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Blackwater Mine and the collaborative moose health monitoring program Lis, Doron 2016

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  BLACKWATER MINE and the COLLABORATIVE MOOSE HEALTH MONITORING PROGRAM    by  Doron Lis  B.Sc., University of Victoria, 2001  D.V.M., Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, 2009   A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF   MASTER OF APPLIED SCIENCE in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE AND POSTDOCTORAL STUDIES (Mining Engineering)  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver)   April 2016  © Doron Lis, 2016 ii  Abstract  In response to the rapid rate of multiple natural resource developments in British Columbia (BC) First Nations across the province are raising concern about the health and safety of traditional food or „country food‟ sources. This concern has led to a large number of requests by BC First Nations to monitor country foods. Furthermore, a progressive approach to environmental assessment of mines in BC includes the implementation of a program to assess and monitor country foods especially when mine developments occur on or near First Nations traditional food gathering lands. Such monitoring programs can also be incorporated into Impact Benefit Agreements, which have become a key social tool for mining companies working on or near Aboriginal lands. The mining industry in BC has only recently begun to specifically assess the potential impacts of mining on country foods. However, this assessment has lacked both depth and guidance. New Gold, a mid-tier mining company, has implemented a „Country Food Monitoring Plan‟ as part of an application for an environmental impact assessment of the proposed Blackwater Mine in central BC. In particular, moose were identified by local First Nations as a country food of primary concern. This report describes a unique collaboration between New Gold and the Lhoosk‟uz Dene Nation and hunting guide outfitters, with support from wildlife veterinarians to develop and pilot the implementation of a moose health monitoring program. The goal is to establish a community-based monitoring program to provide information to First Nations and others on moose health and any potential threats via ingestion of country foods to humans throughout all stages, including construction, operation and post-closure, of the Blackwater Mine. This research can be used by industry, government, First Nations, and other stakeholders to provide a framework and model to approach the assessment and monitoring of the health and safety of country foods near mining development and other natural resource extractive activities.   iii  Preface  Seeking to apply my veterinary and wildlife biology towards larger picture themes, I have pursued a Masters of Applied Science in Mining Engineering at University of British Columbia (UBC) to study the relationships between wildlife, public health and mining. I was also a UBC Bridge Program scholar (accelerated graduate program), requiring that I complete an internship.   As such, I had been in touch with Helen Schwantje, Wildlife Veterinarian for the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (BCMFLNRO), regarding developing a project to link wildlife veterinary health and the mining industry. Helen suggested, the possibility of developing a program to address a concern brought up during a prior conversation with Neil Gauthreau, Natural Resource Manager for Lhoosk‟uz Dene Nation (LDN), regarding potential impacts of the proposed Blackwater Mine on local wildlife. Neil had shared with Helen concerns voiced by the LDN on the health and safety of moose, a country food of cultural and dietary importance for the LDN.  Hence, pursuant conversations with Neil, Helen, Tim Bekhuys (the Director of Environment and Sustainability at New Gold)  and myself led to the creation of an 8-month long Mitacs internship (August, 2015 through March, 2016) with the aim to develop what came to be termed a „Collaborative Moose Health Monitoring Program‟ (CMHMP).   Developing and implementing the CMHMP has also formed the basis for my thesis. As such, I began developing the program several months ahead of the official internship start date.     Features of this program also emerged under the guidance and support from my UBC academic supervisors, Dr. Malcolm Scoble and Dr. Janis Shandro and, are informed by their ongoing work on Mining and  Aboriginal Health research funded, in part, by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (e.g., Shandro, Ostry, and Scoble 2012). Although my internship and academic supervisors providence guidance, I ultimately identified the specifics and developed the design for this research. I also personally coordinated, developed and conducted all aspects of the research including: facilitation of a wildlife health workshop with the LDN; meetings with hunting guide outfitters, as well as with coordinators of with other research programs; sample kit design, preparation and distribution to hunters; sampling protocol, sample chain of custody, shipping samples to laboratories for analysis, and program framework; interpreting results of iv  analysis and completing this thesis that reports on all of these features of the program (including analysis of research data).  I have been invited to present this research at the International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA) Conference (May 11-14, 2016, Japan) and an article that provides an overview this research, pertaining to all sections of the thesis with the exception of Chapter 5,  has been accepted for publication in the conference proceedings. I am the primary author of this paper titled, „Collaborative Moose Health Monitoring Program: Expanding the scope of traditional risk assessments to include country foods‟ and I wrote the entire paper, although it has also been reviewed by co-authors Malcolm Scoble, Janis Shandro, and Aleck Ostry.  As well, I have also been invited to present this research at the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) Convention (May 1-4, 2016, Vancouver, BC), and I have submitted the same paper described above to be published in the conference proceedings.   Since this project initially also sought to collect traditional knowledge from First Nations it was subject to review by the UBC, Office of Research Services, Behavioural Research Ethics Board (UBC BREB Number: H15-00584). This included provision to the board for review of a poster for survey participant recruitment, a consent form, a copy of the proposed data sharing agreement, and a summary of the proposed methodology.  While the review of this project did receive a certificate of approval by the ethics board, traditional knowledge collection activities, in the end, were not conducted. However, this proposed framework can potentially be used in future phases of the moose monitoring program should surveys of traditional knowledge be pursued in the future. v  Table of Contents  Abstract .......................................................................................................................................... ii Preface ........................................................................................................................................... iii Table of Contents ...........................................................................................................................v List of Tables ..................................................................................................................................x List of Figures ............................................................................................................................... xi List of Abbreviations .................................................................................................................. xii Acknowledgements .................................................................................................................... xiv Dedication ................................................................................................................................... xvi Chapter 1: INTRODUCTION ......................................................................................................1 1.1 Regional context ............................................................................................................. 3 1.2 Research approach .......................................................................................................... 4 1.2.1 Statement of problem .................................................................................................. 4 1.2.2 Purpose of research ..................................................................................................... 5 1.3 Research significance...................................................................................................... 6 1.4 Thesis overview .............................................................................................................. 7 Chapter 2: LITERATURE REVIEW ..........................................................................................8 2.1 Introduction ..................................................................................................................... 8 2.2 Public image of the mining industry and sustainability .................................................. 9 2.2.1 Replenishing a tarnished image: the mining industry ................................................. 9 2.2.2 Social license to operate.............................................................................................. 9 2.2.3 Sustainability and mining industry initiatives........................................................... 12 vi  2.2.4 Commitments by the mining industry to sustainable development .......................... 12 2.3 Importance of country foods to First Nations ............................................................... 14 2.3.1 Food security, traditional foods and Aboriginal health ............................................ 15 2.4 Barriers to traditional food practices: Linking mining to Aboriginal Health outcomes 16 2.5 Health perspectives and relevant terminology .............................................................. 18 2.6 Where country foods, EA and mining: Blackwater Mine............................................. 21 2.6.1 Components of the BC EA relevant to country foods .............................................. 22 2.6.2 CEAA and the EIS .................................................................................................... 24 2.6.3 Application of the CMHMP to the EA of the Blackwater Mine .............................. 29 2.7 HHRA, country foods and diet surveys ........................................................................ 30 2.7.1 Diet surveys .............................................................................................................. 31 2.7.2 Inclusion of country foods into EA by the mining industry in BC ........................... 32 2.8 Negotiated agreements and country foods .................................................................... 33 2.9 Initiatives to assess and monitor country foods near extractive industry activity ........ 35 2.9.1 Studies on the effects of metals from mines in BC in wild ungulates ...................... 35 2.9.2 Other Canadian investigations of contaminants in country foods ............................ 36 Athabasca oil sands ........................................................................................... 36 Northern Contaminants Program ...................................................................... 37 First Nations food, nutrition and environment study ........................................ 37 2.10 Relevant moose research............................................................................................... 38 2.10.1 The Dehcho Moose Program ................................................................................ 39 2.10.2 Sahtu Wildlife Health Program ............................................................................. 39 2.10.3 BC Provincial Moose Research Program ............................................................. 40 vii  Chapter 3: METHODOLOGY ...................................................................................................42 3.1 Proposed framework ..................................................................................................... 42 3.1.1 Community-based participatory approach ................................................................ 44 3.1.2 Sampling strategy...................................................................................................... 45 3.1.3 Sample size ............................................................................................................... 47 3.1.4 Program coordination and sample collection ............................................................ 50 3.1.5 Sampling kits ............................................................................................................ 51 3.1.6 Temporal boundaries ................................................................................................ 52 3.2 Promotion and piloting Phase 1 .................................................................................... 53 3.2.1 Hunter training and Wildlife Health Workshop ........................................................ 53 3.3 Baseline data and sample collection ............................................................................. 56 3.3.1 Wildlife health assessment ........................................................................................ 56 Body condition assessment ............................................................................... 58 Disease screening .............................................................................................. 59 Fecal parasite screening .................................................................................... 60 Aging................................................................................................................. 61 Archived tissues ................................................................................................ 62 Indicators of physiological stress ...................................................................... 63 3.4 Analysis and reporting of results .................................................................................. 64 3.4.1 Metal analyses ........................................................................................................... 64 3.4.2 Knowledge translation and reporting ........................................................................ 65 Chapter 4: RESULTS and ANALYSES ....................................................................................66 4.1 Body fat and body condition assessment ...................................................................... 71 viii  4.2 Metal analysis ............................................................................................................... 71 4.3 Aging............................................................................................................................. 72 4.4 Fecal parasitology ......................................................................................................... 73 4.5 Disease screening .......................................................................................................... 73 Chapter 5: COMPARISON of the CMHMP and HVUHP ......................................................75 5.1 HVUHP overview ......................................................................................................... 75 5.1.1 Select methodologies of the HVUHP ....................................................................... 76 5.1.2 Related studies at HVCM ......................................................................................... 76 5.2 Program comparison ..................................................................................................... 77 5.2.1 Approach to assessment and monitoring .................................................................. 80 5.2.2 Protocol instruction and training ............................................................................... 80 5.2.3 Experimental design.................................................................................................. 81 5.2.4 Laboratory analysis ................................................................................................... 81 5.2.5 Individual animal data collected ............................................................................... 82 5.2.6 Additional features .................................................................................................... 82 5.2.7 Comparison summary ............................................................................................... 82 Chapter 6: DISCUSSION............................................................................................................84 6.1 Comparison of CMHMP results to other studies .......................................................... 84 6.1.1 Parasitology and disease testing................................................................................ 84 6.1.2 Metal analysis ........................................................................................................... 85 Chapter 7: CONCLUSION .........................................................................................................93 Chapter 8: LIMITATIONS AND CHALLENGES ..................................................................95 Chapter 9: RECOMMENDATIONS .........................................................................................99 ix  CLOSING REMARKS ..............................................................................................................107 BIBLIOGRAPHY ......................................................................................................................108 APPENDICES ............................................................................................................................138 Appendix A Advertisement for the community-based coordinator position .......................... 138 Appendix B Wildlife Health Workshop Agenda .................................................................... 139 Appendix C Datasheet supplied in sampling kits ................................................................... 140 Appendix D Sample Protocol Sheet ....................................................................................... 141 Appendix E List of contacts for the CMHMP ........................................................................ 142 Appendix F Estimated total metal concentrations (mg/kg) in moose specimens from Phase 1 of the CMHMP ............................................................................................................................ 144 Appendix G One page summary for Phase 1 of the CMHMP ................................................ 147  x  List of Tables  Table 3.1 Materials included in sampling kits in Phase 1. ............................................................ 52 Table 3.2 CMHMP Phase 1 biological samples requested from hunters. .................................... 57 Table 4.1 Summary of moose sampled during Phase 1 of the CMHMP ...................................... 66 Table 4.2 Frequency that each tissue specimen was collected by hunters from sampled moose (n=6) .............................................................................................................................................. 69 Table 4.3  Metal concentrations of moose tissues collected in Phase 1 of the CMHMP ............. 72 Table 4.4 Summary of fecal parasitology test results. .................................................................. 73 Table 4.5 Serology assessment for BVDV, Neospora and PI3..................................................... 74 Table 5.1 Comparison of framework of the CMHMP (Phase 1) and the Highland Valley Ungulate Health Program (HVUHP). ........................................................................................... 78 Table 6.1 Comparison of metal concentrations in mg/ kg wet weight of moose muscle (a), kidney (b), and liver (c) samples from the CMHMP, FNFNES, and Dehcho Moose Program ............... 87 Table 9.1 Summary of the limitations encountered in Phase 1 of the CMHMP and associated recommendations for future phases of the program. .................................................................. 100      xi  List of Figures  Figure 2.1 Map of asserted territories of First Nations in relation to the proximity of the proposed Blackwater Mine. .......................................................................................................................... 28 Figure 3.1 Schematic of the framework and approach to assess and monitor moose in the three proposed phases of the CMHMP. ................................................................................................. 43 Figure 3.2 Map of the region surrounding the proposed Blackwater Mine and the CMHMP study area ................................................................................................................................................ 49 Figure 3.3 Model of the timeline or lifecycle of a mine. .............................................................. 53 Figure 3.4 Photographs from the wildlife health workshop in Kluskus ....................................... 54 Figure 3.5 Biological samples requested from hunters in Phase 1 of the CMHMP ..................... 58 Figure 3.6 Set of five Nobuto filter paper strips. .......................................................................... 60 Figure 3.7 Photograph of set of front teeth ................................................................................... 62 Figure 4.1 Map that was included in Phase 1 CMHMP sampling kits ......................................... 67 Figure 4.2 A submitted sampling kit from Phase 1 of the CMHMP. ........................................... 68 Figure 4.3 Insufficient blood collection on paper strips; .............................................................. 69 Figure 4.4 A hunted moose (ID A10) sampled during Phase 1 of the CMHMP .......................... 70  xii  List of Abbreviations AAND – Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development AIR – Application Information Requirements AFN – Assembly of First Nations BC – British Columbia BCEAA – British Columbia Environmental Assessment Act BCEOA – British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office BCMFLNRO – British Columbia Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations BCMH – British Columbia Ministry of Health BVDV – Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus CBC – Canadian Broadcast Corporation CDC – Center for Disease Control CEAA – Canadian Environmental Assessment Act CFMP – Country Food Monitoring Plan CIM – Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum CMHMP – Collaborative Moose Health Monitoring Program COPC – Chemical of Potential Concern CSR – Corporate Social Responsibility CSR – Corporate Social Responsibility EA – Environmental Assessment EIS – Environmental Impact Statement HHRA – Human Health Risk Assessment HHERA – Human Health and Ecological Risk Assessment ERM – Environmental Resources Management FAO – Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations FNFNES – First Nations Food Nutrition and Environment Study GRI – Global Reporting Index HVCM – Highland Valley Copper Mine HVUHP – Highland Valley Ungulate Health Program IBA – Impact Benefit Agreement ICMM – International Council on Mining and Metals IIED – International Institute for Environment and Development IKT – Integrated Knowledge Translation INAC – Indian and Northern Affairs Canada LDN – Lhoosk‟uz Dene Nation MAC – Mining Association of Canada MMSD – Mining, Minerals and Sustainable Development NCP – Northern Contaminants Program NQA – National Quality Assurance PHAC – Public Health Agency of Canada PI3 – Parainfluenza3 Virus PTWI – Provisional Tolerable Weekly Intake QA/ QC – Quality Assurance/ Quality Control SLTO – Social License to Operate xiii  Abbreviations continued  SME – Society of Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration TK – Traditional Knowledge TSM – Towards Sustainable Mining UBC – University of British Columbia WBCSD – World Business Council for Sustainable Development WHO – World Health Organization BCMELP – British Columbia Ministry of Environment, Land and Parks   xiv  Acknowledgements  This program would not have been possible without the cooperation and participation of many individuals as well as organizations that supported the facilitation of this program. This is truly an interdisciplinary endeavor requiring the meshing together of expertise and insight on the environmental assessment process, wildlife and public health, First Nations and the mining industry. Such a program requires the ongoing support of several individuals along with the time and input provided by so many individuals not mentioned below.  Foremost, I am grateful to the Lhoosk‟uz Dene Nation (LDN) for welcoming me into their community and for taking the time to participate in this program.  Community members shared their thoughts, concerns and perspective, which are key to providing context and enabling me to understand the human element of this program. In particular, I would like to thank LDN hunters for collecting moose data and samples and welcoming me to tag along during a hunting trip in their traditional territory.  I am especially thankful to both Neil Gauthreau for sparking the interest in developing a program to monitor moose and, Helen Schwantje who recommended that I consider developing this program. Neil has been instrumental, providing to me constant insight, tirelessly promoting the program and acting as the community-based coordinator, liaison and facilitator of every aspect of this program. Helen has offered both feedback and logistical support throughout. Helen is perhaps the key authority of wildlife health in BC. Her collaboration has further legitimized this program, and, along with her charisma and natural way with people, helped to rally the support and trust of community members and as well as the mining industry.   I am indebted to my academic supervisors Janis Shandro and Malcolm Scoble, University of British Columbia (UBC), Department of Mining Engineering, who have provided encouragement, support and invaluable guidance throughout these endeavors. Additionally, I am grateful to my other graduate committee members, Judit Smits (University of Calgary, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine) and Dirk Van Zyl (UBC, Department of Mining Engineering) for xv  reviewing this manuscript and attending my examining my defense I am also thankful for being part of the UBC Bridge Program, which provided additional direction and support during this process.  I also want to thank Tim Bekhuys, on behalf of New Gold, for accepting me as an intern and taking the progressive approach of drawing on non-traditional expertise of veterinarians to assess the impacts of mining.  I would also like to thank hunting guide outfitters (Jim Linnell, Maureen and David Harrington, John Blackwell) who provided practical suggestions and collected data and samples for the program. Finally, I am grateful for the opportunity provided by the Mitacs Accelerate program as well as the co-funding and support for this internship by New Gold Inc. and the BCMFLNRO.  xvi  Dedication  To my partner in life, Bernadette, who has provided me unfaltering support and patience.   