harvests of moose, where there is a hyperabundance, in a specified 20-square kilometre section of North Mountain.  We are also doing community education, prescribed burns, tree-planting, and studying how vegetation respond in the absence of moose.

Finhert: What will be one thing the audience at the conference will learn from your presentation?

Paul: I hope the audience learns that moose and moose habitat is very important to the Mi’kmaq people and that we have successfully provided strong input into the management of both.  It is our way – the Mi’kmaq way – of conveying a unique promotion of aboriginal stewardship. 

Finhert: Which other speaker, or which other presentation, are you interested in hearing while at the conference?

Paul: All of them!

Paul will be discussing “Applying Indigenous Traditional Knowledge and Science” with his co-presenter Cecelia Brooks, who is the Research Director and Indigenous Knowledge Specialist at the Assembly of First Nations Chiefs as well as the Water Grandmother at the Canadian Rivers Institute at the University of New Brunswick. Their discussion will take place, at the Crowne Plaza Downtown hotel in Moncton on November 7, 2017.