1  Chapter 1: INTRODUCTION In British Columbia (BC) the rapid rate of multiple natural resource developments has amplified concerns about the health and safety of country foods. Country foods, also called traditional foods, are those harvested through hunting, gathering or fishing activities (Health Canada 2010a). This issue is gaining concern among First Nations, regulatory agencies and mining companies. For example, in northeastern BC, resource extractive industry expansion has prompted a comprehensive human health risk assessment by the BC Ministry of Health that includes addressing concerns about the quality of country foods (Fraser Basin Council 2012). In central BC, untended concerns voiced by the ?Esdilagh Nation regarding impacts of the Gibraltar Mine triggered an independent Health Impact Assessment (personal communication, J. Shandro1, 2015). As well, the Mount Polley Tailings Dam Breach in August, 2014 triggered an environmental impact assessment that includes addressing concerns by First Nations of potentially affected country foods (BCEAO 2015b). Concern about the health and safety of wildlife in the face of these rapid extractive industry/ mining development coupled with the environmental disaster of Mount Polley has resulted in many requests by BC First Nation communities to assess and monitor traditional wildlife food sources (personal communication, H. Schwantje2, 2015).   Traditional diets of Aboriginal people are derived from animals (i.e. meat and fish), plants (i.e. berries) and mushrooms found on the land and in the waters around their communities. For Aboriginal people, hunting and the consumption of country food contributes to cultural and social well-being as well as to food security (AAND 2015). Indeed, Aboriginal peoples of BC may well have just cause to be concerned about their food security. A study on First Nations                                                  1 Dr. Janis Shandro is a Population Health Specialist, Adjunct Professor at the University of Victoria, and an Academic Supervisor of Rocky Lis. 2 Dr. Helen Schwantje is the Wildlife Veterinarian for the BCMFLNRO and has provided guidance and technical support during development and facilitation of the CMHMP.  2  food and nutrition in BC reported food insecurity to affect 41% of First Nation households living on reserve (Chan et al. 2011). Since diet quality is improved when traditional foods are consumed, the report recommends a return to country foods.   Additionally, there is limited guidance available with respect to the sampling and analysis of country foods. Neither provincial nor federal impact assessments of mines address specifically how concerns about country foods should be considered (personal communication, S. McNaughton3, 2015). Typically, country foods are assessed using a multi-pathway exposure model of human health risks related to contaminated sites (Health Canada, 2010). Although assessment of contaminants is important, it is a narrow focus. A more robust assessment of country foods includes a broader evaluation of animal health, and one that perhaps more closely embraces holistic views of health that have been cultivated by Aboriginal people (Stephens, Parkes, and Chang 2007). Increasingly, addressing concerns over country foods in BC is becoming a key condition for mines to be granted a social license to operate (SLTO).  SLTO is the 5th greatest business risk currently facing the mining and metals industry (Ernst & Young 2015), with this risk being particularly evident in BC (Wilson et al. 2013). The inability to obtain a SLTO as a result of inadequately addressing the concerns of a community has led to the abandonment or postponement of mining projects (Ernst & Young 2015). Taseko‟s failed bids for an EA permit for the New Prosperity Gold-Copper Project (2013/ 2014) in BC presents a stark example of a failure by the mining industry to obtain a SLTO. In part, the permit was rejected as authorities deemed that the proponents did not provide a sufficient assessment to conclude that project activities would not contaminate traditional food sources of First Nations (Doyle 2013). Given the significance of country foods to First Nations and that the success of a mine permit application can hinge on the perceived support of local communities; there is ample justification for improved integration of country foods into the assessment process. Moreover, a                                                  3 Steve McNaughton is a Project Assessment Officer for the BCEAO.  3  progressive approach to assessment of mining projects in BC would include a rigorous evaluation of the health and safety of country foods.  Health Canada participates in the EA process as a Federal Authority (under Section 20 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (Government of Canada 2012)) in the evaluation of potential human health impacts of environmental effects of proposed projects by providing expertise on issues such as of country foods (Health Canada 2012). Health Canada requests that proponents of mine projects include an evaluation of the potential for country food contamination within a Human Health Risk Assessment (HHRA). Mine proponents in BC have used Health Canada‟s guidelines for HHRA for country foods (Health Canada 2010a) as a framework to conduct baseline assessments of country foods. During the past decade several prospective mine projects in BC have incorporated the assessment of country foods into their EA (e.g., Murray River Coal Project (Rescan 2013b), Galore Creek (Rescan and Rescan Tahltan 2006), Schaft Creek Project (Rescan 2008), Harper Creek Project (ERM Rescan 2014), Ajax Project (Stantec 2015), and Brucejack Gold Mine Project (Rescan 2013a)). Although a step in the right direction, these endeavors to consider potential impacts to country foods are still inadequate. These approaches do not attempt to evaluate the overall health of wildlife species, and while some of these assessments may include sampling of select „indicator species‟ (which may not be representative of country foods), they have relied largely on theoretical models to assess risks of contaminants. Yet, the implementation of these programs marks a progressive move by the mining industry to address needs and concerns of First Nations regarding the health and safety of their traditional food sources and ultimately their food security along with the protection of their traditional ways and identity.  1.1 Regional context New Gold Inc., a mid-tier mining company, has applied for an EA Certificate to develop the Blackwater Gold Project. The proposed project is an open pit gold and silver mine and ore processing facilities with a nominal milling rate capacity of 60,000 t/d (22 Mt/y) over 17 years, situated approximately 110 km south of Vanderhoof in central BC (Amec 2012). The project 4  triggered an EA requiring independent, yet coordinated provincial and federal reviews that commenced January, 2016 (BCEAO 2016).  As part of the EA, New Gold has proposed a Country Foods Monitoring Plan (CFMP) to determine if project activities will adversely impact country foods (Amec 2014b). The CFMP report describes the design of a sampling program to track changes in metals concentrations in tissues of indicator species that could act as pathways for contaminant to people. The report notes that, while not included within the CFMP, moose should also be sampled since they are an important food source to First Nations. The report also indicates that studying such a mobile species is difficult and that further consultation and research is needed to develop a plan to monitor moose. Furthermore, New Gold resolved to incorporate a proposed monitoring plan for moose (Amec 2014c).  1.2 Research approach  1.2.1 Statement of problem There is ample need and justification for a plan to assess and monitor the status of moose health near the Blackwater Mine. Provincial moose surveys suggest that population declines of 50–70% have occurred in some areas of interior BC within the last decade (Kuzyk and Heard 2014). The Blackwater Mine is located between the Cariboo, central Omineca, and the North Thompson regions, which are areas identified within provincial surveys as having large moose population declines. While a 5-year (December 2013–March 2018) provincially coordinated moose research project to investigate these moose declines is underway (Government of BC 2015), this has not included monitoring or sampling moose in the area near the proposed Blackwater Mine (personal communication, S. Marshall4, 2015). Additionally, the baseline account of moose near the Blackwater Mine that is discussed in the EA for the Blackwater mine (ERM 2016) does not  use the most current data available (e.g., Kuzyk and Heard 2014) for moose in this region. The Lhoosk'uz Dene Nation (LDN), one of two First Nations with traditional territories overlapping the Blackwater Mine footprint (as recognized by the provincial government) (personal                                                  4 Shelly Marshall is a Wildlife Biologist (Omineca Region) for the BCMFLNRO. 5  communication, N. Gauthreau, 2015), specifically requested sampling of moose for contaminants. Moose are consumed in large amounts by the LDN and a primary concern is of the potential of heavy metal and other forms of contamination affecting wetlands, which are attractive habitats to moose (Amec 2014c). Furthermore, LDN have requested a baseline assessment of the current state of contaminants in tissues of moose that LDN rely on for food (Amec 2014c). Moose are also the primary game targeted by hunting guide outfitters with territories near the Blackwater Mine. Thus, guide outfitters also support the plan to monitor moose in the area. Some guide outfitters expressed the concern that exploratory activities of the mine may have already impacted local moose abundance and that further mine development may limit their ability to locate and hunt moose in their territory (personal communication, anonymous hunter guide outfitter, 2015). Additionally, Daryll Hebert, a former wildlife consultant to the Ulkatcho Nation, emphasized the importance of evaluating the overall health of moose and not just metal concentrations. Hebert describes that „the New Gold Project is an additive set of impacts at the end of a cumulative effects process that could tip the scales‟. Hebert lists mountain pine beetle, road construction, logging and wolves as  pre-existing factors already impacting ungulate populations in the region (Amec 2014c). These factors are also consistent with factors thought to be the cause of decline of moose populations as observed in the provincial moose study (Government of BC 2015).   1.2.2 Purpose of research This report describes a unique collaboration of New Gold with the cooperation of the LDN, along with hunting guide outfitters, and supported by wildlife veterinarians and biologists to develop and pilot the implementation of a collaborative moose health monitoring program (CMHMP). This collaborative initiative highlights a scenario where the traditional approach of the mining industry to evaluate a project is broadened to incorporate a more interdisciplinary approach to environmental assessment. The ultimate goal is to establish a moose health database via the implementation of a community-based monitoring program that will provide information to First Nations and others on moose health, as well as any potential threats to humans throughout all stages of the Blackwater Mine.   Specific goals of this research are:  6   1) To develop the framework for an ongoing and collaborative monitoring program that  can provide information to Aboriginal communities on the health of moose as well as any  risks associated with their consumption near the Blackwater Mine;  2) To promote and pilot the program with the LDN and local hunter guide outfitters;  3) To establish baseline data on the health of hunted moose and the concentration of  heavy metals in select tissues ahead of further mine development  4) To report preliminary results to the LDN community   1.3 Research significance While a primary focus is wildlife health, this study also seeks to incorporate a „One Health‟ approach to monitor and assess the country foods of Aboriginal people by meshing veterinary, ecological, and human health disciplines. One Health is defined as the collaborative efforts of multiple disciplines working locally, nationally, and globally, to attain optimal health for people, animals, and our environment (One Health Initiative 2016). The One Health approach has been adopted nationally (the Public Health Agency of Canada acknowledges that One Health strategies enhance the Social Determinants of Health and is pursuing activities consistent with this approach (PHAC 2013)) and internationally (WHO employs the „OneHealth Tool‟ to inform national strategic health planning strategies (WHO 2016)) to address interconnected health threats affecting animal, human, and ecosystem domains.   One potential issue regarding New Gold‟s CFMP is that it is a proxy measure for impacts to Aboriginal Rights including Title. This assumes that if there is no biological change in the samples collected over time, there is no impact to Rights and Title. However, this does not account for the possibility that if people are afraid to eat their traditional foods, they will avoid eating them regardless of laboratory results (personal communication, N. Gauthreau5, 2016). Although the CMHMP relies on a scientific evaluation of animal health, community member may have more faith and trust in the program knowing that a) they are participating in the                                                  5 Neil Gauthreau is the Natural Resource Manager for Lhoosk‟uz Dene Nation and has acted as the interim community-based coordinator for the CMHMP. 7  process, b) that results are being reported back to the community independent of New Gold, and c) that the results are specific to moose; an actual food source rather than an indicator species used as proxy to represent potential pathways of contamination to people (i.e. CFMP) (personal communication, N. Gauthreau, 2016)  A desired outcome of this research is for the framework developed for the CMHMP to be used as a reference or planning tool for the mining industry to incorporate the assessment and monitoring of the health and safety of country sources into impact assessments of mine development. Currently, the BC First Nations Energy & Mining Council is at the formative step with the BCEAO in defining how to proceed on amending, repealing or replacing, the BC Environmental Assessment Act (personal communication, T. Forgarassy6, 2015). This research may be used to help modernize the guidelines for the EA process with a framework that specifically addresses the concern of the health status of wildlife and the safety of country foods.  Additionally, the unique interdisciplinary approach that contributes to this framework also represents a potential model for a new level of collaboration that the can be used by industry, government, First Nations and other stakeholders to approach the assessment and monitoring of the health and safety of country foods near mining development and other natural resource extractive activities.   1.4 Thesis overview The CMHMP was developed with a literature review of existing country food/ moose monitoring programs and protocols as well as via consultation with experienced implementers and coordinators of these programs. The proceeding discussion seeks to provide a framework to inform how such a program might be implemented as well as integrated into the EA process. Realities of the CMHMP are discussed in turn to provide context and present some of the intricacies and challenges of implementation. Additionally, preliminary results of analysis of samples and data collected thus far are reviewed. Finally, recommendations for improved and continued implementation of the CMHMP are summarized.                                                  6 Tony Forgarassy is a Lawyer and a private consultant on EA.   8  Chapter 2: LITERATURE REVIEW  2.1 Introduction The breadth of this literature review spans several disciplines that reflect the interdisciplinary nature of this research. This includes a wide spectrum of subjects on various perspectives of health, wildlife/ moose assessment and monitoring, as well as on mining, sustainability and the integration of country foods in environmental assessment.   The literature review begins with discussion on the tarnished reputation of the mining industry with an overview of some sustainable mining concepts and initiatives that are necessary to garner more public support for the industry. The consideration of country foods in the context of the environmental assessment of mines and as well within negotiated agreements with First Nations is discussed.  Elements of the British Columbia and federal environmental assessment of mines are reviewed to ascertain how concerns regarding country foods have been addressed and where they currently fit into the process.    Next, different perspectives of health, including wildlife, ecosystem, and human health are explored. Also examined is the concept of ecohealth in the context of health and wellbeing of Aboriginal peoples, which is inextricably linked to the health of their environments. In particular, the importance of assessing moose health is then described.  The significance of country foods to First Nations communities is examined in the context of both food security and overall health and culture. In particular, the importance of country food monitoring programs is described. An overview of some examples of initiatives to assess the health and safety of country foods in association with the extractive industry, and particularly mining, in Canada is also provided. Finally, since moose are the focus of this study, a summary of relevant moose studies both in the province and in Canada‟s north is also presented.    9  2.2 Public image of the mining industry and sustainability A GlobeScan7 societal trend study across 23 countries on corporate reputation found that the mining industry is viewed as one of the worse performing industries in terms of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). In 2013, perceptions of the CSR performance of the mining industry reached a record low. Predictably, industries that can both affect public health and negatively impact the environment are perceived to have the lowest CSR performance (GlobeScan Inc. 2013).     2.2.1 Replenishing a tarnished image: the mining industry  GlobeScan also sees a glimmer of hope for the industry. Findings suggest that, over the last decade, large-scale gold mining has improved its performance in addressing corporate responsibility issues and that the gold mining industry is now operating more responsibly (GlobeScan Inc. 2014). This is particularly relevant to this research as it pertains to the Blackwater Mine since it is proposed to be a large-scale gold mine.  Still, a 2010 global survey confirms that environmental concerns (40%), closely followed by social concerns (28%), continue to be the top sustainable development issues for the mining and metals industry. Community and environmental issues and obtaining a „license to operate‟ are currently rated as the most serious challenges facing the industry. Furthermore, to succeed, leading gold mining companies will need to be more environmentally responsible and respectful of local communities (GlobeScan Inc. 2014).  2.2.2 Social license to operate Business risk within the mining industry, according to Ernst and Young (2015), is increasingly political, with many projects being abandoned or postponed due to an inability to obtain a social license to operate (SLTO). Moreover, Ernst and Young rank SLTO as the 5th greatest business risk facing the mining and metals industry over the 2015-2016 period (Ernst & Young 2015). In mining, the „Social License‟ exists when a project has the ongoing approval within the local community and other stakeholders, ongoing approval or broad social acceptance as well as                                                  7 Globescan Inc. is a world leader in corporate reputation measurement and management (GlobeScan Inc. 2013). 10  ongoing acceptance. A Social License is granted on a site-specific basis and is granted by the community rather than a single group or organization (Thomson and Boutilier 2011).  SLTO is a complex, multifaceted issue with a wide impact on all communities from governments to locals and activists as well as the mining and metals organizations. Concerning a particular project, the dynamics of interactions between government, locals, activists and mining and metals organizations determine whether a miner is granted SLTO. Since billions of dollars are invested into large mining projects, it is critical that project viability and SLTO are seen as a mutual collaboration, rather than a trade off (Ernst & Young 2015).  In the past, Aboriginal communities may not have fully grasped the potential impacts of a mining project and were consequently placed in a vulnerable position at the negotiating table. Now, in an increasingly global and connected world, these communities have improved understanding of the ways a mine can affect their lifestyles and can be more proactive about working with the mining industry. To develop a successful plan in Canada for clean energy and a sustainable extractive industry, First Nations need to be engaged as full partners in the process. This includes meaningful consultation with First Nations from design to implementation of a project. For this to occur, First Nations people need to be involved in both the regulatory process and in decision making. For example, the National Energy Board of Canada could be expanded to include First Nations representatives. Assembly of First Nations national Chief Perry Bellegarde suggests that we should go one step further to considering whether natural resource projects not only have a SLTO, but also an "Indigenous License" where First Nations are involved at every step in the process and that includes an indigenous perspective (i.e., one that sees an interconnection between people and the natural world) (CBC 2016).  Inadequate regulation and policy in the Canadian mining and metals sector has elicited negative public criticism in recent years for its potential impact on communities. In BC, lack of governance and poor oversight at the Mount Polley Mine has been criticized for the tailings pond disasters (Uechi 2014). Increased public awareness and heightened community scrutiny as a result of these types of accidents further exacerbate the challenge to the mining industry to be 11  granted a SLTO. The rejected bid for an EA permit of the New Prosperity Mine (CEAA 2010) is another lucid example of where the BC mining industry has failed to obtain a SLTO.  Recent conflicts in the Canadian mining industry are reminiscent of the situation in the early 1990‟s that resulted in the industry receiving the nickname by a CBC news special as “The Ugly Canadian”.  During this time, a series of high-profile tailings dam failures brought media attention to the Canadian mining sector. The failures, occurring at international mine sites owned and operated by Canadian companies, led to a CBC news story (“Ugly Canadians”) that documented the environmental damage from overseas mining activities by Canadian companies. These events led to the rejection of several proposed mine projects that did not proceed because of public controversy (MAC 2015a).  The World Bank projects a continued decline of commodity prices in 2016 (World Bank 2016).  Yet, despite the tough economic times for the mining industry, it is false economy to cut back on community engagements just because exploration spending has slowed. Early and consistent community engagement and investment is far more valuable to a potential project than a massive increase in spending post-feasibility. Increasingly, the mining industry is recognizing the value in initiatives that take responsibility for cultural and environmental sustainability and to demonstrate their social value. Miners should engage in independent consultation, ongoing engagement and collaboration programs to ensure that the needs of the community are fully understood. Engagement from the prefeasibility phase is essential as is integration into the entire planning process to ensure that all stakeholders are aware of all impacts (Ernst & Young 2015). The CMHMP represents a primary example of such a level of engagement.  Increasingly, the mining industry is being expected to operate in a responsibly and sustainably.  The mining industry must take bold actions to garner support to find new opportunities for growth and initiate a new platform for engagement with stakeholders. A proactive approach is imperative as communities, investors and governments are becoming intolerant of unsustainable mining practices. Furthermore, to secure and maintain their license to operate, mining and metals companies must continue to strive to collaborate with local governments and communities to 12  develop and manage mutually beneficial sustainability initiatives (World Economic Forum 2014).  2.2.3 Sustainability and mining industry initiatives There is a plethora of sustainability initiatives pervading all levels of the mining including commitments by the Mining Association of BC (MABC), the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM), as well as from multinational mining organizations. Pertinent examples of sustainability initiatives in the mining industry are discussed below. Assessing and monitoring of country foods by the mining industry represents an important example of a sustainability initiative in action.   2.2.4 Commitments by the mining industry to sustainable development At the World Summit for Sustainable Development in 2002 the world‟s largest mining companies initiated the Mining, Minerals and Sustainable Development Project (MMSD), contracted by the International Institute for Environment and Development, to examine the role of the minerals sector in contributing to sustainable development (IIED and WBCSD 2002). In 2003, The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) established 10 Principles for Sustainable Development that committed company members are required to implement and measure their performance against. The principles are based on the issues identified in the MMSD and were benchmarked against leading international standards. A number of position statements have also been developed by the ICMM to clarify the 10 principles (ICMM 2016).   The Milos Statement was the contribution of the Minerals Professional Community (comprised of engineers, scientists, technical experts, and academics associated with the minerals industry) to sustainable development. Their residing philosophy is that “minerals are essential to meeting the needs of the present while contributing to a sustainable future”. Their “vision is that their minerals community will contribute to a sustainable future through the use of our scientific, technical, educational, and research skills in minerals, metals, and fuels (SDIMI 2003).”  13  The Centre for Excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) was announced in May, 2009 as one of the four pillars of the Canadian Government‟s new action plan on Corporate Social Responsibility (CIM 2011). CSR is defined by Global Affairs Canada as the voluntary activities undertaken by a company to operate in an economic, social and environmentally sustainable manner (Government of Canada 2015a).  The action plan was titled: “Building the Canadian Advantage: A CSR Strategy for the Canadian International Extractive Sector (CIM 2011). The implementation of this plan demonstrates the heightened awareness to ensure that Canadian mining and petroleum companies operating abroad were doing so in a manner that was socially and environmentally responsible and in respect of human rights.  In 2004, the MAC established the Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) program as a commitment to responsible mining. It is a set of tools and indicators to drive performance and ensure that key mining risks are managed responsibly at members‟ facilities.  The main objective of the program is to enable mining companies to meet society‟s needs for minerals, metals and energy products in the most socially, economically and environmentally responsible way. Moreover, the MAC embraces the 1987 Brundtland commission definition of sustainable development as “Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Key principles of the program include engaging with communities, driving world-leading environmental practices, and committing to the safety and health of employees and surrounding communities (MAC 2015b). In May 2011, the Mining Association of British Columbia became the first provincial association to adopt the TSM Initiative (MABC 2016). Developing country food monitoring programs represents one way that the mining industry can engage communities and thus adhere to TSM principles.  Embracing sustainable business practices can also infer opportunities for mining companies. For example, demonstration of best practice on biodiversity by the mining industry can lead to increased motivation and support for company operations, as well as improved operations efficiency through stakeholder support with quicker permit and concession negotiations. Ultimately, by adhering to best practices, mining companies can produce earlier revenues, considerable savings and the competitive advantage of favoured status as a partner (IUCN and 14  ICMM 2014). Some key standards and certifications as approaches to sustainable development that individual mining companies may commit to include:  a) Reporting: Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G4 Sustainability Reporting guideline is system used internationally that provides standard metrics and performance measures to implement transparent reporting (GRI 2016);  b) Certification: National Quality Assurance (NQA) has specific International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Standards relevant to the mining industry. These include: ISO 14001 that defines a voluntary environmental management system and provides an objective basis for verifying a company's claims about its performance; and, ISO 26000 that provides guidance on how businesses and organizations can operate in a socially responsible way (NQA 2016).  c) Mining Lifecycle Framework: Companies can obtain a Mining and Metals in a Sustainable World Certification. This certification requires abiding by principles of the „Circular Economy‟, where industrial systems are restorative and regenerative by intention and design (World Economic Forum 2014).   The negative legacy of past mining practices has created a deep level of mistrust of the industry and raised questions about the industry‟s role in society‟s transition to sustainable development. Yet, embracing these best practices can help realize the potential benefit that mineral related investment can have in the world. If properly integrated into regional development and biodiversity conservation strategies, mineral related investment can help alleviate pressures from poverty on biodiversity-rich areas as well as foster sustainable improvements in the health, education and the standard of living of national, local and indigenous communities. Today, both onsite and offsite opportunities that embrace sustainable development are being pursued by leading companies (IUCN and ICMM 2014).  2.3 Importance of country foods to First Nations Ultimately, the health of many Aboriginal populations is intimately linked to the health of natural ecosystems, which represent a source of traditional/country foods and social and cultural well-being. Apart from the nutritional value, hunting and the consumption of country food is part of a culture reflecting the connection with and reliance on the environment (AAND 2015). 15  Further, country food use by Aboriginal people living in northern Canada as a percent of total dietary energy was found to vary from a low of 6% in communities close to urban centers, to a high of 40% in more remote areas; a proportion that has changed little in the last 40 years (Van Oostdam et al. 2005).    2.3.1 Food security, traditional foods and Aboriginal health Food security is a core public health program in BC and aboriginal people are one of the most vulnerable groups for food insecurity (BCMH 2014). The First Nations Food, Nutrition and Environment Study (FNFNES)  (Chan et al. 2011) found that food insecurity is a major issue in Aboriginal populations of BC, especially for those living on reserve. Food insecurity affects 41% of First Nations‟ households living on reserve in BC (versus just over 10% for the general BC population and 9% for all of Canada), including 25% of children living in households on reserve. Along with high rates of obesity there is a diabetes crisis on reserve with diabetes being 3-5 times higher among First Nations than the general population (Canadian Diabetes Association 2013). Aboriginal people with diabetes also have higher rates of complications compared to the general population. Given this „diabetes epidemic‟ in Aboriginal communities, health agencies advocate for a return to traditional foods, particularly in remote areas (Canadian Diabetes Association 2015). Furthermore, while diet is overall of inadequate quality amongst the Aboriginal population it is much better when traditional food is consumed. Traditional foods and medicines have demonstrated effectiveness in reducing key health issues for Aboriginal peoples including Type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease (Mitchell 2012). Overall, nutrition and food security are significantly improved with the addition of traditional food (Chan et al. 2011).   While patterns of country food consumption vary culturally and geographically, several studies conducted in parts of provincial Canada point to moose meat as being the most commonly consumed traditional food amongst the Aboriginal population.  This is consistent with moose being LDN‟s country food of primary concern with respect to the development of the Blackwater Mine.  However, the use of different survey methodologies by each survey makes it difficult to compare consumption rates between studies. For instance, diet recall surveys of the Mikisew Cree and Athabasca Chipewyan First Nations reported moose consumption frequencies of 15.5 16  times and 3.4 times over the previous two-month and one week periods, respectively (McLachlan, 2014); whereas, the moose consumption rates reported for the FNFNES in BC were 45 g/person/day (Chan et al., 2011); and, 113-340g/ person/ 300 days per year was the reported rate of moose consumption from a survey of the Tahltan First Nation (Rescan and Rescan Tahltan 2006).   Traditional practices associated with country foods are a key part of Aboriginal culture and identity, which are important components of physical and mental wellbeing. The great majority of participants, for example, in a survey on perspectives of traditional foods by the Mikisew Cree and Athabasca Chipewyan First Nations indicated that traditional foods were a key part of Aboriginal culture (McLachlan 2014). First Nation‟s “identity, conceptions of the self, and mental wellness is directly and intimately linked to the environment, and to the ability to hunt, trap, fish, forage, and travel on the land and continue to practice cultural traditions related to being „on the land” (Cunsolo Willox et al. 2013). Moreover, positive health outcomes (e.g., improved diet, exercise, increased self-esteem, improved mental health) were reported when individuals were engaged in land-based activities (Burgess et al. 2005). Additionally, it was found that land access helped individuals heal from the trauma associated with residential schools (Chansonneuve 2005). Engaging in traditional practices is also known to be the leading strategy recommended by health providers to overcome substance abuse addictions and to assist in mental health healing (Kishigami 2010).  2.4 Barriers to traditional food practices: Linking mining to Aboriginal Health outcomes There is a growing knowledge and concern among First Nations regarding the presence of contaminants (e.g. heavy metals, perflourinated compounds (PFCs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), etc.) in their traditional foods and the health implications of consuming such foods. This is part of a common concern of First Nations toward possible environmental contaminants in game animals, such as moose, that are hunted for food. Exposure and the knowledge of these contaminants in traditional foods pose risks to the physical, social, and mental health and well-being of Aboriginal populations (Furgal, Powell, and Myers 2005). Fear and uncertainty among First Nations has led to a shift away from eating traditional foods towards 17  eating more store-bought food. In part, this shift relates to the growing concern among First Nations regarding the unknown health implications of consuming traditional foods with the potential of containing contaminants (AFN 2007). This fear and avoidance of traditional foods also represents an impact to the Rights and Title of First Nations. It is an impact because people would not have a fear of the safety of their traditional food sources in the absence of development on or near their traditional territory. Unfortunately, there is currently no suggested process to assess this particular impact within the current Canadian or BC guidelines for EA. Currently these processes rely on a proxy assessment where the absence of contaminants identified in tissue specimens of sampled animals infers that there is no impact to Aboriginal Rights or Title (personal communication, N. Gauthreau, 2016).   Perceptions and opinions about potential environmental contaminants in country foods may contribute to decreased traditional food consumption. Findings suggest that when children are not concerned about contaminants in game and fish, consumption increases (Hlimi et al. 2012).  This creates the dilemma faced by indigenous peoples in weighing the multiple nutritional and socioeconomic benefits of traditional food use against the risk of contaminants in culturally important food resources (Kuhnlein and Chan 2000). In particular, there has been concern of food chain contamination from mining projects (Hlimi et al. 2012). A commonly expressed concern, for example, relates to industrial toxins to which ungulates are exposed to. Some First Nations may attribute reported abnormalities in the organs of harvested ungulates to the animals having browsed or foraged on lands contaminated by industry or consumed water at contaminated sites. Given the importance of moose and other ungulates as a food source for First Nation communities, this is a public health concern (Fraser Basin Council 2012).   A BC study on traditional foods pointed to several barriers to access including erosion of traditional knowledge and skills, change in lifestyle and urban migration, restrictions and regulations, high costs, and contamination (Elliot and Jayatilaka 2011). Further, the FNFNES (Chan et al. 2011) reported the barriers to traditional food use to include: government harvesting restrictions and forestry, hydro-electric,  mining, farming and oil/gas industries. Moreover, the combined impact of these factors is largely perceived to adversely affect access to traditional 18  foods.  It is conceivable that First Nations communities nearby a proposed or operating mine would be even more likely to rank mining as a barrier to traditional food use.   Through environmental dispossession, access to traditional food is threatened. Environmental dispossession is defined as the processes through which Aboriginal people‟s access to the resources of their traditional environments is reduced (Richmond, C. and Ross, N. 2009). Limited access to the physical environment and decreased personal knowledge/skills related to food harvesting reduces consumption of traditional food, leading to increased reliance on store-bought food or government-sponsored food programs. Mining and other extractive industry developments can result in restricted use or access to traditional lands where Aboriginal people historically harvest country foods. For example, hunting near the Highland Valley Copper Mine (Logan Lake, BC) has been very limited since the discharge of firearms is not permitted on a large swath of land surrounding the mine (ERM 2015). A firearm restriction nearby a mine to insure public safety can inadvertently prevent First Nations from hunting and harvesting wildlife in such areas.   2.5 Health perspectives and relevant terminology An objective of CMHMP is to strive for an assessment of moose „health‟. However, ambiguity over the meaning of the term health requires clearer articulation of several applications pertinent to this research. The wildlife veterinary field has recently taken steps toward an emphasis on health and a more comprehensive definition, led in part by the influence of conservation medicine (Daszak et al. 2004) and the promotion of a One Health approach (Frank 2008).Yet, health is also a scientific concept indicative of some measurable criteria. Hence, to be effective in implementing policies that promote health, measurements of health need to be clearly defined (Lackey 2001). The interdisciplinary nature of the CMHMP spans several health themes including wildlife health, ecosystem health, Ecohealth, One Health and Aboriginal Health. While strong relationships exist among these concepts, each has unique attributes.  One Health (also referred to as One Medicine or conservation medicine) is defined as the collaborative efforts of multiple disciplines working locally, nationally, and globally, to attain 19  optimal health for people, animals, and our environment. One Health initiatives emphasize the interconnectedness between human and animal well-being that rely heavily on their surrounding ecosystem. While the concept of One Health is not new, it has become more important in recent years. This is because many factors (including human population growth and encroachment on wilderness, reliance on meat protein, food security, and emerging infectious diseases) have changed the interactions among humans, animals, and the environment (One Health Initiative 2016). In particular, a One Health task force initiated by the American Veterinary Medical Association identified that „our increasing interdependence with animals may well be the single most critical risk factor to our own health and well-being‟(One Health Initiative Task Force 2008).  The One Health approach is primarily preventive and seeks to address public health threats at the source. One Health has gained international attention as an approach to control infectious disease outbreaks and to address interconnected health threats affecting animal, human, and ecosystem domains. Several prominent examples of application include the World Health Organization (WHO) that employs the „OneHealth Tool‟ to inform national strategic health planning strategies (WHO 2016); the American Center for Disease Control (CDC) uses a One Health approach by working with physicians, ecologists, and veterinarians to monitor and control public health threats (CDC 2016a); and the Public Health Agency of Canada acknowledges that One Health strategies enhance the Social Determinants of Health and is pursuing activities consistent with this approach (PHAC 2013).   While One Health was founded in human and animal health disciplines, the related field of Ecohealth emerged from research oriented towards understanding health in the context of ecosystems, environmental degradation and unsustainable development. Ecohealth has been defined as “systemic, participatory approaches to understanding and promoting health and wellbeing in the context of social and ecological interactions” (Waltner-Toews 2009). The concept of ecosystem health (an ecological discipline that emerged in the late 1980s, which characterizes ecosystems against an ideal or undisturbed state) is unique from Ecohealth (a transdisciplinary approach to understanding socio-ecological systems) (Rapport and Maffi 2010). 20   Ecohealth is a holistic approach that focuses on complex social-ecological dynamics and recognizes interconnections of ecosystems with culture, identity and wellbeing (Waltner-Toews 2009). The development of Ecohealth approaches that encourage integration and exchange among multiple forms of knowledge can greatly benefit from, and potentially be highly complementary to holistic approaches to Aboriginal health (Parkes 2010). Furthermore, the Ecohealth approach is well suited to help in the development of programs to assess and monitor traditional foods of Aboriginal peoples (Stephens, Parkes, and Chang 2007).  Even when best mining practices are upheld and contamination of wildlife, according to scientific assessment, is negligible, mining activity may instill a perception of ecosystem impurity. In part, this may be attributed to dissemination of ideas from the scientific approach to project assessment involving an orientation to the physical environment that focuses on contaminants and hazards in food, water and soil, and the need for protection against harmful exposures. This imparts a view of the natural world as a source of illness rather than a basis for life, and that overlook the interplay of social interaction with the environment. This approach that sees an artificial divide between social and environmental factors influencing health has been unhelpful, especially as this pertains to project affected Aboriginal communities (Parkes 2010). The health and wellbeing of Aboriginal people is closely linked to connection with the land, as well as to the culture that this connectivity instills (Leeuw, Cameron, and Greenwood 2012). A more progressive approach to project assessment may thus also embrace holistic views of health and wellbeing that have been cultivated by Aboriginal peoples for millennia (Stephens, Parkes, and Chang 2007). Furthermore, it is understandable that those who share in this holistic view perspective of the world may also associate pollution or adverse environmental effects even at great distance from industrial activity (i.e. such as mining) despite science-based claims of negligible impact. Hence, a further justification for assessing and monitoring country foods is to better inform both these scientific and aboriginal perspectives of health. This is a particularly pertinent consideration given that perceptions and opinions about potential environmental contaminants can discourage consumption of country foods (Hlimi et al. 2012).  21  Wildlife health can be viewed as an element of both One Health and Ecohealth (Hanisch-Kirkbride, Burroughs, and Riley 2014). While no universal definition of wildlife health has been established, it can be seen as the ability to cope with challenges (e.g. disease or environment), adapt and recover (i.e. resilience) to maintain a state of balance. Monitoring wildlife health is complex. This requires not only the observation of health outcomes such as nutritional status, reproduction, longevity and disease, but also the awareness of health determinants (i.e. factors that affect resilience and the vulnerability to harm), as well as tracking health hazards (Jamot 2013). The concept of wildlife health is increasingly considered a cornerstone of wildlife management and, with greater attention being given to the role of wildlife in zoonotic disease management, is viewed as a key element in protecting human and animal health (Hanisch-Kirkbride, Burroughs, and Riley 2014).                            Parkes (2010) describes several innovations that showcase a new generation of work that promotes and protects health and wellbeing in Aboriginal communities. These innovations exemplify a clear orientation towards positive relationships and connectivity among land, community, culture and health; rather than focusing only on deficits, contaminants and disease. A common theme among these initiatives is the goal to move beyond the „silos‟ that have separated environmental and social approaches to health and wellbeing (Parkes 2010). The CMHMP can also be seen as such an endeavor; one which strives to link these environmental and social approaches to health.  2.6 Where country foods, EA and mining: Blackwater Mine Country food intake is an important pathway by which potential contaminants can affect human health. The inclusion of human health in EA in Canada has been recognized by the federal government and by the Province of BC under various legislation and requirements (Health Canada 2010b), as defined within:  BC Environmental Assessment Act (BCEAA) (2002): “Effects” are defined as including human health, and the purpose of the Act includes the assessment of “health effects” (Government of BC 2002). 22   Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA) (2012): “environmental effect” includes any changes in health or socio-economic conditions that are caused by the project‟s environmental effects (Government of Canada 2012).  Most major mines in BC are subject to the provincial and/ or federal EA process. While these EAs may include assessing and monitoring select environmental parameters, assessment and monitoring of potential impacts to the health and safety of country foods is not necessarily required. Variability of requirements and guidelines means that there may be little consistency in how the health and safety of country foods are assessed or incorporated into an EA of a mine.    The Blackwater Project triggered a cooperative EA review process requiring independent, yet coordinated provincial and federal reviews. The coordinated authorization process is meant to improve consistency, eliminate overlap and improve efficiency (Government of BC 2013). Yet, neither the provincial nor federal EA processes provides specific recommendation nor requirement to sample or monitor country foods for a proposed mine. However, there are several procedural elements where country foods may be incorporated into the EA of a mine, which are discussed below for both the BC and the Federal EA (personal communication, S. McNaughton, 2015).  2.6.1 Components of the BC EA relevant to country foods  The Section 11 order (or Procedural Order) is a legal document of the BCEAA (2002) that sets out the scope, procedures, and methods for the environmental assessment. This includes specification of potential effects to be considered in the assessment as well as the duty to consult with First Nations. The BCEAO may either directly consult with First Nations or direct the proponent to consult specified First Nations and report back to EAO. The proponent‟s role here is: to explain the project‟s technical aspects; to learn about First Nations‟ interests, rights and uses in the proposed project area; and to develop mitigation strategies or accommodation measures to reduce or eliminate impacts to asserted or established Aboriginal rights and title or treaty rights. It is here where concerns about country foods may be first documented and where 23  initial discussion regarding development of country foods monitoring program occur (BCEAO 2015a).   Subsequent to the Section 11 order, the BCEAO produces the Application Information Requirements (AIR) that includes a valued components (VCs) framework, which provides the foundation for EAs in BC. Valued components are aspects of the natural and human environment that have scientific, ecological, economic, social, cultural, archaeological, historical or other importance (BCEAO 2015a). Moose as a country food, for example, is a VC to the LDN (Amec 2014c).    In order to be accepted for formal review, during the application phase the proponent must address all the issues outlined in the AIR.  The application will include the proponent‟s baseline data of the study areas as well as the analysis of the potential environmental, social, health, heritage, and economic effects of the project. Much of the application will focus on the mitigation measures or compensation strategies the proponent is prepared to take to avoid or minimize potential significant adverse effects (BCEAO 2015a). Moreover, it is during the application where the framework for assessing and monitoring country foods would be formalized and presented.    The BCEAO reviews the application over a 180 day review period during which time it is open to public comment, including by First Nations. The BCEAO may draft an environmental assessment certificate that includes a legally binding table of conditions (Schedule B) establishing specific measures that the proponent must implement to prevent or mitigate significant adverse environmental, social, economic, health or heritage effects, as well as potential adverse effects to First Nations interests, rights, or title (BCEAO 2015a). This is one way the document may legally bind a proponent to implementation of country food assessment and monitoring programs described in the application.   A key factor in a ministers‟ decision to approve a project considers whether the Province has satisfied its legal duty to consult with and accommodate First Nations (BCEAO 2015a). 24  Furthermore, should a key First Nations concern such as consideration of country foods be insufficiently addressed; then the application for EA certificate for a project can refused or stalled here.   The BCEAO‟s compliance and enforcement program is responsible for verifying compliance with the certificate throughout the pre-construction, construction, operations and if applicable, decommissioning phases of a project.  This is the where compliance to a country foods assessment program is monitored and enforced by the BCEAO. Non-compliance, such as failure to adequately adhere to an agreed on assessment and monitoring activities, can result in suspension of a mine permit (BCEAO 2015a).    2.6.2 CEAA and the EIS  The federal equivalent of the AIR within the federal process is the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for a designated project to be assessed pursuant to the CEAA, 2012. Similar to the AIR, the EIS guidelines set out minimum information requirements. It is the proponent‟s responsibility to provide any additional information required to assess the environmental effects of the project (personal communication, S. McNaughton, 2015).  A key objective of the CEAA is to promote communication and cooperation with Aboriginal peoples. This includes obliging the proponent to engage with Aboriginal people as early as possible in the project planning process. In preparing the EIS, the proponent is encouraged to integrate Aboriginal and public consultation outcomes into the consideration and mitigation of environmental effects and identify and explain all unresolved questions or concerns as part of its analysis of the impacts of the project. The concern of country foods may be addressed here. This information aids the Crown in assessing the adequacy of consultation with Aboriginal groups (CEAA 2013).   The Project Overview section of the EIS is where the proponent details the geographic setting and explains the interrelationships between the biophysical environment, people and communities. This section is also where descriptions on traditional food practices and their 25  significance to local First Nations are introduced. Valued Components (VC) are described within the Scope of Assessment section, including how country foods were identified via the consultation process with First Nations (CEAA 2013).   Defining spatial boundaries is required to account for the appropriate scale and spatial extent of potential environmental effects, community and Aboriginal traditional knowledge, current land and resource use by Aboriginal groups, ecological, technical and social and cultural considerations (CEAA 2013). Spatial boundaries are an important consideration for country food assessment as some species, such as moose, are not only harvested across large geographic ranges but also have large home ranges. Confining sampling of these species to a limited mine study area may thus not be adequate for assessment.    Temporal boundaries of an EA span all stages of a project from construction, operation, maintenance, foreseeable modifications, to closure, decommissioning and restoration of affected sites (CEAA 2013). Descriptions of the assessment of country foods should include sampling frequency as well as long term monitoring plans that coincide with the full life cycle of a mine.  Baseline data and assessments of country food health and quality are described within the baseline conditions section. Data for this assessment should include results from studies done prior to any physical disruption of the environment due to initial site activities as well as environmental conditions resulting from historical and present activities in the local and regional study area (CEAA 2013).   The discussion on the requirement of the proponent to take an ecosystem approach is an especially pertinent section of the EIS as it most closely approximates a description of how country foods should be assessed and monitored.  The ecosystem approach considers both scientific and traditional knowledge and perspectives regarding ecosystem health and integrity. The proponent is required to identify and justify the indicators and measures of ecosystem health and integrity used for analysis and relate these to the identified VC and proposed monitoring and follow-up measures (CEAA 2013).  26   To assess the potential for a project to impact wildlife, inventories of species alone are deemed in sufficient.  The proponent must consider the resilience of relevant species populations, communities and their habitats. The proponent must summarize all pertinent historical information on the size and geographic extent of relevant animal populations as well as density, based on best available information. Where little or no information is available, specific studies will be designed to gather further information on species populations, densities and the interrelations of these species to the ecosystem (CEAA 2013).   CEAA requires the proponent to describe, within the EIS, current uses of land and resources by Aboriginal groups for traditional purposes as well as potential effects on current uses. In particular, the proponent must describe the potential adverse impacts of the project on the ability of Aboriginal peoples to exercise the potential or established Aboriginal and Treaty rights and related interests. This may include the right to hunt, harvest, and consume country foods. Within this context, the proponent is obliged to describe commitments, policies and arrangements directed at promoting beneficial or mitigating adverse effects (CEAA 2013).   Potentially project affected First Nation communities identified within the EIS for the Blackwater Project include:  (LDN), Ulkatcho First Nation, Nazko First Nation, Nadleh Whut‟en First Nation, Saik‟uz First Nation, Skin Tyee Nation, Stellat‟en First Nation, Tsilhqot‟in National Government and Métis Nation of BC (CEAA 2013).   The process of determining the extent to which a project impacts the rights and title of a community as well as how they must be consulted is complex. The map of overlapping territorial claims by these First Nations (Figure 2.1) provides an illustration of this complexity.  Although LDN, Ulkatcho, Chilcotin and the Skin Tyee Nations technically have asserted territories that directly overlap with the Blackwater Mine site, the provincial and federal governments only recognize the LDN and Ulkatcho claim to the area. This is based on government evaluation on the „strength‟ of each nation's claim to the area. The strength of claim of a nation then corresponds to the level at which government must consult with that nation. Once the government has deemed that an adequate level of consultation has been achieved, they may 27  transfer the onus to consult to the project proponent. In the case of Blackwater, this process was used to determine that LDN and Ulkatcho are the only two nations that New Gold was required to consult with at a high level. Stellat'en, Nadleh, and Saik'uz have a moderate claim and mandate a moderate level of consultation by New Gold. A High level of consultation may also incorporate a duty to accommodate or compensate a nation for the impact to Aboriginal rights and title (e.g. revenue sharing). Whereas, the government has determined that Skin Tyee and Chilcotin have weak territory claims overlapping with the proposed mine and so they are only required to be notified of what New Gold is doing. Stellat'en, Saik'uz, and Nadleh are included in the EIS because of overlapping land claims with the proposed road and transmission line that will service the mine.  The government sees a low impact of the road and transmission on rights and title to these nations. Furthermore, while these claims do not require New Gold to provide accommodation or compensation, these nations still have a say in the EA regarding the impacts on their rights and title (personal communication, N. Gauthreau, 2015).   28   Figure 2.1 Map of asserted territories of First Nations in relation to the proximity of the proposed Blackwater Mine. This map was approved to be used in this report and prepared by Neil Gauthreau, LDN Natural Resource Manager (February 12, 2016), using data from New Gold and publically available provincial and federal sources.  29  Although not specific to country foods, the CEAA provides a general, legal framework for monitoring programs their management, which can be used to develop a plan to assess and monitor country foods. The goal of a monitoring program, according to CEAA, is to ensure that proper measures are in place in order to decrease the potential for environmental degradation during all phases of project development, and to provide clearly defined action plans and emergency response procedures to account for human and environmental health and safety. In the EIS, the proponent must describe monitoring activities, proposed commitment to implementing these activities and the resources provided for this purpose. To fulfill monitoring program requirements, the proponent must also describe details of contacts, protocols, measured parameters, deadlines, intervention in case of non-compliance of legal requirements and production of monitoring reports. The finalization of the details of a monitoring program occur through consultation with federal and provincial government agencies, Aboriginal groups, the public and other stakeholders. This may occur after the EA but must be consistent with the information presented in the EIS. Pertinent legislation, regulations, industry standards, documents and legislative guides must be used in the development of a monitoring program. Monitoring programs may also be co-developed alongside environmental management plans (CEAA 2013).  Finally, Environmental management plans (EMP) are used to ensure that proper measures and controls are in place in order to decrease the potential for environmental degradation during all phases of project development, and to provide clearly defined action plans and emergency response procedures to account for human and environmental health and safety. The EMP will serve to provide guidance on specific actions and activities that will be implemented to decrease the potential for environmental degradation during all project stages (CEAA 2013).   2.6.3 Application of the CMHMP to the EA of the Blackwater Mine Descriptions on data of country foods can be found in the overview of baseline conditions section of the EIS. For the CMHMP, results of historical and current moose studies in the central part of the province will consider in baseline assessment of moose. The 30  evaluation of moose health by the CMHMP in the context of ecosystem health fits harmoniously with the CEAAs requirement for an ecosystem approach to assessment. The CMHMP is especially suitable given that the proponent is specifically instructed to examine changes in the distribution, populations, behaviour, and availability of wildlife, fish, and flora in the important context of implications to current use of lands and resources by Aboriginal peoples (CEAA 2013). Finally, the CMHMP provides an example of a measure that a proponent is obliged to describe that might mitigate potential adverse impacts of the project on the Aboriginal and Treaty rights and related interests.  2.7 HHRA, country foods and diet surveys When EA predicts risks to human health due to project impacts on the environment (i.e. contaminants) a Human Health Risk Assessment (HHRA) examining all exposure pathways for pollutants of concern may be required to adequately assess these impacts. As a federal authority under the CEAA, 2012, Health Canada assists in the evaluation of potential human health impacts of environmental effects of proposed projects by providing expertise on issues such as the contamination of country foods. This includes expertise related to HHRA including providing specific advice on how a proponent might integrate country foods into their EIS (Antill, Herbert 2015).  A plan to monitor and assess the health and safety of country foods can be viewed as a direct product of HHRA. Country food intake is an important pathway by which potential contaminants can affect human health. Country foods are therefore assessed using Health Canada‟s guidance document (Health Canada 2010a), which outlines how to characterize potential risks from the consumption of country foods.  First Nations are traditional harvesters of country foods and may rely on country foods for subsistence. The culture of hunting and of sharing food within communities increases the likelihood of exposure of sensitive populations (e.g., pregnant women and children) to contaminants. Therefore, focusing on First Nations is considered a conservative approach and is inclusive of risks of other populations of people (Health Canada 2010a). Many First Nations still maintain a subsistence economy based primarily on hunting, fishing, and plant gathering, activities that benefit the health and social and cultural well-being of Aboriginal communities 31  (Kuhnlein and Turner 2009). However, Aboriginal peoples have undergone a significant nutritional transition whereby traditional diets and associated activities are being replaced with patterns of consumption that increase the risk of chronic disease (Earl 2011). It is therefore important that HHRA consider the benefits and any potential risks associated with the consumption of country foods.  The Human Health and Ecological Risk Assessment (HHERA) for the Blackwater Project illustrates potential pathways for human exposure (including country food) to contaminants  and reviews information about First Nations and their use of country foods from earlier reports and published literature (Amec 2014a). This includes a review of publicly available ethnographies and information on contemporary and traditional use and knowledge and as well as the potential for further results from traditional use studies conducted by the First Nations communities to be incorporated in the EA if available (Amec 2014a). Moreover, a traditional use and occupancy study is being conducted by LDN (personal communication, N. Gauthreau, 2015).  2.7.1 Diet surveys  The overall human health impacts considered in a HHRA of a resource development project are determined by total cumulative risk from exposures to contaminants from all sources. Yet, conclusions on cumulative health risk may vary widely depending on the assumed consumption rate in the HHRA. Differences in dietary surveys of moose consumption in the Galore Creek Country Foods Baseline Assessment from a province wide study illustrate the potential for high variability between communities in consumption rates of country foods. The Galore Creek survey reported that Tahltan people consumed 160g/person/ day of moose (Rescan and Rescan Tahltan 2006) versus the 45g/ person/ day in the provincial survey (Chan et al. 2011). Using the provincial consumption rates for the Tahltan for a risk assessment, would for example, underestimate the risk of contaminant exposure for that community. Since assessment of the risk of contaminant exposure depends on the rate of consumption, community specific data is required to improve assessment accuracy. The HHERA of the Blackwater Project should consider the inclusion of a dietary survey to determine consumption rates and the main country foods consumed by local people. 32   The intake of country foods varies by local geography, season, and cultural group. The Blackwater Project HHERA report acknowledges the potential for variation in country food consumption patterns (Amec 2014a) and uses the most recent and relevant data provided in the FNFNES (Chan et al. 2011) for assessment. However, conclusions on cumulative health risk may vary widely depending on the assumed consumption rate in the assessment.  The example of the failed bid for the New Prosperity Project, in south-central BC, to obtain an EA permit demonstrates the importance of using consumption rates of country foods that are locally relevant. Health Canada pointed to uncertainties in the conclusions in the HHRA of this project resulting from improper modeling and inaccurate assumptions of food consumption rates. Further, Health Canada advised the proponent to conduct a dietary survey of country food consumption to accurately depict risks to human health; and, collect empirical data on the levels of contaminants in the consumed country foods. The assessment was deemed insufficient to conclude that project activities would not contaminate the land, food and sources of medicine of the Xeni Gwet‟in people, so that they can continue to practice their traditional lifestyle unimpeded in the future, without significant and reasonable concerns about contamination of these resources (Doyle 2013).   2.7.2 Inclusion of country foods into EA by the mining industry in BC In BC, Health Canada has requested proponents include an assessment of the potential for country food contamination problems associated with the development as part of the EA for mines. Some examples of mine projects that have incorporated the assessment of country foods into their EAs include:  Murray River Coal Project (Rescan Environmental Services Ltd., 2013), Galore Creek (Rescan and Rescan Tahltan 2006), Schaft Creek Project (Rescan 2008), Harper Creek Project (ERM Rescan 2014), Ajax Project (Stantec 2015), Brucejack Gold Mine Project (Rescan 2013a).   However, these assessments have been inadequate as country foods are analyzed only in terms of exposure to Chemicals of Potential Concern (COPC). Although assessment of contaminants is 33  important, it is a narrow focus and on its own can impart a view of the natural world as a source of illness rather than the Aboriginal perspective that sees the natural world as the basis for life (Parkes 2010). A more complete assessment of country foods includes a broader evaluation of animal health, and one that perhaps more closely embraces holistic views of health that have been cultivated by Aboriginal people (Stephens, Parkes, and Chang 2007). Yet, the implementation of these programs marks a move in the right direction by the mining industry to address needs and concerns of First Nations regarding the health and safety of their traditional food sources and ultimately their food security along with the protection of their traditional ways and identity.    2.8 Negotiated agreements and country foods  Negotiated agreements with First Nations, commonly referred to as Impact Benefit Agreements (IBAs), may incorporate provisions for monitoring country foods. (New Gold, on the other hand, prefers to use the term, „Participation Agreement‟ to describe these agreements (Laing-Gahr 2013).)  IBAs are becoming common practice in the mining industry in Canada. These are confidential agreements negotiated between mining corporations and aboriginal communities to address potential adverse impacts from mining development (Fidler and Hitch 2007). An agreement can be a mechanism for establishing formal relationships between mining companies and local communities.   EA provides key information for designing and appending IBAs and environmental monitoring is an important common provision of IBAs. Monitoring may include wildlife migration measures and environmental monitoring systems that are potentially insufficiently addressed in an EA. In particular, IBAs can serve a role to accommodate the cultural and spiritual value aboriginal communities have with the land and where an EA may be unsuitable (Fidler and Hitch 2007). This accommodation may, in part, include incorporation of a program to monitor country foods.  Noble and Birk (Noble and Birk 2011) discuss the potential benefits of linking monitoring programs embedded within negotiated agreements with EA-based follow-up practices to improve community engagement and project effectiveness. They argue that when the follow-up of these 34  programs is solely defined within a framework of negotiated agreements they risk becoming „comfort monitoring‟ programs. Here, community-industry relations may be improved but effects-based management are not. To maximize credibility of the follow-up under these agreements, Noble and Birk suggest that monitoring results are made relevant for, and integrated with, regulatory-based monitoring and project impact management practices. This potential linkage highlights the ways in which negotiated agreements can be utilized in unique ways to achieve the aims of project developers, Aboriginal community members, and government in the fulfillment of legislative and regulatory requirements.  For most projects, environmental baseline studies are required to quantify contaminant levels prior to the initiation of mining activities. IBAs may require that the proponent complete these baseline studies (and/ or complete them jointly with First Nations) and disseminate the results among First Nations. In addition, IBAs may establish an independent monitoring system and/or a monitoring committee (Sosa and Keenan 2001). This provides a mechanism for ongoing consultation on the proponent‟s environmental management plans and mitigation measures. LDN, for example, have hired environmental consultants for assessing and monitoring potential impacts from the Blackwater Project (personal communication, N. Gauthreau, 2015).  IBAs may also include threshold contaminant levels in wildlife that trigger established. These threshold levels should reflect Aboriginal concerns regarding the health and safety of country foods, as well as sufficiently conservative to prevent adverse health effects in both human and wildlife (Sosa and Keenan 2001).  IBAs can help minimize the negative impacts of mining projects and to ensure benefit of local communities (Sosa and Keenan 2001). However, IBAs have the potential to perpetuate injustices when benefits are not equally distributed to the community or if monitoring and follow-up on behalf of both parties are not continuous (Fidler and Hitch 2007). Further, the timelines described for each provision within the IBA must be carefully considered by all parties during negotiation. A truly „long term‟ country food monitoring program, for instance, should be implemented throughout all stages of mine development, from exploration to post-closure. An IBA may also affirm the right of First Nations to claim damages for environmental harm 35  incurred as a result of the construction or operation of the mine (Sosa and Keenan 2001). One contentious issue regarding the environmental impact of mining is a company‟s obligations regarding mine closure and reclamation. Should a mining company declare bankruptcy, it is difficult to enforce responsibility for the social and environmental harm that is left in the wake.   2.9 Initiatives to assess and monitor country foods near extractive industry activity  The extractive industry is increasingly being held accountable for potential impacts of their activities, especially in light of the high level of public scrutiny regarding mining and energy developments in Canada. A particular concern for Aboriginal people is the potential impacts of extractive industry activities to impact on the health and safety of their country foods. Examples of initiatives to assess and monitor the health and safety of country foods near mining and energy developments in Canada are discussed below.  2.9.1 Studies on the effects of metals from mines in BC in wild ungulates  Investigations on the potential effects of metals in Canadian populations of moose and other wild ungulates have provided variable results. However, studies do consistently suggest that renal element concentrations in moose are affected by the natural geology of their environment, particularly for cadmium, arsenic and lead (e.g., Gamberg, Palmer, and Roach 2005).  Chapter 5 provides an overview of the Highland Valley Ungulate Health Program (HVUHP) and compares this to the CMHMP. However, in addition to HVUHP, several other studies have been conducted at mines in BC to investigate the potential effect of contaminants in ungulates.  A study at the Endako Mine in central BC found high baseline concentrations of molybdenum in vegetation near the site. Yet, the study suggested that elevated molybdenum concentrations were not harmful to wildlife as ungulates appeared to be healthy. Further, the study also showed that after development of the mine, concentrations of molybdenum in vegetation on reclaimed areas were lower than those measured during baseline (Riordan 2003). Additionally, another study of the site found that while moose were widespread near the mine, none displayed symptoms of molybdenosis (Mathieu 1995).   36  Another study at the Brenda Mines in southern BC, conducted contaminant analysis on deer pellets collected from reclaimed areas. Although molybdenum concentrations in forage from re-vegetated areas were elevated, they remained below toxicity thresholds for cattle  (Taylor and Mckee 2003). Moreover, the study suggests that molybdenosis in mule deer does not occur at ratios that are markedly lower than those for cattle (Taylor and Mckee 2003).  2.9.2 Other Canadian investigations of contaminants in country foods Athabasca oil sands A long-term study on the Athabasca oil sands characterized the impacts of upstream industrial activity for wildlife, environmental and human health.  Specific objectives of this study included: 1) to evaluate contaminants in the environment and culturally important wildlife; 2) to identify potential exposure of community members to contaminants by documenting the consumption of wild-caught foods; 3) to explore any implications of these changes for community health and wellbeing; 4) to promote capacity in community-based monitoring; and, 5) to facilitate risk communication that incorporates both western science and TK. While each of these components may be pertinent, the evaluation of wildlife by veterinarians and testing for environmental contaminants including heavy metals are perhaps most relevant to the CMHMP. Muscrat, beaver, ducks and moose were killed and sampled by local hunters. Moose are of key importance to local First Nations harvesters and represented the most frequently consumed country food. There was no cause for concern related to human consumption of the four moose that were assessed for contaminants and by veterinary analysis. All were considered unremarkable according and none had illnesses that would present any risk to humans. Similarly, none of the moose exhibited obvious ill health that could be associated with contamination. One moose had elevated tissue levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), but was still assessed as healthy on veterinary examination. However, the researchers suggest that visible veterinary examinations may not be suitable for detecting contamination, especially those at low concentrations. Moreover, analysis of contaminants in all species sampled showed that there was strong evidence for concerns regarding elevated selenium concentrations in all tissues and for all ages of consumers. The study also concluded that concentrations of arsenic, cadmium, and mercury in liver and kidney samples were high enough to warrant caution for consumption, 37  especially for children. Similarly, moose kidney samples showed elevated levels of cadmium that potentially represent a threat to human health and wellbeing. And although cadmium can occur naturally, the Oil Sands are Alberta‟s largest emitters of cadmium. Finally, while the study acknowledges that the small sample size limits the ability to make definitive conclusions on these results; continued monitoring efforts may point to significant patterns over time (McLachlan 2014; McLachlan and Miller 2012). Northern Contaminants Program The Northern Contaminants Program (NCP) is an ongoing program that began in 1991 with the objective to engage Northerners and scientists to study and monitor contaminants that have been transported long distances to the Canadian Arctic through the atmosphere and oceans from other parts of the world, and which bioaccumulate in the arctic food chain. Core features of the NCP includes the monitoring of legacy contaminants (e.g. persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and heavy metals including mercury, lead, cadmium and selenium) as well as emerging and new contaminants that may arise due to climate change. NCP findings are used to address the safety and security of traditional country foods that are important to the health and traditional culture of northern communities. To complete dietary exposure assessments, NCP seeks to conduct food choice and dietary surveys. Pairing of survey data with wildlife monitoring data helps provides information on which traditional foods may be important sources of contaminants and thus prioritizing monitoring programs. Finally, the NCP strives to detect changes in key biological systems (e.g., immune, reproductive, metabolic and neurological) of wildlife that could be compromised by contaminants using a suite of endpoints (AAND 2015). First Nations food, nutrition and environment study    The First Nations food, nutrition and environment study (FNFNES)  (Chan et al. 2011) was implemented to address the knowledge gap of the dietary patterns of First Nations and to establish a baseline database on exposure to key environmental contaminants. Beginning in BC in 2008, the FNFNES is being implemented over a ten year period region by region across Canada to represent all First Nations south of the 60th parallel; and, is the first study of this type to be done on a regional scale. A variety of traditional food sources (including wild fish and 38  game, plants and mushrooms) were sampled analysed for a suite of contaminants including: perflourinated compounds (PFCs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), organophosphate and organochlorine pesticide residues, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dobenzofurans (PCDD/Fs), polybrominated fire retardants (PBDEs), trace elements and heavy metals,  pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs). Findings from BC showed that moose meat was the most commonly consumed traditional food (20.84 g/person/day), while salmon was the second most consumed traditional food (average=16.65 g/person/day).  The average First Nations consumer of fish and meat had negligible exposure risks to heavy metal but possibly adverse health implications could affect the high end consumers. The study concluded that contaminant levels in all traditional food samples collected were all at baseline levels and should pose no health risk to the consumers; and that chemical contamination of traditional food is not worrisome, but it is important to have the data for future monitoring of trends.  2.10 Relevant moose research Although traditional diets of First Nations are derived from a variety of animals and plants, the focus of this research is on moose; the country food of primary concern as identified by LDN.  This literature review consulted both the literature on current and historical moose research in BC and other parts of Canada, as well as coordinators of these studies. The research has helped inform the formulation of the CMHMP, and provide population and health trends for moose in BC. The most relevant of these studies are summarized below. In review of these studies an important consideration is that wildlife management and co-management with First Nations in BC is different than that in Northern Canada and the Arctic. In part this relates to the behavior and densities of moose of BC versus that of caribou of the North. Since moose are solitary animals they are often hunted opportunistically and a hunter is lucky to get one over several hunting trips. Whereas, caribou roam in herds and community hunting efforts that aim to kill several animals in a hunting trip is feasible.  39  2.10.1 The Dehcho Moose Program  The Dehcho Moose Program was conducted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources of the Northwest Territories (NWT) to determine baseline information on moose populations and to foster community-based monitoring of moose in the Dehcho administrative region of the NWT prior to future proposed developments including the Mackenzie Gas Project (Larter 2009). The study consisted of two key components: an aerial survey and harvest sampling. The aerial survey provided information on moose density and calf production, and harvest sampling provided information on the relative health and physical condition of animals consumed by local residents; the latter being the most relevant to the CMHMP. The Dehcho Moose Program provides an example of successfully combining the knowledge and cooperation of First Nation moose harvesters with the technical support of government biologists to secure valuable biological information for baseline data to monitor change associated with development.   2.10.2 Sahtu Wildlife Health Program  The Sahtu Wildlife Health Program, in the Sahtu Settlement Area (SSA) of the NWT, is another excellent example of community-based wildlife health monitoring and research. However, the Sahtu program has incorporated a longer term and more integrated approach. The SSA is still largely wilderness but has developed oil and gas operations and expanded hydrocarbon and mineral exploration.  Indigenous peoples in arctic and subarctic regions maintain a strong cultural connection with wildlife and many still rely on wildlife as a principal source of food and self-employment (Brook et al. 2009). Hence a community-based and integrated approach to monitoring wildlife is important to engage local people.  Annual trips were made to local schools and interviews were conducted with 31 hunters and elders to document their local ecological knowledge of wildlife health and local hunters were trained as wildlife health monitors (WHM) to collect samples and data on animals that they harvested. To supplement hunter and harvester training, a hunter training video on wildlife sampling and disease was produced and distributed. A broader benefit of the program is that it helps to inform community members: „„with the information that is out there and the contacts 40  made, if people see something abnormal they are much more likely to report it‟‟. Perhaps more important than the physical samples and data obtained via this program has been the development of a process for monitoring wildlife health. Moreover, the protocols developed in the Sahtu wildlife program now serve as the foundation for other hunter-based monitoring programs in Canada (Brook et al. 2009).  2.10.3 BC Provincial Moose Research Program Moose surveys conducted by the BCFLNRO during 2011/12 through 2013/14 suggested that population declines of 50–70% had occurred in some areas of interior BC within the last decade (BCMFLNRO 2014). In particular, the areas of decline overlapped with the CMHMP study area (that includes the Cariboo, Central Omineca, and the North Thompson regions of the provincial moose study), giving further justification for closer monitoring of moose in this area. This decline in moose abundance coincided with widespread infestation of mountain pine beetle and subsequent landscape changes associated with harvesting mountain pine beetle (MPB) killed timber over much of central BC (Alfaro, van Akker, and Hawkes 2015), which has the potential to impact moose populations. In response to the moose decline, the Ministry and its partners initiated a 5-year (December 2013–March 2018) provincially coordinated moose research project. The study is radio collaring and tracking over 200 moose and is investigating all mortalities to determine cause of death (BCMFLNRO 2014). Additionally, the BCMFLNRO developed a provincial moose management framework in cooperation with stakeholders. The research program collaborates with others conducting moose research elsewhere within and outside the province. This includes project such as the CMHMP.   The primary objective of the BC Provincial Moose Research Program is to examine cow moose survival in relation to landscape change (Kuzyk and Heard 2014). As such, the research design specifically addresses landscape-level effects of pine tree mortality and associated salvage logging since moose population declines coincide with the MPB outbreak. Landscape change from MPB and associated logging may positively affect moose 5–40 years post-logging because of increased food availability in regenerating forests (Janz 2006). However, both immediately 41  post-logging and over the long term moose may be negatively affected by increased road access, hunting and predation (Ritchie 2008).   The latest (2011) estimate from the provincial survey for B.C.‟s moose population is 145,000 to 235,000. Omineca Region Surveys in 2011/12 and confirmed in 2012/13 showed that moose densities in the southern portion of the region around Prince George have declined by 50 per cent since 2005. Probable causes of the 23 mortalities (of collared moose) are: predation (9), unregulated hunting (4), apparent starvation (4), vehicle collision (1), unknown natural (3), and two unknown. The combined annual survival rate of cow moose from all study areas was 92 ± 8% in 2013/14 and 92 ± 5% in 2014/15, which is within the normal range for stable moose populations (Kuzyk, Marshall, and Gillingham 2015).   42  Chapter 3: METHODOLOGY  3.1 Proposed framework  Figure 3.1 provides a schematic outlining the three proposed phases of the CMHMP. The Phase 1 or the piloting phase of the program (now completed), broadly, has included scoping and initial moose sampling. The proposed second phase builds upon lessons learned during the piloting stage and will include expansion of the program along with continued activities to complete baseline sampling. Ongoing and long-term implementation of the program is proposed to occur in Phase three. This phase coincides with mine operation and post closure where mitigation measures to ensure moose health and Aboriginal food security may be implemented.  While the following methodological discussion is pertinent to components of all three proposed phases, this thesis focuses on the implementation of the first phase of the program.   43   Figure 3.1 Schematic of the framework and approach to assess and monitor moose in the three proposed phases of the CMHMP.  Modeling and tissue sample collection are two key approaches used for assessment of the health and safety of country foods. Modeling or estimating tissue concentrations is of particular value when sampling tissue is not feasible and can also be used to supplement site-specific tissue data collected by sampling programs. Yet, collecting tissue samples is preferred since modeling results can vary by orders of magnitude compared to actual measurements given a high variability of natural environments (Health Canada 2010a). Additionally, the analysis of tissues samples of country foods „destined for the dinner table‟ directly addresses concerns of food safety, and thus; results may be better understood and trusted.   44  The CMHMP proposes to assess moose health and food safety using samples collected from hunted animals. To deliver meaningful results, this and any other country food monitoring program must also be complimented by relevant population and ecological studies of wildlife as well with traditional knowledge (TK) and studies on dietary patterns and perceptions of local people. CEAA, 2012 requires that mining proponents take an ecosystem approach when assessing baseline conditions (Government of Canada 2012). The ecosystem approach considers both scientific and TK and perspectives regarding ecosystem health and integrity. Incorporating TK of ecosystems is an important feature of assessing wildlife health and ensuring that results of a monitoring program are salient to Aboriginal peoples (Emery 2000; Government of Alberta 2003; Tobias 2010). Traditional use and occupancy studies have been initiated with the LDN (personal communication, N. Gauthreau, 2015) and TK should be incorporated into the CMHMP where appropriate.   3.1.1 Community-based participatory approach An overarching philosophy for this framework is to embrace a collaborative and Community-based Participatory Approach such that the research is initiated, shaped and controlled by First Nations though all stages of the program to ensure that it is meaningful, valuable and trustworthy to these communities (Israel et al. 2008; Israel et al. 1998). A community-based approach to observation and monitoring of the environment incorporates local people, government agencies, academia, community groups, and local institutions to monitor, track, and respond to issues of common concern (EMAN 2002). Monitoring and management of wildlife health often involves diverse stakeholders with a shared interest in wildlife and a common desire for long-term sustainability (Peterson et al. 2007). Thus, past and current models of community-based wildlife monitoring programs in Canada have provided additional direction. Additionally, the CMHMP seeks to abide by the Indigenous 'Ownership, Control, Access, and Possession' code of research ethics (Government of Canada 2015c) in order to further empower participating communities. This includes the development of data sharing agreements with all participants including researchers in affiliation with an academic institution (e.g. UBC), government agencies (e.g. BCMFLNRO), and participating communities (e.g. LDN) to minimize risks inherent with social research and address privacy and confidentiality protocols as well as the extent to which personal 45  and community-based information can be disclosed to program collaborators. As well, preliminary results are shared with community members and other program participants before reports are made available to outside stakeholders.    Thus far, the CMHMP has collaborated with LDN hunters as well as all hunter/guide outfitters operating near the Blackwater Mine area. Other Blackwater Mine affected First Nations have also expressed interest in participating in the program (personal communication, N. Gauthreau). Meetings with community members provide an opportunity for input of traditional knowledge that help inform where and when hunting and sampling can occur and identify harvesters and hunters to serve as Wildlife Health Monitors (WHM). WHM along with hunting guide outfitters were trained to collect samples and data from hunted moose using standardized protocols, and are provided with pre-labeled sampling kits. Although participation in a monitoring program may be on a volunteer basis, there are several potential benefits to participants. Importantly, participation by both First Nations hunters and hunting guide outfitters can help strengthen relationships between these groups. As well, involvement in monitoring builds trust and understanding that might help dispel potentially unfounded notions of impurity that have been found to discourage consumption of country foods in the face of resource extraction (Hlimi et al. 2012).   3.1.2 Sampling strategy Sampling in a country food monitoring program should focus on locally consumed species and reflect species identified as being of concern by local people. As discussed above, moose are widely consumed within the LDN community and is a species of primary concern and is thus the focus of the CMHMP.    Data collection should start in advance of mine development in order to establish a baseline database of wildlife health. Sample collection for the CMHMP commenced in the 2015 fall hunting season, well ahead of permitting of the Blackwater Mine. A sampling program should be conducted on an ongoing basis or implemented at set frequencies throughout all stages of mine development. Monitoring of country foods in New Gold‟s CFMP, for instance, is scheduled at to 46  be conducted at pre-construction, and then at two, five and 11 years post construction (Amec 2014b). Given the challenges of obtaining moose samples via a hunting program, limiting the sample collection period to correspond with the CFMP frequencies may result in the collection of an inadequate sample size. Sampling activities for the CMHMP are best conducted on an ongoing basis enabling hunters to continue to collect samples on regular hunting outings. Stored samples can then be shipped and analyzed at times that coincide with the CFMP, enabling synchronized reporting of results from both programs.   Approaches to collection of samples from wildlife can be achieved via active sampling (whereby specific attributes of a sample are actively sought) or passive sampling (whereby samples are collected by stakeholders during their usual activities such as hunting) (Guberti, Stancampiano, and Ferrari 2014). An active sampling strategy enables randomized sample collection and may facilitate collection of a desired sample size. A monitoring program that incorporates this design should optimally incorporate stratified sampling to enable collection from both the project affected areas as well as unaffected, control areas. Feasibility and practicality are important considerations in deciding on sampling approach. For example, research that proposes to actively sample large, free-ranging wild ungulate species (e.g. moose) is less likely to be approved than a passive sampling approach (personal communication, H. Schwantje, 2016).  Defining sampling areas should also consider characteristics of species being sampled. Small mammal species generally have small geographic ranges and thus sampling may incorporate smaller study areas compared to larger species. Interpreting results must take into account that tissue burdens in highly mobile wildlife, such as moose, represent accumulated contaminant concentrations for their entire range and not necessarily solely from the location from where animals were sampled (Health Canada, 2010).   The CMHMP was initiated using a passive and opportunistic sampling approach, whereby hunters sample moose that they would have killed regardless of the monitoring program. This strategy was chosen as it was best suited to help to build relationships between researchers and harvesters and create interest within the community in the program. However, passive sampling has several limitations. This methodology has inherent sampling biases (i.e. hunters generally 47  selecting healthy animals, often of a select sex and age cohort; and which are from non-stratified, non- randomized areas) and poses the risk of the collection of a variable sample size. Yet this strategy also naturally facilitates sampling from the population of moose that are of greatest concern in a country food monitoring program.  Additionally, passive sampling is more likely to detect new wildlife diseases or health issues than active sampling (Guberti, Stancampiano, and Ferrari 2014). This sampling approach was also chosen because limited funds were available to compensate hunters for the increased efforts required of more elaborate protocols. In addition, we were reluctant to compensate hunters since, in part, it takes away from the community driven element of the program.  3.1.3 Sample size The logistics and feasibility of obtaining samples must be considered along with power analyses to optimize the number of samples. Small communities, such as the LDN, may only have a few community members that routinely hunt. Additionally, since moose are generally solitary and sparsely dispersed, a hunter might only get one moose every six months. Furthermore, monitoring program design should consider these factors in formulation of realistic targets for sample size.  Potential difficulties of obtaining sufficient quality and quantity of samples may be encountered in the absence of hunter compensation (Larter, 2009a). Previous sampling programs have provided honoraria for each completed sample kit submitted (Carlsson et al. 2015; Larter and Kandola 2010; McLachlan 2014). While cash value of compensation varied during the course of these programs, $50 was approximately the average amount of compensation provided per completed sample kit. The CMHMP carefully considered whether to compensate hunters for submission of samples. However, program facilitators concluded that this might detract from the community-based approach of the program and thus decided not to compensate hunters during the Phase 1 of the program.   Hunters, in the CMHMP, were instructed to plot each moose kill site corresponding to collected samples on a topographical map of the study area with a scale of 1:50,000 provided within the sampling kits. Kill sites are then confirmed on a map when the hunter submits the sample to a program coordinator. Similar methods to mark locations on maps were used in Use and 48  Occupancy Research with the LDN (personal communication, N. Gauthreau, 2015) and the method has clearly demonstrated that hunters are able to locate kill sites on maps long after hunts with accurate descriptions of the physical location (Tobias 2009).   Hunters were requested to sample from harvested moose within a 100 km2 radius of the proposed mine. This sampling area was intended to be marked on the maps provided in the sampling kits. However, the initial maps provided in kits to hunters demarked a 50 km2 radius, an error that was not noticed until after Phase 1 sampling was completed. Hence, hunters only sampled from moose hunted within a 50 km2 radius of the mine during Phase 1. Maps in subsequent phases of the CMHMP will be modified to incorporate the 100km2 radius that was initially intended. Figure 3.2 shows a regional map including the study area demarking the 50 km2 as marked on the maps included with Phase 1 sample kits as well as the 100 km2 radius that will be marked on all future maps included with sampling kits. The 100 km2 radius is in consideration of the fact that moose have home ranges that vary widely depending on their subspecies, sex, age as well as on geographic characteristics and habitat features (Gillingham and Parker 2008). Home ranges for moose in BC are highly variable, with two subspecies and multiple ecotones (i.e. mountain versus plateau). In a given season, their home range seldom exceeds 10 km2. Yet, particularly for migratory moose, annual home range is much larger (BCMELP 2000). Moose in BC that inhabit mountain ecosystems appear to be more migratory, moving between seasonal ranges.  Plateau moose (i.e. in the region near the Blackwater Mine) don't appear, for the most part, to be migratory (personal communication, M. Klaczek8, 2015). Additionally, hunting guide outfitters also indicated that a sampling radius of „at least‟ 100 km2 was appropriate (personal communication, J. Blackwell and J. Linnell9, 2015).  New Gold has also confirmed that the 100 km2 radius is an appropriate and acceptable study area for monitoring potential effects of the Blackwater Mine on moose (personal communication, T. Bekhuys10, 2015).                                                    8 Michael Klaczek is a Wildlife Biologist (Omineca Region) for the BCMFLNRO. 9 John Blackwell and Jim Linnell are Hunting guide Outfitters that participated in the CMHMP. 10 Tim Bekhuys is the Director of Environment and Sustainability at New Gold Inc.. 49    Figure 3.2 Map of the region surrounding the proposed Blackwater Mine and the CMHMP study area showing the 50 km2 radius as demarked on the maps included with Phase 1 sample kits as well as the 100 km2 radius that will be marked on all future sampling kit maps. The map was approved to be used in this report and prepared by Neil Gauthreau, LDN Natural Resource Manager. 50  3.1.4 Program coordination and sample collection  Establishing a community-based program wildlife health coordinator was considered integral to the facilitation of an ongoing and effective community-based monitoring program for country foods. This is especially important given the remote proximity of the LDN reserve (also called „Kluskus‟), which can make coordination logistically challenging without local assistance. A paid, part-time community-based program coordinator should be designated by both the community and program leads to be responsible for liaising with the program, including community harvesters, mining company and consultants as well as dispersing sampling protocols and kits and collecting data and samples from hunters. The coordinator should be trained to ensure proper labeling of sampling kits and datasheets are completed to ensure all required information has been recorded. This includes communicating with hunters to ensure that requested data from all samples has been recorded on datasheets, that moose kill locations have been accurately plotted on maps, as well as checking for sample quality, handling and storage. (See Appendix A for the document created to advertise the position for a CMHMP community-based program coordinator with LDN.)  The CMHMP has yet to establish a LDN community member as a community-based program community coordinator. Difficulties in filling this position were, in part, the result of a lack of candidates that were available, interested or suitable (personal communication, N. Gauthreau, 2015). As well, the desire to establish this position must come from within the community along with a will to embrace the program. This requires a level of relationship between the program and the community that might not yet have been established with the CMHMP. In the interim, Neil Gauthreau has acted as the community coordinator for this program. The CMHMP is still seeking to establish a LDN community member as a community-based program community coordinator.   Participating hunting guide outfitters were asked to store collected samples in their freezers and had the option of either dropping samples off at regional BCMFLNRO offices (for which contact information was provided) or if feasible, a CMHMP coordinator could pick up samples. Once all completed sample kits were compiled and the contents (including datasheets, maps, and samples) 51  assessed and inventoried, the CMHMP coordinator shipped samples to appropriate laboratories for analyses.  Finally, program coordinators of country food monitoring programs should also verify that the analytical laboratory being considered for testing is qualified to conduct the required analysis (Health Canada, 2010).  In the CMHMP, consultation with wildlife veterinary specialists and discussions with laboratory managers helped identify appropriate laboratories for specific tissue assessments.  3.1.5 Sampling kits  Kits were designed to contain everything a hunter needs, beyond what they would normally have on hand during hunting trips, to collect, document, and store samples.  Table 3.1 provides an inventory of all items contained within CMHMP sample kits that were distributed to LDN hunters and to hunter guide outfitters. A knife was not included in the kits since hunters generally carry their own knives. During the first phase of the sampling program beginning in the fall of 2015, sampling kits were distributed to each hunting guide outfitter (either in person or via mail) that agreed to participate in the program, to each identified LDN hunter, and additional kits were provided to the LDN band office to distribute to hunters. All hunters were asked to hold onto unused kits for the 2016 moose hunting season in order to collect additional samples.           52  Table 3.1 Materials included in sampling kits in Phase 1. Equipment  Purpose • Datasheet (on all weather paper) and 2 pencils To provide details of animal and location  • Step by step outline of procedures sheet To provide hunter with an overview of steps • Map of sampling area To plot location of moose kill • Pre-labeled, re-sealable bags (5 small 2 large) For storing collected biological samples • 1 Medium-sized white garbage bag  If necessary, to store larger specimens (i.e. jawbone)  • 2 coin envelopes Storing hair and ear tip specimens • Metric ruler To measure back fat • Nitrile examination gloves (2 pairs) Hand protection and cleanliness • 5 filter paper strips mounted to cardboard handle For blood collection • Paper clip To enable drying of blood soaked paper • Desiccation pack To preserve dried blood    3.1.6 Temporal boundaries The duration of a monitoring program must consider that different groups of people may have very different perspectives on what long-term monitoring represents. Given the current state of deflated commodity prices it is understandable, for instance, that mine planners and mining engineers are especially concerned about the parts of a timeline for a mine that considers efficiency and feasibility of a project. Figure 3.3 shows timelines for the typical metal mine lifecycle in Canada as well as that proposed for the Blackwater Mine. Although these timelines may incorporate plans for closure and post-closure of a mine that include land reclamation and monitoring activities, the focus is on mine development and operation. Aboriginal people, on the other hand, who have lived on the land for generations may be more concerned about the long term implications of a mine on or near their traditional territories. One Aboriginal perspective considers „long-term‟ as the time equal to that of at least seven generations, where a generation may span 30 to 100 years (personal communication, D. Van Zyl, 2015). Thus, a plan to implement a long-term monitoring program that is culturally appropriate for Aboriginal people 53  includes an understanding of what long-term means to local people so that a timeline for the program can be established. The plan for the CMHMP is to be implemented throughout all stages of the Blackwater Mine including post-closure and beyond land reclamation activities. Further meetings with LDN and other First Nations near the Blackwater Mine are still required to ascertain temporal boundaries and to determine for how long the CMHMP will be implemented.    Figure 3.3 Model of the timeline or lifecycle of a mine. Black coloured boxes writing depict the timeline for a typical metal mine in Canada (adapted from Government of Canada 2015b)  and red boxes denote features of the timeline of the proposed Blackwater mine (Amec 2012).  3.2 Promotion and piloting Phase 1  3.2.1 Hunter training and Wildlife Health Workshop On September 2, 2015, a wildlife health and monitoring program training workshop with the LDN was co-facilitated by the Dr. Helen Schwantje and Dr. Rocky Lis (BCMFLNRO and CMHMP veterinarians), and supported by Neil Gauthreau and biologists (Becky Cadsand –54  wildlife biologist for the Caribou region; and Julie Wittrock, a PhD student).   Approximately 15-20 community members attended the workshop in the school gymnasium with a range of people including men and women, elders, hunters, and a few youth and children in attendance (Figure 3.4 shows photographs of scenes for the workshop and the agenda for the workshop is provided in Appendix B).  The workshop coincided with a community annual end of summer barbeque, which helped recruit more community members to attend.    a) Classroom Session  Figure 3.4 Photographs from the wildlife health workshop in Kluskus  showing a) Dr. Rocky Lis delivering a classroom session in the school gymnasium, (b) Dr. Helen Schwantje leading a necropsy of a deer just outside the school, and (c) the necropsy assisted by Dr. Rocky Lis.          55  Figure 3.4 continued  b) Deer necropsy   c) Deer necropsy  Dr. Schwantje led the wildlife health component and Dr. Lis introduced the CMHMP via power point presentations. This included descriptions of how to collect data and samples from hunted moose using sampling kits and datasheets.  A necropsy of a deer carcass that was killed by a community member earlier that morning was performed to demonstrate internal and external animal examination of along with techniques for collection of tissue samples and data.  Hunting guide outfitters were trained in CMHMP protocols by providing information during phone conversations, emails (that included the power point presentations shared in the above 56  workshop), and were encouraged also to watch a CD that was mailed to them containing a hunter training video on wildlife data and sample collection produced for similar research, the Circum-Arctic Rangifer Monitoring and Assessment network (CARMA), at the University of Calgary (Kutz 2009). Copies of this CD were also left at the LDN band office to be available to LDN hunters that were not able to attend the wildlife health workshop.  3.3 Baseline data and sample collection  3.3.1 Wildlife health assessment  Wildlife health assessment requires consideration of a range of health factors including genetics, nutritional status (approximated by body condition and fat stores), age and reproductive status (e.g. pregnant/ lactating), human related physiological stressors (e.g. environmental contaminants, hunting, climate change, traffic, land alteration), ecological factors (e.g. population dynamics including predator-prey influences, food availability) as well as parasites and disease or injury. Hence, in addition to ecosystem level data and species specific population data; a suite of biological samples from individual animals is necessary to provide a more robust assessment of health.   Given the complexity of wildlife health, much consideration is required in selecting what individual animal data and which biological samples data are required for assessment. The practicality of collecting samples and the possibility of overburdening hunters with sample collection must be weighed carefully against the advantages for analyses for health assessment in collecting ideal size, number and types of tissue specimen. Other hunter-reliant sampling programs observed increased compliance among hunters when fewer samples were requested (Carlsson et al. 2015; Larter and Kandola 2010). Hunters may also be reluctant to collect or submit samples that are large and cumbersome to procure. Additionally, hunters may be disinclined to part with certain organs or tissues. For instance, the Dehcho Moose program found that Aboriginal hunters in were reluctant to submit moose kidneys as they were considered a delicacy by the Dehcho people (Larter and Kandola 2010).    57  During the first phase of the CMHMP, hunters were requested to record individual moose data and collect a suite of biological samples from hunted moose for each sampling kit (see Appendix C and D for a sample of the datasheet and protocol instruction sheet included with sampling kits). Table 3.2 provides a summary of the biological samples requested from hunters as well as the intended analysis to be conducted on each sample and Figure 3.5 provides a photographic schematic of the approximate location on the moose from where these samples were collected.  The details and justification of sample collection, storage, and analysis for each sample type are discussed below.  Table 3.2 CMHMP Phase 1 biological samples requested from hunters. Biological sample Quantity Purpose   Laboratory/ archive used • Muscle > 3 by 3cm piece Metal analysis ALS   • Liver > 3 by 3cm piece Metal analysis ALS   • Kidney > 3 by 3cm piece Metal analysis ALS   • Blood soaked filter paper 5 paper strips Serology (pathogens) University of Calgary           • Feces 20-30 pellets Parasitology University of Calgary             • Ear tip 2cm+ Archive (i.e. genetics) BCMFLNRO Nanaimo, BC         • Hair 20-30 hairs with roots Archive (i.e. cortisol/ mercury)  BCMFLNRO Nanaimo, BC • Incisors (front teeth) Incisor bar Aging by cementum analysis Matson's Laboratory • Metatarsus (ankle bone) Entire bone Body fat & size N/A   • Mandible Entire bone Body size   N/A   58    Figure 3.5 Biological samples requested from hunters in Phase 1 of the CMHMP (adapted from (Larter 2008).  Body condition assessment  A key feature of a veterinary examination of an animal includes an assessment of body condition. To objectively assess body condition in hunted moose and other ungulates, protocols may include measures of leg or jaw bones to extrapolate animal size; and, bone marrow fat content, a Kidney Fat Index procedure (e.g., Gunn and Nixon, 2008; Larter, 2009), photographs of the omentum (personal communication, H. Schwantje, 2015), back fat measurements to extrapolate body fat (Gunn and Nixon 2008), and several other more elaborate methods. To assess body condition in the CMHMP, hunters were asked to record for each sampled moose a body condition score (listed on datasheets as „skinny‟, „not so fat‟, „fat‟ and „really fat‟ (adapted from, Gunn and Nixon, 2008) and to take photographs of the entire moose as well as of the omentum.  Hunters were also requested to collect the metatarsus, jawbone and a measure of 59  backfat at a standard location and in milimetres from moose. Although the sensitivity of different body fat measures depends on the season and the nutritional state of the animal, back fat indexes are only useful from September to November (Chan et al. 2011); corresponding to much of the CMHMP moose hunting and sampling period. Disease screening For many diseases in moose, disease screening requires the collection and analysis of serum samples. Historically, proper collection and storage of blood of wildlife requires training and includes logistical challenges and it was not feasible for hunters to do themselves. Blood collection by soaking blood onto Nobuto filter paper strips (Toyo Roshi Kaisha, Ltd., Tokyo, Japan: distributor Advantec MFS Inc., Dublin, California, USA) is a novel, versatile and reliable tool for wildlife health monitoring. To collect a sample, a large vein (i.e. jugular) is severed, or the heart is opened soon after death and the collector dips the filter paper into the blood.  Depending on circumstances, samples are either air dried and then stored at room temperature in a plastic bag with desiccant or stored frozen immediately. Dried blood on filter paper recovered via an elution method (to recover serum) for ELISA detection has demonstrated comparable detection of pathogens to serum as the gold standard. Additionally, storage of dried blood on filter paper for two months and stored at either room temperature or below freezing had no detrimental effects (Curry, 2009; Curry et al., 2011). Several community-based wildlife monitoring programs have successfully demonstrated that filter paper sampling can be used by hunters in the field with minimal training (Carlsson et al. 2015; ERM 2015; Larter and Kandola 2010).   The CMHMP sampling kit included filter paper strips, mounted to a cardboard handle and along with a bent paper clip for drying; to enable hunters to sample moose blood (see Figure 3.6).  Immunoassays for pathogens from serum recovered from filter papers can be conducted at several Canadian laboratories (see Appendix E for a list contact list). Blood is then tested for evidence of exposure to infectious diseases comparable to other moose monitoring programs. Previously, moose blood samples in the Sahtu region of the NWT were tested for diseases of significance to local caribou including Neospora caninum, Alphaherpesvirus, Parainfluenza3 60  Virus (PI3) and Pestivirus (Carlsson et al. 2015); while the BC Provincial Moose Research Program has been testing for Johnes Disease, Neospora, PI3, Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus (BVDV), and Erysipelothrix (Government of BC 2015). Since the quantity of blood collected was limited during the first phase of sample collection to 5 FP strips per sampling kit, the CMHMP prioritized serological testing for BVD, Johnes, Neospora, and requested for testing for Erysipelothrix, Bovine Herpes-1 Virus (BHV-1), Bovine Respiratory Syncitial Virus (BRSV) and PI3 if sufficient blood quantities permitted (personal communication, H. Schwantje, 2015). Finally, samples of dried blood on filter paper strip collected for the CMHMP were sent to veterinary diagnostic laboratories at the University of Calgary for serum recovery. Subsequent blood tests were then completed at either the University of Calgary laboratory or the Prairie Diagnostic Services at the University of Saskatchewan.   Figure 3.6 Set of five Nobuto filter paper strips. Each sampling kit was equipped with one set of filter paper strips to enable field sampling of blood by hunters.  Blood soaked strips affixed to a cardboard handle can be attached to a paper clip that, when bent, acts as a stand to allow samples to dry. Fecal parasite screening Parasite screening via collection and assessment of feces has also been widely used to investigate moose health status (Carlsson et al. 2015; Larter and Kandola 2010; Government of BC 2015). For example, moose feces from the Dehcho (NWT) were screened for the presence of Giardia and Cryptosporidium by the sucrose flotation method (Larter, 2009a), as well as other parasites via fecal floatation to identify eggs of nematode, cestode parasites, and the cyst and oocyst of protozoans; and, Sahtu moose feces was also analysed using the Baermann technique to test for 61  the presence of protostrongylid lungworms; as well fecal sedimentation to test for the presence of flukes (Carlsson et al. 2015).   CMHMP hunters were asked to collect a „handful‟ of fecal sample from hunted moose. Feces are collected either directly from the anus or extracted from the colon during cleaning and are stored frozen with the rest of the sampling kit. Frozen fecal samples were shipped (along with dried blood on filter paper strip samples) to the veterinary diagnostic laboratories at the University of Calgary for a suite of fecal parasitology tests including: Baermann larval count, fecal floatation test, Fluke finder test, and direct fluorescent-antibody (DFA) for Giardia and Cryptosporidium. The CMHMP specifically requested that laboratory looking out for meningeal worm (P. tenuis), giant liver fluke (F. magna), and gastrointestinal nematodes (i.e. P. odocoilei) (personal communication, H. Schwantje, 2015). The interpretation of frozen samples will take into consideration that freezing destroys some eggs, strongyle type eggs in particular (personal communication, S. Kutz11, 2016). Aging Wildlife age is related to fitness components such body condition, fecundity and mortality, and is critical for understanding both individual and population herd health, but age data is also important for detecting population trends (Gaillard et al. 2000). Determination of the ages of sampled moose is important since animal age can greatly influence the interpretation of results of a health assessment. For instance, the epidemiology of many diseases, the pathogen load, as well as the accumulation of contaminants may vary with the age of an animal. The first incisors of moose provide a robust and reliable method to assess age of individual animals (Miller, F.L. 1974). CMHMP hunters were requested to collect from moose the rostral part of the mandible with the lower incisor teeth and to freeze and store this with the rest of the sampling kit. The first incisor teeth were sent to Matson‟s Laboratory (Milltown, Montana, USA) to be aged by counting cementum annuli from the root of the premolar. The laboratory requests that teeth are extracted from the bone and cleaned by soaking the teeth in a hot water bath for several hours to                                                  11 Dr. Susan Kutz is a Veterinary Parasitologist and Professor of Ecosystem and Public Health at the University of Calgary. 62  loosen the teeth and then wiped clean (Matson‟s Laboratory 2016).  However, we found that the teeth could only be extracted from bone after boiling the samples for approximately 10 minutes to loosen the connective tissue.    Figure 3.7 Photograph of set of front teeth still attached to bone and tissue from a moose sampled during Phase 1 of the CMHMP. For each sampled moose, the first two incisors were extracted, cleaned and shipped to Matson’s Laboratory to be aged. Archived tissues  Archiving biological specimens enables the possibility of future evaluation and reassessment. Along with baseline data, archived samples can be evaluated to establish the distribution of pathogens; to assess changes over; for early detection and implementation of control measures; and to determine cause of disease (Ryser-Degiorgis 2013). As an example, the Sahtu Wildlife Health Program has archived fecal, blood and hide samples at the University of Calgary, along with a stored and secure inventory date file (Carlsson et al. 2015).    CMHMP hair and ear tip samples have been archived at the BCMFLNRO office in Nanaimo, BC. Several analyses can potentially be conducted at a later date on hair samples including additional metal analysis (i.e. mercury) and cortisol assessments of physiological stress, which is discussed below along with the potential for examining tooth defects.  Ear tips, on the other hand, can be used for possible future genetic analysis (personal communication, H. Schwantje, 2015). Hunters may not be able to freeze samples soon after collection and so genetic material is likely to be better preserved with samples from extremities that cool quickly after death such as 63  ears compared to internal organs or muscle tissues (MacDonald 2015). The use of genetic assessment in wildlife studies is widespread and the capability for whole genome sequencing and other genomic tools is becoming increasingly accessible. Additionally, archiving CMHMP samples with the BCMFLNRO provides a link to the ongoing province wide moose project. Indicators of physiological stress Physiological stress can affect animal fitness, resilience and overall health. Extensive efforts have been made to explore methods that could be used as monitoring or management tools to assess physiological stress in wildlife. As such, assessment of physiological stress is relevant here as it may become an important tool in monitoring impacts of mining on wildlife. This could be of particular value following mine disasters (e.g. Mount Polley Tailings dam failure) to assess impacts on wildlife.  Hair cortisol analysis is an emerging, yet validated and integrated measure of stress in wildlife that can provide a reliable and meaningful diagnostic test (personal communication, B. Macbeth12, 2015). Much of the hair cortisol research has been developed and validated with a grizzly bear model. This research has provided meaningful biological and landscape level relationships. Due to differences in hair structure, laboratory analysis of moose hair for cortisol assessment requires more hair than with grizzlies. Collection of approximately 100 moose hairs (plucked from a standard location such as from between the shoulder blades) is recommended for cortisol analysis of each sample. As an integrated measure, the cortisol levels can only be interpreted along with relevant individual moose data including age, body size and condition, lactation and pregnancy status. There are many covariates that can affect moose cortisol, and thus, the more data regarding an individual sample, the more meaningful the results.  Prairie Diagnostic Services at the University of Saskatchewan (David Janz) provide a hair cortisol assessment for approximately $70/ sample. This is a labour intensive process requiring one week to prepare an ELISA plate for the analysis (personal communication, B. Macbeth, 2015).                                                    12 Dr. Bryan MacBeth is a Wildlife Veterinarian and Wildlife Health Consultant based in Canmore, Alberta.  64  Another potentially useful tool to assess physiological stress that can be used alongside other measures of glucocorticoids (stress hormone) levels (i.e. above) is the examining of dental enamel hypoplasia (tooth defects). Tooth enamel hypoplasias are visible developmental tooth defects that can be easily screened for and can be used for tracking physiological stress that coincided with the deposition of enamel on those teeth (Wu et al. 2012).  Furthermore, in addition to using teeth for aging, it may also be prudent to archive teeth samples from hunted moose in the CMHMP.  3.4 Analysis and reporting of results 3.4.1  Metal analyses Collected frozen muscle, kidney and liver samples were delivered on ice to ALS Labs (an internationally recognized laboratory that routinely conducts testing for environmental contaminants) in Vancouver, BC for metal scan analyses. New Gold uses this laboratory for baseline environmental testing of contaminants for the Blackwater Mine, and has proposed to use this lab for analysing tissue specimens from the CFMP.  Briefly, the percent moisture in tissues was analysed gravimetrically by drying samples at 105 degrees Celsius for a minimum of six hours. For analysis of all metals other than mercury, tissue samples are homogenized and sub-sampled prior to hotblock digestion with nitric and hydrochloric acids, in combination with addition of hydrogen peroxide.  Instrumental analysis is by collision cell inductively coupled plasma - mass spectrometry (modified from EPA Method 6020A). For mercury analysis, tissue samples are homogenized and sub-sampled prior to hotblock digestion with nitric and hydrochloric acids, in combination with addition of hydrogen peroxide.  Instrumental analysis is by collision cell inductively coupled plasma - mass spectrometry (modified from EPA Method 6020A). Analysis is by atomic fluorescence spectrophotometry or atomic absorption spectrophotometry (adapted from US EPA Method 245.7).  A comprehensive quality assurance/ quality control program (QA /QC) was implemented by ALS for this metal analysis. Quality control samples were introduced along with tissues samples at critical points of sample handling, preparation and analysis to ensure the processes are performing as expected. This included ensuring that instrument QC requirements were met and 65  method QC were successfully analysed before results of the CMHMP metal analysis could be approved by the laboratory.  3.4.2 Knowledge translation and reporting Integrated Knowledge Translation (IKT) is the foundation for the collaboration of the CMHMP with participating communities. IKT is a bidirectional approach that applies the translation of knowledge throughout the entire research process (CIHR 2012). Thus far, this has included meetings and workshops with LDN community members and will also include reporting findings of monitoring activities to the community. A community-based workshop can play an important role in sharing ideas on wildlife health and may help to prevent or address misconceptions or misinterpretations of program activities and results. Phase two of the CMHMP may include expansion to collaborate with the Ulkatcho First Nation and facilitation of a wildlife health workshop with the Ulkatcho First Nation is being discussed by program coordinators.  This report has also been review by Neil Gauthreau on behalf of the LDN. A one page summary providing updates and the progress of the program along including preliminary results and the future direction of the program has also been provided to the LDN to be posted on the Band Facebook page and on community bulletin boards (e.g. Band office and school). The summary includes contact information for the CMHMP coordinator for any questions or further input or suggestions for the program (see Appendix G).  66  Chapter 4:  RESULTS and ANALYSES A total of six moose were harvested and sampled by volunteer hunters for CMHMP during the first phase of baseline sample collection, coinciding with the 2015 fall hunting season. Locations of all of the moose were marked by hunters at a distance of at least 36km from the edge of the proposed footprint of the Blackwater mine, but within the 50 km2 perimeter demarked on study maps provided in sampling kits (see Table 4.1 for distance each sample was collected (estimated by Neil Gauthreau using GIS software) as well as Figure 4.1 showing moose kill locations as plotted by hunters on the map included within sampling kits).  Table 4.1 Summary of moose sampled during Phase 1 of the CMHMP showing the approximate distance (estimated in metres using GIS) moose were killed from the nearest edge of the proposed footprint of the Blackwater Mine. ID ‘AX’ was marked by a hunter on a map but not sampled.    Sample ID Date collected Sampler Distance (m) A1 13-Sep-15 LDN hunter 36289 A9 16-Sep-15 Guide-outfitter 45105 A10 03-Oct-15 Guide-outfitter 45117 A11 29-Sep-15 Guide-outfitter 45002 A21 08-Oct-15 Guide-outfitter 39501 A23 11-Oct-15 Guide-outfitter 39265 AX fall, 2015 Guide-outfitter 37561   67       Figure 4.1 Map that was included in Phase 1 CMHMP sampling kits showing hunter plotted locations of moose killed and sampled moose. ID ‘AX’ was marked by a hunter on a map but not sampled. The map was approved to be used in this report and prepared by Neil Gauthreau, LDN Natural Resource Manager (March 29, 2016).  68  Both the quality of samples collected as well as the number of samples collected for each moose and sampling kit varied. Only one submitted sampling kit had all the requested moose tissues collected, with the rest having only some of the tissues. Figure 4.2 showing a photograph of the contents within a submitted sampling kit). Table 4.2 summarizes the frequency that tissue specimens were collected.  Four of the submitted kits included blood on filter paper strips, with one of these being insufficiently soaked in blood thus resulting in insufficient quantity for analysis (see Figure 4.3). All submitted kits had hair and ear tip specimens collected. While 3 of the kits included a collected metatarsus segment, none of these included the entire bone as requested; and thus are not useful for size or fat measurements. Kit A1 had an unlabeled sample that likely corresponded to abnormal tissue noted on the datasheet, but this was not further described. Kit A9 contained a sample labeled „Abnormal Tissue‟ likely corresponding to a liver cyst as noted on the corresponding datasheet. Photographs sent by email of sampled moose, corresponding to kits A9 and A10, were sent by one of the hunting guide outfitters. These were pictures of the whole, intact animal just after being shot as well of the gutted abdomen and contents (see Figure 4.4).    Figure 4.2 A submitted sampling kit from Phase 1 of the CMHMP. 69   Figure 4.3 Insufficient blood collection on paper strips; each strip should be entirely soaked in blood.  Table 4.2 Frequency that each tissue specimen was collected by hunters from sampled moose (n=6) (e.g. muscle was collected in 3 of the 6 sampled moose and no mandibles were collected from any moose).     Tissue Frequency  Muscle  3 Kidney 5 Liver 6 Feces 4 Hair 6 Ear Tip 6 Blood strips 4 Incisors 4 Metatarsus 3 Mandible 0 70   a) Moose with guide-outfitter   b) Abdominal contents  Figure 4.4 A hunted moose (ID A10) sampled during Phase 1 of the CMHMP with a hunting guide-outfitter (a) and normal looking abdominal contents of this moose (b). Jim Linnell (guide outfitter) provided these photographs and gave permission for their use and publication in this report.  All datasheets had date, hunter name, and location recorded as well as animal data such as sex, body condition, and age. Sample A1 was noted to be a cow yearling, whereas all the others were reported to be adult bulls. There was high variation between back fat measurements (range 3-150mm, standard deviation 58.4), perhaps the result of incorrect measurement procedure. A small growth on the upper right jaw and small lumps on the hide of moose A11 were the only abnormalities noted on all datasheets.  71  4.1 Body fat and body condition assessment Back fat measurements varied greatly (range 3-150mm, standard deviation 58.4) with the upper end of the range perhaps the result of incorrect measurement procedure. Hunters scored moose body condition as either „not so bad‟ (n=3) or „fat‟ (n=3), however, A9 was marked both „fat‟ and „really fat‟. Although there are too few samples to assess the correlation between hunter marked body condition and back fat, body condition scores scored as „fat‟ did not seem to correlate well with higher back fat values. Extrapolation of body size is only feasible with entire bone samples. Thus, body size of sampled moose could not be estimated since only partial mandible and metatarsal samples were collected.   4.2 Metal analysis CMHMP tissue specimens were analysed by ALS laboratory for a suite of 35 metals, with several metals reporting below minimum detection limits (see appendix F for tables showing the estimates of the total concentration of each metal from all tissue samples). However, only six of these elements are discussed in this report, namely: arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, molybdenum, selenium and zinc. Table 4.3 summarizes the mean, standard deviation and maximum value of concentrations of these six metals for each tissue specimen. Given their potential to effect human health, arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury have been the focus of discussion in other reports on tissue metal concentrations of moose and wild ungulates in Canada (e.g., (McLachlan 2014; McLachlan and Miller 2012; Larter and Kandola 2010; Chan et al. 2011). Zinc and selenium are relevant as they represent important components of animal health and nutrition and have also been a focus of select studies on moose (Larter and Kandola 2010) and caribou (Gamberg 2001). Similarly, molybdenum is pertinent given the potential of adverse health implications for domestic and wild ruminants from elevated molybdenum levels in the environment potentially associated with mining (Swank and Gardner 2004; ERM 2015; Majak et al. 2004; King, Leleux, and Mulhern 1984).  72   Table 4.3  Metal concentrations of moose tissues collected in Phase 1 of the CMHMP with summaries of the mean, standard deviation of the mean (SD), and maximum of the estimated total metal concentrations (mg/ kg wet weight) reported for muscle, kidney and liver specimens (where ‘n’ denotes the number of samples of each specimen) collected from moose in Phase 1 of the CMHMP. NA is indicated where values could not be calculated due to individual samples in that group reported with metal concentration below the lowest detection limit.    Detection limit Muscle (n=3) Kidney (n=5) Liver (n=6) Metal Mean SD Max Mean SD Max Mean SD Max Arsenic  0.0040 NA NA 0.0044 NA NA 0.0056 NA NA 0.0079 Cadmium  0.0010 0.0307 0.0393 0.0757 7.1480 4.4557 13.8000 0.7392 0.5488 1.4300 Lead  0.0040 NA NA 0.2510 NA NA NA NA NA 3.3500 Mercury  0.0010 0.0016 0.0004 0.0019 0.0419 0.0243 0.0805 0.0040 0.0015 0.0061 Molybdenum  0.0040 0.0375 0.0137 0.0510 0.4892 0.1417 0.7150 0.8212 0.4602 1.4700 Selenium  0.0100 0.0933 0.0049 0.0933 0.4892 0.1417 0.7150 0.2085 0.0806 0.3040 Zinc  0.1000 47.1667 10.1894 47.1667 21.5600 1.8366 23.9000 22.7167 3.2664 26.5000   Moose sampled in the CMHMP had arsenic levels in all tissues that were either below detection limits or very low. Moose kidney had the highest concentrations of cadmium compared to other tissues. With the exception of one tissue specimen, lead levels were at low to below detectable limits for all tested samples. A high concentration of lead was reported in the liver of sample A21 (3.35 mg/ kg wwt). Mercury concentrations were highest in the kidney, followed by the liver and muscle. Selenium concentrations were highest in the kidney and muscle. Zinc was found at highest concentrations in muscle, and at similar levels in kidney and liver. Highest levels of molybdenum were reported in liver, followed by kidney and muscle.  4.3 Aging  Results of tooth cementum analysis for aging, completed by Matson‟s Laboratory, are still pending and projected to be completed by July, 2016. Previous studies on moose have demonstrated that bioaccumulation of certain heavy metals may be positively correlated with age 73  (Larter and Kandola 2010). Once available this information on age may thus aide in interpretation of tissue metal concentration results.  4.4 Fecal parasitology Table 4.4 provides a summary of results of the fecal parasitology tests (Baermann larval count, fecal floatation, and Fluke Finder) performed by the University of Calgary Parasitology Laboratory (see appendix X for details of tests results for each sample).  A low level of internal parasites was observed in the four fecal samples tested.  The only parasites found were Nematodirinae eggs (in fecal floatation) in samples A1 and A9. Based on the egg morphometry, the laboratory deemed that these eggs were probably Nematodirus tarandi. No other parasites were observed for Baermann larval count and Fluke Finder tests. Results of Cryptosporidium and Giardia tests are still pending and will be available by July, 2016.   Table 4.4 Summary of fecal parasitology test results.  Test Results (n=4) Baermann larval count No positive tests for lung nematodes, Protostrongylids, or Strongyloides infection Fecal floatation  Two of four samples (samples A1 and A9) were positive for Nematodirinae eggs, probably of Nematodirus tarandi based on the egg morphometry Fluke finder No positive tests for either Fascioloides magna or Amphistome eggs Crytposporidium/ Giardia Results pending (July, 2016)  4.5 Disease screening Dried blood collected on filter paper strips provided only enough samples for serological testing of BVDV, Neospora and PI3. All samples tested negative for BVDV and Neospora, while PI3 results are still pending and should be available by July, 2016 (See table 4.5).    74  Table 4.5 Serology assessment for BVDV, Neospora and PI3.       Pathogen BVDV Neospora PI3* Animal ID Test interpretation A1 Negative Negative Pending A9 Negative Negative Pending A10 Negative Negative Pending A11 Negative Negative Pending  *Possibly pending, depending on whether there is sufficient remaining blood recovered from the paper strips to conduct PI3 testing 75  Chapter 5: COMPARISON of the CMHMP and HVUHP Teck Resources Inc. commissioned a study on ungulate health near the Highland Valley Copper Mine (HVCM) known as the Highland Valley Ungulate Health Program (HVUHP) (ERM 2015), an endeavor similar to the CMHMP. This chapter begins with an overview of the HVUHP, including a brief description of methods used, in order to set the stage in subsequent sections for comparison of the program to the CMHMP.  Details regarding the HVUHP were obtained from an unpublished report on preliminary results of the program (ERM 2015) as well as via personal communication with R. Doucette13 (2016).  5.1 HVUHP overview The overall scope of the HVUHP is to address concerns of moose health and meat quality as well concerns of regional declines in moose population by evaluating factors affecting the health of the local moose population (ERM 2015). Given low regional moose abundance, the study also sampled mule deer to supplement moose data. The study included several components: 1) an assessment of the metals in ungulate browse as well as in tissues of harvested moose and mule deer in the HVUHP area an adjacent control area; 2) a sample-handling experiment to assess sample quality; 3) an assessment of time spent foraging (using automated cameras) by moose on the reclaimed areas of the HVUHP property; and, 4) disease screening of biological samples from harvested deer and moose. With the exception of disease, parasite and genetic screening, preliminary study results for the HVUHP were reported in an unpublished report on preliminary results of the program (ERM 2015). The study reported infrequent moose sightings reclaimed vegetation of the HVUHP area during the growing season and that metals in vegetation were only slightly above guidelines. Furthermore, the report concluded that the local moose population had limited exposure to elevated metal concentrations from the HVUHP area and were unlikely to be adversely impacted from consumption of forage on site. However, since metal analysis was conducted on only a small number of moose tissue specimens in the HVUHP,                                                  13 Richard Doucette is the Environmental Coordinator at Teck Highland Valley Copper Partnership and has taken on the administration and ongoing facilitation of the HVUHP. 76  comparison of these results to other programs has limited significance. Conversely, comparison of the design and implementation of the HVUHP and the CMHMP can provide some meaningful insight.   5.1.1 Select methodologies of the HVUHP The collection of moose samples relied on volunteer efforts by Nlaka‟pamux and resident local hunters. The studied engaged volunteers from Nlaka‟pamux to participate in the collection of samples since concern of the possible impact of the HVCM on moose were voiced from this band. Sample collection training with Nlaka‟pamux hunters occurred during an organized HVCM mule deer archery hunt (since firearms were not permitted in this area near the mine). A total of 100 sampling kits were prepared, 17 of which were successfully delivered to hunters that were asked to participate in sampling. Hunters were requested to collect biological samples from moose and mule deer from the study area and a control area.  Of these, muscle and liver biopsy samples were collected from harvested animals and placed in RNA-later preservative for future genomic assessment of the potential for contaminants to disturb important physiological pathways in wild ungulates. Additional biological samples (i.e. hair, blood, stool, hide) samples were collected and sent to the BCMFLNRO to be archived for future examinations for disease and parasites and was intended to complement the BC Provincial Moose Research Program.   The HVCM study used images collected from 12 remote digital cameras to estimate the exposure of moose to potentially contaminated vegetation in the HVCM study areas. Remote digital cameras have been demonstrated to be a reliable method for examining ungulate habitat use and activity (Cutler and Swann 1999).  5.1.2 Related studies at HVCM Elevated concentrations of some metals, including molybdenum, in soil, water, and vegetation were documented near the HVCM (Integral Ecology Group 2013), which could potentially have adverse health implications for local ungulate populations. A 2003 study on reclaimed mine 77  tailings on the HVCM property sought to determine impacts on moose by sampling vegetation and feces in the area. Concentrations of Mo in vegetation at HVCM were above toxicity thresholds for consumption of forage by cattle. In addition, the copper to molybdenum ratio of the vegetation at HVCM was below 2:1, of which molybdenosis can occur in cattle. The study concluded that moose foraging on the HVCM property were unlikely be impacted by molybdenosis (Swank and Gardner 2004).   Previous studies also examined the potential for molybdenosis in cattle grazing near HVCM. Molybdenosis is a disorder affecting ungulates where elevated molybdenum (i.e. from forage) suppresses copper uptake, resulting in adverse physiological effects. While these studies found elevated molybdenum in forage near the HVCM, molybdenosis was observed in some cattle (Majak et al. 2004), but absent in others (Gardner et al. 2003).   5.2 Program comparison  Facilitators of the CMHMP and the HVUHP were introduced in January, 2016 and met thereafter to share ideas. This meant that Phase 1 activities of the CMHMP, including protocol development and sample collection, occurred independently and without knowledge of the HVUHP.  While the two programs share some similar aims and methodologies, there are also some key differences. Table 5.1 provides a comparative summary of the framework and methodological features of the CMHMP (Phase 1) and the HVUHP.  Unique features of each program could potentially be utilized and adapted for the benefit of the other. Furthermore, the following discussion highlights features of both programs that could be adopted by future endeavors that seek to implement a plan to assess and monitor country foods of First Nations.     78  Table 5.1 Comparison of framework of the CMHMP (Phase 1) and the Highland Valley Ungulate Health Program (HVUHP).  Feature CMHMP HVUHP Approach to monitoring program    • Affiliated mine and mining company  Blackwater Mine/ New Gold Highland Valley Copper Mine/ Teck • Program facilitators UBC student/ Mitacs Intern & LDN Resource Manager & BCMFLNRO wildlife veterinarian Teck personnel and consultants (ERM) • Monitoring to assess potential impacts of a mine on moose Yes Yes • Community-Based Participatory Approach Yes Partly • Seek to establish Data Sharing Agreements with communities Yes No • Source of samples Hunter collected samples Hunter collected samples • Sample collectors First Nations hunters and hunter guide outfitters First Nations and local non-Aboriginal hunters  • Honoraria provided to hunters for sample submission No Yes • Other collaborators (in addition to communities) BCFLNRO and UBC BCFLNRO and local butchers Protocol Instruction/ training     • Wildlife Health Workshop Yes, with LDN No • Brochure/ outline of protocol provided Yes Yes • Hunter training video provided Yes No • Accompanied during hunting trips by program coordinator Yes, but not during a successful moose hunt Yes, during limited entry archery hunt Experimental Design     • Timing of monitoring in relation to mine development Baseline sampling - prior to mine construction During mine operation  • Year of sampling activities  2015 (Phase 1) 2013 • Location of sample collection Study area Study area and reference (control area) • Species sampled Moose Moose and Mule deer • Total number of moose sampled 6 7 (including control and study areas) 79  Table 5.1 ContinuedFeature CMHMP HVUHP Lab Assessments     • Tissue analysis of metal concentrations  Muscle, liver, kidney Muscle, liver, kidney, gonad, hair and skin, and fecal • Age analysis Tooth cementum analysis Not done • Serology (pathogens) Blood analysed (5 strips/ sample) Blood archived (15 strips/ sample) for future analysis • Parasitology  Fecal  analysed  Feces archived for future analysis • Future genomic assessment Ear tip Liver & muscle biopsies • Archived samples Ear tip, hair Muscle & liver biopsies  (feces & blood  temporarily) Individual animal data      • Body condition assessment Backfat measure and body condition score Not done • Sex/ age class Requested Requested • Lactation, pregnancy status Requested Not  • Photographs of animal Requested Not • Notes on abnormalities observed  Requested Not Additional features     • Assessment of time spent in study area No Study using remote digital cameras • Quality control of sample collection Check in with coordinator on sample submission Sampling handling experiment • Reclaimed areas Propose to include habitat reclamation tailored to moose needs Tailings reclaimed for cattle grazing • Human Health Risk Assessment including country foods Part of the Blackwater environmental assessment Not done • Diet and traditional food surveys of local people Not done  Not done • Integration of traditional knowledge into assessment Not done  Not done 80  5.2.1 Approach to assessment and monitoring  Both programs mining companies responding proactively to address concerns of First Nations living near mine developments whose primary concern is of the potential for mining activity to adversely affect wildlife health and, for this to pose risk to country food consumers.  In particular, moose are a key country food of First Nations near both mines, and are the focus of assessment and monitoring activities. Scoping of each program included meetings with local First Nations to discuss aspects of development, design, and implementation.  Additionally, each program recruited Aboriginal and non-aboriginal local hunters as study participants to collect samples from animals hunted for human consumption.    While both programs included participation of local community members and provided opportunity for community input, the CMHMP was developed specifically to embrace features of a community-based monitoring program. This included seeking data sharing agreements (DSA) with participating communities, community-based coordination, and a community-based wildlife health workshop and training session by wildlife health professionals. The DSA ensures that the community has ultimate control over the data collected and has the opportunity to provide input before results are shared with other stakeholders.  Although New Gold (representing the Blackwater Mine) provided financial support for the CMHMP, development and facilitation of the CMHMP was led by a UBC graduate student that was hired as a Mitacs Intern (co-sponsored by New Gold and the BCMFLNRO) as well as the LDN Resource Manager, with additional support from the BCMFLNRO Wildlife Health Program. Coordination and implementation of the HVUHP,  was largely led by Teck personnel and associated ERM consultants.   5.2.2 Protocol instruction and training The CMHMP wildlife health workshop acted as an initiating platform to share ideas between community members and program coordinators as well to inform and train LDN hunters on what to look for and program protocols. A hunter training video along with a power point presentation describing the CMHMP were also provided to hunter guide outfitters and made available to LDN hunters that did not attend the workshop. Program coordinators went with a LDN hunter on a 81  moose hunt in hopes to supervise and provide support for sample and data collection, although no moose were found on that occasion. Conversely, the HVUHP facilitated a limited entry archery hunt on mine property where program coordinators were able to supervise and assist in sample and data collection from hunted game.   5.2.3 Experimental design The context of each sampling program is different since they are each associated with a mine at a different stage of development. The Blackwater Mine is in the late exploration and assessment stage, and thus, the CMHMP is in the baseline assessment phase prior to mine construction. Conversely, the Highland Valley Copper Mine has been operating for over 50 years, and hence, impacts of the mine and associated reclamation activities on country food are being assessed. The experimental design of the HVUHP includes stratified sampling, whereas the CMHMP does not. In the HVUHP, animal sampling occurred in a study area near the mine as well as in a reference, or control area, distant from the mine. Given low regional moose abundance, the HVUHP also sampled mule deer to supplement moose data. Despite modest honoraria provided to HVUHP hunters for submitted samples, both programs managed only to obtain small sample sizes. Only 25 sampling kits were prepared for the piloting stage of Phase 1 of the CMHMP, and a total of six moose were sampled (in 2015).  100 sampling kits were initially assembled in the HVUHP, and a total of seven moose were sampled from the control and studies areas combined (in 2013).  5.2.4 Laboratory analysis Both programs collected tissue samples for parasite and disease assessment, however, only the analysis of metal concentrations in tissue specimens has been completed by both programs. While both programs assessed metal concentrations in muscle, liver and kidney; the HVUHP also analysed gonads, skin, hair and feces of some animals. The CMHMP completed assessments of blood for disease and feces intestinal parasites, whereas the HVUHP has archived these samples to be potentially assessed at a later date.  The CMHMP equipped each sampling kit with only 5 filter paper strips for blood sampling, while the HVUHP provided 15 strips per kit. Program selection of tissue type for future genetic assessment also differed. The HVUHP 82  collected moose and liver biopsies and the CMHMP collected and archived ear tips and hair samples.   5.2.5 Individual animal data collected The CMHMP collected data on individual animal characteristics that were not requested in the HVUHP. This includes body condition score, backfat measurement, as well as lactation and pregnancy status of sampled animals. In addition, the CMHMP prompted hunters to note any observed abnormalities and submit photographs of sampled animals.   5.2.6 Additional features  The HVUHP included two additional and unique studies. First, a study of time spent foraging in reclaimed tailings areas was conducted using remote digital cameras to assess moose exposure to mine associated areas. Second, the HVUHP conducted a sample handling experiment to assess whether differences between hunters in sample handing affected metal analysis.  The CMHMP, on the other hand, has the unique advantage of being able to extrapolate on data from baseline studies conducted for the EA of the Blackwater Mine. This also includes a HHRA that incorporates the assessment of the potential risk of exposure to contaminants via the consumption of country foods. While this HHRA includes an assessment of the potential risk to people of country foods consumption, it relies largely on theoretical modeling that does not incorporate actual moose tissue data nor the consumption rates of local people (Amec 2014a). Moreover, neither the CMHMP nor the HVUHP have conducted diet and traditional food practice surveys of local people and thus results of an HHRA may not accurately depict risk to local populations. In addition, neither program facilitated the integration of traditional knowledge into the framework for monitoring and assessing country foods.   5.2.7 Comparison summary  Lessons learned from implementation of these programs can applied to facilitation of future initiatives seeking to monitor country foods. Hunter-based sampling programs may obtain a limited sample size, even when compensation is provided to hunters. However, while a small 83  sample size limits the statistical significance of results, participation of local hunters can also increase the relevance of the results to local people. Embracing features of a community-based participatory approach can further increase the relevance of a program to a community as well as help garner their trust and support for the process.  Wildlife veterinary input has enabled a more robust assessment of moose health in the CMHMP, especially with the inclusion of additional individual animal data (i.e. body condition, age, etc.) and assessment of intestinal parasites and blood pathogens.  The validity of the HVUHP benefits from an experimental design that incorporates sampling from reference areas, which enables comparison to the study area and increases the scientific rigor of the program.  Similarly, the time spent foraging and sample handling studies of the HVUHP provide increased depth to animal health assessments and may infer more meaningful interpretation of results.         84  Chapter 6:  DISCUSSION The results reported above are preliminary, representing data collected during the piloting stage of the CMHMP. An objective of this research was to begin to establish a baseline assessment of moose near the Blackwater Project. The sample size used for the above analysis is inadequate (i.e. only a total of six moose sampled within the study area) to formulate definitive results regarding a baseline health assessment of moose. Moose sampled thus far appeared healthy, as might be expected under baseline conditions and exposure to the natural environment. However, additional moose sampling (proposed for Phase 2 of the CMHMP) will be required to establish a more accurate depiction of baseline conditions.  Additionally, too few standardized samples have been collected yet to assess whether backfat measurements can be used as an index of body fat. The large deviation between measurements reported thus far is likely due to measurement error and improper technique. It is important going forward that hunters are given proper instruction for backfat measurements.  6.1 Comparison of CMHMP results to other studies 6.1.1 Parasitology and disease testing The low level of intestinal parasites and exposure to infectious disease agents in moose of the CMHMP is consistent with findings from other moose studies. Testing of fecal samples for internal parasites from the Thompson Region moose in the BC Provincial Moose Research Program reported low levels of gastrointestinal parasites (Kuzyk, Marshall, and Gillingham 2015). Similarly, the incidence of gastrointestinal parasites in both Dehcho and Sahtu moose of the NWT was low; and like, the CMHMP, Nematodirinae eggs were the most prevalent parasites observed on fecal examination of moose (Carlsson et al. 2015; Larter 2009). As well, sera of moose tested in the Sahtu and from the BC Provincial Moose Research Programs had a low incidence of seropositivity for pathogens. However, comparison of serological results from the CMHMP have limited meaning given that the small quantity of blood samples collected only permitted testing for BVDV, PI3, and neopsora.    85  6.1.2 Metal analysis Of the studies on metal concentrations in moose, few are suitable for direct comparison to the CMHMP. A study suitable for comparison should have enough moose sampled for a meaningful evaluation of results, as well as actual estimates of the concentrations of metals in tissues. Furthermore, the BC FNFNES (Chan et al. 2011) and the Dehcho Moose Program in the NWT (Larter and Kandola 2010) were deemed suitable for comparison as they each involved sampling of several moose and reported concentrations of metals in moose tissue.  Each study, however, used a different analytic lab for metal analysis (CMHMP used ALS Laboratory in Vancouver, BC; FNFNES analysed samples using the Maxxam Analytics laboratory in Burnaby, BC; and, Dehcho used the Environment Canada Laboratory at the Aquatic Ecosystem Protection Research Division in Burlington, Ontario). Although these laboratories have conducted the same metal concentration analysis, some inconsistency between the laboratories is expected and may impact the ability to accurately compare values between studies. Additionally, detection limits were reported in the FNFNES but not in the Dehcho. Keeping these differences in mind, the estimated metal concentrations (in mg/ kg wet weight) reported in the CMHMP are compared to those of the FNFNES and the Dehcho Moose Program in Table 6.1. While these studies reported concentration of arsenic, cadmium, mercury and lead in moose tissue, neither study reported metal results for molybdenum. Only the Dehcho Moose Program reported results for selenium and zinc. Furthermore, potential risks associated with each metal are discussed below, with the exception of molybdenum, and results are compared between studies. However, only kidney and liver specimens were evaluated in the Dehcho, and thus concentrations of metals in muscle could only be compared between the FNFNES and the CMHMP.  Since the consumption rates of moose tissues by local people near the proposed Blackwater Mine are unknown it is not possible to provide definitive conclusions regarding the potential for human health risks from exposure to metals via consumption of moose in this region. Yet, the Provisional Tolerable Weekly Intake (PTWI) provides a reference dose used for food contaminants such as heavy metals with cumulative properties that represents permissible human weekly exposure to those contaminants through food sources (FAO and WHO 2015). The PTWIs are reported by FAO and WHO (2015) for arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury and are 86  listed in table 6.1, however, no PTWI has been established for zinc and selenium. Although toxicity from exposure to high concentrations zinc and selenium is possible, nutritional deficiency is more commonly associated with these metals (FAO and WHO 2015).      In Table 6.1, comparison the PTWI values for cadmium are incompatible with those in moose kidneys. With the exception of moose kidneys harvested from the mountains of the Dehcho, levels of cadmium in moose kidneys sampled from all other areas did not warrant a specific advisory for kidney consumption. Likely, the consumption advisory appears inconsistent with the PTWI since these guidelines are based on averages and people are not assumed to be consuming moose kidney in large amounts or on a continual basis. Gastrointestinal absorption of consumed cadmium is actually very low (i.e. five to seven percent), although higher in malnourished and/ or iron deficient people. Conversely, much higher rates pulmonary absorption of cadmium occurs via inhalation from cigarette smoking (personal communication, J. Smits14, 2016).                                                                 14 Dr. Judit Smits is a Veterinary Toxicologist and Professor of Ecosystem and Public Health at the University of Calgary. 87  Table 6.1 Comparison of metal concentrations in mg/ kg wet weight of moose muscle (a), kidney (b), and liver (c) samples from the CMHMP, FNFNES, and Dehcho Moose Program (which did not sample muscle). The Provisional Tolerable Weekly Intake (PTWI) (mg/ kg of food consumer body weight) is highlighted in blue provided in the last column. NA indicates where values could not be calculated due to individual samples with metal concentration below the lowest detection limit, ND indicates where no data was reported.    a) Muscle   CMHMP (n=3) FNFNES (n=15) PTWI Metals  Mean Max  Mean Max   Arsenic (As) NA 0.0044 0.0040 0.0400 0.0150 Cadmium (Cd) 0.0307 0.0757 0.0200 0.0400 0.0070 Lead (Pb) NA 0.2510 0.0600 0.9000 0.0250 Mercury (Hg) 0.0016 0.0019 ND ND 0.0050 Selenium (Se) 0.0933 0.0933 ND ND NA Zinc (Zn) 47.1667 47.1667 ND ND NA   b) Kidney   CMHMP (n=5) FNFNES (n=6) Dehcho  PTWI           Valley (n=43) Mountains (n=18)   Metals  Mean Max Mean Max Mean Max Mean  Max   Arsenic (As) NA 0.0056 0.03 0.06 0.01 0.072 0.006 0.012 0.0150 Cadmium (Cd) 7.148 13.8 11.85 27 26.8 222 22.5 624 0.0070 Lead (Pb) NA NA 0.17 0.85 0.051 1.66 0.004 0.21 0.0250 Mercury (Hg) 0.04186 0.0805 0.01 0.04 0.032 0.157 0.04 0.076 0.0050 Selenium (Se) 0.4892 0.715 ND ND 0.839 1.44 0.887 1.15 NA Zinc (Zn) 21.56 23.9 ND ND 27.9 51.6 36 45.5 NA 88  Table 6.1 continued   c) Liver   CMHMP (n=6) FNFNES (n=8) Dehcho  PTWI           Valley (n=43) Mountains (n=18)   Metals  Mean  Max  Mean Max Mean Max Mean Max   Arsenic (As) NA 0.0079 0.0400 0.0800 0.0270 0.2830 0.0080 0.0190 0.0150 Cadmium (Cd) 0.7392 1.4300 3.5100 8.4600 2.7000 9.4000 30.9000 183.0000 0.0070 Lead (Pb) NA 3.3500 ND ND 0.1160 4.2600 0.0120 0.0470 0.0250 Mercury (Hg) 0.0040 0.0061 0.0030 0.0100 0.0170 0.0960 0.0430 0.1350 0.0050 Selenium (Se) 0.2085 0.3040 ND ND 0.1990 3.9400 1.2470 62.6000 NA Zinc (Zn) 22.7167 26.5000 ND ND 26.7000 62.6000 28.5000 71.4000 NA  89  Toxic effects of arsenic in people may include pulmonary and bladder cancer, cardiovascular disease, peripheral nervous system disorders and dermatological conditions (CDC 2016b). Arsenic levels in the CMHMP were less than or approximately equal to those reported in moose of the FNFNES, which were well below maximum acceptable levels for human consumption.   Cadmium is a potentially toxic element where chronic exposure in people may lead to anemia, enteropathy, renal damage, osteoporosis and osteomalacia (CDC 2016c). Cadmium is known to concentrate in livers and kidneys of longer lived ruminants such as moose. The kidney can concentrate particularly high levels of cadmium because of its role in filtering waste products from the blood. Bioaccumulation of cadmium by willow trees in areas with high naturally geologic sources of cadmium is also likely responsible for high renal cadmium reported in moose (Larter and Kandola 2010).  Hence, as expected in the CMHMP, moose kidney had the highest concentrations of cadmium compared to other tissues. Until tooth cementum analysis is completed (July 2016), we cannot correlate metal concentration to age. However, we expect that the concentration of cadmium will be  positively correlated to age since it accumulates in moose over time (Larter and Kandola 2010).    Several studies on moose and other wild ungulates in Canada reported cadmium levels in liver and especially the kidney sufficiently high to warrant public health advisories on the consumption of these tissues (Larter and Kandola 2010; McLachlan 2014; McLachlan and Miller 2012; Gamberg 2005; Chan et al. 2011). Regular and heavy consumption of kidney could result in increased risk of cadmium exposure and ill health effects in people, especially children and tobacco users (since smoking adds to the total cadmium burden) being especially sensitive (Fontaine et al. 2008). However, cadmium toxicity from consumption of moose kidneys is unlikely given that each moose is very large compared to the size of the kidneys and thus kidneys represent a small proportion of the total carcass that is consumed (personal communication, J. Smits, 2016).  As a conservative measure, for example, Health Canada recommended moose kidney and liver consumption in the Yukon to be limited to one per person per year; and, have advised that consumption of these organs from moose in Quebec and Newfoundland would probably result in exceeding the weekly intake limits for cadmium. 90  However, since cadmium does not accumulate in the muscle tissue, Health Canada has not recommended limiting consumption of meat (Gamberg 2005). Furthermore, concentration of renal cadmium levels in the CMHMP were lower than those reported in the FNFNES (Chan et al. 2011) or in the Dehcho (Larter and Kandola 2010).  Lead is a potentially toxic element that is stored for the long term in bone tissue, and in the short-term, in liver and kidney. In people, toxic signs include anemia, anorexia, fatigue and blindness (CDC 2016d). The low to non-detectable level of lead in CMHMP is consistent with levels reported in the FNFNES and Dehcho. The higher concentration of lead in the liver of sample ID A21 (3.35 mg/ kg wwt) may be the result of contamination from lead shot potentially from when the animal was shot by the hunter, especially considering that the kidney of the same sample had lead levels below detection limits.   Mercury is a toxic element that accumulates in brain and kidney tissue, crosses the placenta and fetal blood brain barrier, and may affect neurological function, cause gastrointestinal disturbance, reduction of food intake, poor growth, renal damage or death in people (CDC 2016e). Studies that reported kidney and liver mercury concentrations at similar (Chan et al. 2011) or higher levels (Larter and Kandola 2010) compared to the CMHMP, deemed these tissues safe for consumption based on their human health risk assessments.    Selenium is an essential element necessary for producing the major antioxidant system in the body, glutathione, which helps to ensure optimum functioning of the immune and reproductive systems. Deficiencies of selenium can occur in geographical areas that are naturally low in selenium, which can result in white muscle disease in animals, reduced growth and reproductive rates, compromised immune response and cardiovascular disease. Signs of toxicity may include emaciation, lameness, cracked, „or deformed hooves, „blind staggers‟ and loss of hair (Puls 1994). Renal and hepatic levels of selenium from the CMHMP were lower than those reported in the Dehcho, NWT, likely reflecting regional differences in normal variation of background levels of selenium.   91  Zinc deficiencies in animals may result in reduced conception rate, reduced feed intake and growth rate, and thickening and shortening of bones. Signs of toxicity may include anemia, poor bone mineralization, arthritis, general osteochondrosis and lameness (Puls 1994). Renal and hepatic concentrations observed in the CMHMP were lower than those reported in the Dehcho, NWT. As with selenium, this variation likely reflects regional differences in normal background levels of zinc.   Molybdenosis is a form of molybdenum toxicity affecting ruminants that results in a copper deficiency. Molybdenosis occurs as a result of consumption of forage high in molybdenum, which suppresses copper uptake and may result in diarrhea, weight loss, hair depigmentation, hair loss, ulcers, lesions, lameness, and even death (Blakley 2013). We found no other studies for comparison of molybdenum levels in moose. The HVCM reported molybdenum levels in moose (ERM 2015), however, too few samples were analysed to allow for meaningful comparison. Since toxicity thresholds for wildlife are unknown and complicated by the status of other metals and metalloids, the HVCM used toxicity thresholds of cattle to evaluate potential impact of molybdenum on moose (ERM 2015). Extrapolation of thresholds of molybdenum from cattle (kidney toxic levels: 1.15 - 34.0 mg/ kg wwt and liver toxic levels 2.0 – 100 mg/ kg wwt (Puls 1994)) suggests that CMHMP molybdenum concentrations are well below levels associated with molybdenosis.  However, toxicity thresholds of one species can rarely be accurately extrapolated to other species. Additionally, laboratory-based toxicity research (that toxicity thresholds are based on) is irrelevant and largely meaningless to mixtures of metals and contaminants that occur in real life situations (personal communication, J. Smits, 2016).   In addition to analysing moose specimens for the presence of contaminants, the FNFNES also evaluated the potential risk to human health associated with consumption of select tissues. The study showed, using estimates of arsenic, cadmium, mercury and lead intake, that consumption of traditional foods on average pose minimal risk to most consumers. The Dehcho Moose Program yielded similar results, albeit with a higher risk associated with consumption of moose kidneys because of elevated cadmium concentrations.  However, insufficient data have been collected to provide conclusive results regarding risk of consumption large quantities of moose 92  kidney from the CMHMP study area. Additionally, the accuracy of human health risk assessment associated with the CMHMP would be limited by a lack of data regarding consumption rates of country foods by local First Nations. 93  Chapter 7: CONCLUSION  The data generated by a country foods study represent just one component of a larger HHRA that often involves multiple exposure pathways (Health Canada 2010a) . Yet, special attention to country foods is stipulated given their cultural, spiritual and dietary importance to Aboriginal people. While assessment and monitoring of country foods are increasingly becoming standard in EA of mines in BC, initiatives to monitor country foods also may be incorporated into negotiated agreements, such as Impact Benefit Agreements (IBAs), with First Nations. An EA can provide key information for designing and appending IBAs. Noble and Birk (2011) discuss the potential benefits of linking such agreements and associated monitoring programs with EA-based follow-up practices to improve community engagement and project effectiveness. They argue that when follow-up of these programs is solely defined within the framework of negotiated agreements they risk becoming „comfort monitoring‟ programs whereby community-industry relations are improved but effects-based management is neglected. To maximize credibility of follow-up under these agreements, Noble and Birk suggest that results from monitoring programs are integrated with regulatory-based monitoring and project impact management practices  (Noble and Birk 2011).  The ultimate objective of a country food monitoring program is to assess the health of wildlife and the safety of their consumption and to report results to potential country food consumers and communities. If risks associated with the consumption of country foods are identified, data gaps and uncertainties should be further explored. In particular, in cases where deficiencies in sampling design inhibit interpretation of results, or where data are deemed to inadequately represent a community, additional sampling should be conducted.  A theoretical framework can provide a guide for implementation of a country food monitoring program. Realities on the ground described above for the CMHMP, however, point to the need for flexibility during implementation.  Despite the importance of country foods, competing priorities within Aboriginal communities mean that adhering to this theoretical framework is not always possible.  What at first appears to be a study focused on wildlife, takes on characteristics of a social experiment where the needs, desires and interests of everyone must be considered to 94  facilitate a collaborative approach.  In the LDN, socio-economic priorities along with budgetary limitations and overburdened band administration are examples of challenges that required a rework of expectations for the CMHMP. Often the expectations and timelines of a researcher or mine proponent trying to advance a project may not mesh well with those of a First Nations community. Taking the time and having the priority to form relationships with both band managers and community members that foster mutual respect and understanding is crucial. Without well-developed relationships the collaborative backbone of this framework is weak and a monitoring program may be faced with a lack of buy in, enthusiasm and ultimately lack of participation by community members.   Assembly of First Nations National Chief, Perry Bellegarde, suggests that we should go one step further to considering that natural resource projects not only have a social license to operate, but also to seek out an "Indigenous License". This requires that indigenous perspectives are considered and First Nations are involved at every step in the process (CBC 2016). Perhaps the CMHMP and other such programs can be seen as a model or even necessary step towards obtaining an Indigenous License for future proposed mine developments in Canada.   This CMHMP provides an example of a bold and collaborative initiative including a mining company that welcomed multiple disciplines to develop a monitoring program for an important country food source nearby a proposed mine that is meaningful to First Nations communities. Unconventionally, wildlife health professionals, a First Nations community and hunting guide outfitters, together with a mining company; developed a plan to contribute towards the environmental assessment of a mine by helping to formulate a plan to evaluate and monitor wildlife health. This model of collaboration represents new opportunities for advancing the scope and relevance of the environmental assessment process within the design and planning for sustainable mineral development both in BC and abroad.  95  Chapter 8:  LIMITATIONS AND CHALLENGES As might be expected for a pilot stage of program, there were numerous challenges encountered as well as study design limitations noted thus far with the CMHMP. However, as discussed below, these challenges provided an opportunity for learning and program revision and the design limitations have been well considered.    Facilitation of the program by an 'Outsider' Any small rural community may initially view an outsider with some level of apprehension and distrust. It is understandable, given some of the disturbing historical context between white colonialists and aboriginal people, that this level of distrust may be heightened for a small, First Nations community when that outsider is a non-aboriginal person. Forming a relationship that cultivates mutual trust and understanding between a researcher (who is also a non-hunter) and a First Nations community takes time. Yet, I felt that I was warmly welcomed by the LDN community during my multiple visits to the Kluskus reserve and Band office. However, since I do not live locally, my presence in the community was limited to short visits that may not have been adequate to develop a relationship with the LDN needed to effectively develop a community-based monitoring program. Had I resided locally, then I may have had more opportunity to spend time within the LDN community. This would enable more time to share ideas with community members to get input into development and delivery of the program and perhaps create a greater degree of interest and buy in for it. Additionally, this may have also enabled me to work with the community to further facilitate logistical components of the program that still require attention such as getting the data sharing agreement signed, hiring a community-based coordinator, and boosting sample size by accompanying, encouraging and reminding hunters to collect samples and data during hunts.  Analyses limited by sample quantity or quality The ability to conduct serological tests was limited by the small amount of blood collected. A limited number of Nobuto filter paper strips were available at the time of initiation of the piloting stage, and thus, only 5 strips were included within each sampling kit. Other programs have included 15 filter paper strips (Carlsson et al. 2015; ERM 2015) in sampling kits. Also, one 96  sampler did not properly soak the filter papers in blood, resulting in an insufficient amount of blood collected in that sample for analysis. In addition, complete bone samples were required for body size and body fat extrapolation. However, only the incisor bar of the mandible and only parts of the metatarsus submitted and thus these were not useful for evaluation.   Diet Surveys  As discussed in section 2.7.1, conclusions on cumulative health risk through exposure to contaminant from consumption of country foods may vary widely depending on the assumed consumption rate in the HHRA. Since assessment of the risk of contaminant exposure depends on the rate of consumption, community specific data is required to improve assessment accuracy. Furthermore, the Blackwater Mine HHRA should consider the inclusion of a dietary survey to determine consumption rates and the main country foods consumed by local people.   Incorporation of traditional knowledge into the framework One of the initial objectives proposed in my Mitacs internship application, that was not fulfilled, was to incorporate both scientific and traditional knowledge (TK) into wildlife assessment and monitoring.  The inclusion of TK has been shown to deepen understanding and broaden knowledge in ecosystem and wildlife studies (Parkes 2010; Stephens, Parkes, and Chang 2007). Incorporation of TK into assessment and monitoring can also provide a human context that is sometimes lacking in scientific approaches. Additionally, since TK is informed by an Aboriginal perspective, results of a TK-integrated monitoring program may be more salient to Aboriginal peoples.  While an ethics review application was approved by the UBC ethics board for the collection and incorporation of TK (UBC Behavioural Research Ethics Board 2015), the objective to conduct TK interviews and surveys on perspectives of harvesting and consuming moose and other country foods with LDN community members were unfulfilled and perhaps overly ambitious. The only opportunity to record TK was during meetings with the LDN members and during field work (observing hunters and assisting with sample collection). The inability to meet this aim was due to many factors including my limited time frame (as discussed above, the prior need to 97  develop a relationship to do this type of survey) and my lack of social science experience required for such endeavors. As well, concurrent Traditional Use and Occupancy studies with LDN, as Neil Gauthreau (Natural Resource Manager for LDN) described, have been slow going and limited by the very small number of surviving and suitable elder candidates remaining in the community.  Despite these challenges, the inclusion of TK into the CMHMP could improve the legitimacy of the program and is a recommended future objective.  Consideration of other country foods besides moose Moose are the focus of this research and have been noted to be a primary concern for the LDN. However, New Gold's CFMP also includes analysis of metal concentrations in select species of fish and small mammals (Amec 2014b).While the Ulkatcho Nation also rely on moose as a food source and have expressed interest in the CMHMP, caribou are also of dietary and cultural importance to the Ulkatcho people (personal communication, N. Gauthreau, 2015). The CMHMP may expand to collaborate with the Ulkatcho Nation and the framework for this program could be easily modified to incorporate caribou (or other ungulates if requested).  Sample size  As discussed above, an opportunistic sampling approach that relies on hunters to collect samples can result in a small sample size. The sample size attained during Phase 1 of the CMHMP is too small to be able to formulate a conclusive assessment of baseline conditions of moose. Moreover, future sampling efforts using this approach may continue to yield insufficient sample and thus results would have to be interpreted with care. However, even if a lower sample size reduces the capacity for a scientifically rigorous assessment, the program still has great value. The community-based approach that also looks at overall moose health (and not just contaminants) and that collects tissue samples from animals destined for the dinner table means that results are more relevant to local First Nations.  Control area Additionally, the CMHMP does not yet include a control where moose are sampled in an area that is deemed sufficiently distant from the Blackwater Mine to be unaffected from the mine. 98  Phase 1 of this program is intended as a pilot to engage hunters and test protocols. The 100km2 study area for could allow for regression analysis whereby interpretation of results from each sample may consider distance from the mine site. As well, results from samples collected in the region and yet distant from the mine from the BC Provincial Moose Research Program could be used for comparison (i.e. control), especially since this sampling coincides temporally with that of CMHMP baseline collection.  Although the methodologies of the two moose sampling programs differ, there are many similar features that could enable comparison of results.  Future data from analysis of samples collected and currently archived from the provincial moose research program or from samples from other wildlife health programs may be useful as proxy for control data.   Integration with EA and IBA The long term viability and effectiveness of the CMHMP may also be limited by the fact that it has not yet been structured into formal mine assessment plans and negotiations. This puts future implementation and follow-up of the program at risk of becoming „Comfort Monitoring‟ (Noble and Birk 2011), whereby real concerns of country foods may be inadequately addressed. Currently, specific details of plans to assess and monitor country foods have not been included in the EA of the Blackwater Mine (personal communication, S. McNaughton, 2015). Similarly, Impact Benefit Agreement negotiations between New Gold and LDN have yet to include discussion of plans to monitor country foods (personal communication, N. Gauthreau, 2015).   99  Chapter 9:  RECOMMENDATIONS Lessons learned from implementation of Phase 1 as well as from knowledge acquired after consultation with similar programs (e.g. HVUHP) have provided insight towards improved facilitation of future proposed phases of such research programs. The following recommendations represent potential ways that the methodologies of the CMHMP can be refined to ensure the long term viability of the program and to improve effectiveness of animal assessments, accuracy of HHRA, facilitation of the exchange of ideas, as well as to increase sample size and expand the program to include additional project affected communities. Table 9.1 provides a summary of the limitations encountered during implementation of Phase 1 of the CMHMP as well as suggested recommendations for future phases.   100  Table 9.1 Summary of the limitations encountered in Phase 1 of the CMHMP and associated recommendations for future phases of the program.  Limitation Recommendation • Facilitation of the program by an 'outsider' Establish community-based wildlife health program coordinator(s) • Lack of sampling from a control area  Establish a control area or confirm use of control data from suitable research projects • Inadequate sample size Program expansion, sample other species, hunter compensation • Inadequate quality or quantity of select samples  Discontinue collection of select samples and increase quantity of some others (i.e. blood, hair and feces) • Accuracy of plotting kill locations Plot kill locations on a larger scale map • Lack of information on perception and consumption of county foods Conduct traditional food surveys with local First Nations • Only moose, other country foods not assessed Expand program to include caribou or deer • No mechanism for incorporation of traditional knowledge Conduct traditional knowledge interviews/ study with local First Nations • Appropriate communication of program and results with community members  Plain language interim reporting, cultural camps, citizen science initiatives • Risk of being ineffective (i.e. 'Comfort Monitoring') Structure program into both EA and IBA • Analysis of contaminants limited to metals Expand tissue analysis to include additional contaminants • Lack of long term mine planning specific to the use and needs of moose Work with mine industry to develop mitigation and land reclamation plans 101  Community-based program coordination The LDN Natural Resource Manager has acted as the interim coordinator for the CMHMP.  Establishing a community-based program wildlife health coordinator is essential for long term viability and to facilitate ongoing community engagement with this program. Thus, establishing suitable candidates from the participating First Nations communities as community-based program coordinators is a key recommendation for future implementation of the CMHMP.   Sample size  Monitoring programs, such as the CMHMP, that rely on volunteer hunters to collect samples may be limited by the ability to obtain an adequate number of samples. Efforts to boost sample size during future phases of the CMHMP could include: 1) Expanding the program to include Ulkatcho hunters or other hunters that receive tags to hunt moose within the study area; 2) Providing compensation (i.e. honoraria) to hunters that submit complete sample kits. There are several examples of sampling programs that used volunteer hunters and that had success in obtaining adequate sample size, in part by provision of honoraria to hunters for submission of samples (Carlsson et al. 2015; Larter and Kandola 2010; McLachlan 2014; McLachlan and Miller 2012). While cash values of compensation varied during the course of these programs, $50 was approximately the average amount of compensation provided per sample submission. Alternatively, hunters could may be offered non-cash incentives including paying for butchering expenses of hunted animals of which hunters submitted samples (ERM 2015); or, by each sample submission qualifying the hunter to be entered into a draw for a prize such as a free charter flight (Gamberg 2005); 3) Samples of other locally hunted ungulates, such as deer, could be requested as surrogates to assess and monitor country foods. In the HVCM, local moose populations were limited and thus deer were sampled as surrogates to supplement sample size (ERM 2015).   Program expansion The CMHMP should be expanded to include the Ulkatcho Nation, to whom moose is also an important food source. Ulkatcho is a larger community and their collaboration in the program would help boost sample size since the sampling effort would be increased with more hunters 102  participating in the program. Following a presentation by Neil Gauthreau on the CMHMP, Ulkatcho asked to also participate in the program (as of March, 2016) (personal communication, N. Gauthreau, 2016). Next steps to facilitate collaboration with the Ulkatcho may include meeting with Chief and Council, signing a data sharing agreement and the delivery of a wildlife health workshop that includes sharing ideas with community members about the program and providing training and kits for sample collection.  Sampling kits Suggested modifications to sampling kits from Phase 1 include: increasing the number of filter paper strips from 5 to 15 (to increase ability for disease screening); omitting the ankle and jaw bones from the list of required samples (since these were either not collected or improperly collected by hunters during Phase 1); requesting a larger amount of hair for archive (i.e. a large handful) for the potential to be used for several analyses (e.g. genetics, mercury and cortisol concentration) and, especially in consideration of the fact that hair cortisol analysis using moose hair requires approximately 100 hairs (personal communication, B. Macbeth, 2015); emphasizing more clearly the importance of taking photographs of sampled moose, especially of any abnormalities, as these can be reviewed to provide information to the community about what people are actually seeing and whether this is normal or safe to consume. As well, data and protocol sheets need to be updated to incorporate these modifications,. Study area maps included within the kits also need to be updated to demark the 100 km2 sampling radius.  Finally, a set of at least 50 sampling kits (along with instructions on shipping and storage) should be assembled to be ready for distribution to hunters for the second phase baseline sample collection.   Plotting moose kill locations  Accuracy of hunter plotted kill locations is likely limited by the small scale on maps provided within sampling kits. Marking kill locations on a larger scale map could improve plotting accuracy (personal communication, N. Gauthreau, 2016).  Hence, while small scale maps are still included in sampling kits, program coordinators could request that hunters also plot kill locations on a larger scale map (e.g. kept at the Band office) when samples are dropped off/ picked up.  103  Traditional food survey The EA for the Blackwater Project currently under review (BCEAO 2016) lacks baseline information regarding food security and consumption patterns of traditional foods for nearby communities. Conducting surveys that depict perceptions of country foods as well as the patterns of country food consumption by local First Nations is recommended. This baseline data would facilitate a HHRA that reflects local people more accurately. Such a survey is also central in the assessment of possible changes in perception of country foods and consumption of them by local people that could potentially coincide with development of the Blackwater Mine. For instance, following the Mount Polley tailings dam failure in central BC (August, 2014), several First Nations communities were reported to have stopped consuming fish long distances down along the Fraser River (personal communication, J. Shandro, 2015). Conducting diet surveys would potentially benefit the public health of local First Nations (as changes in traditional food practices can affect the health of Aboriginal people). As well, the reputation of New Gold could also potentially benefit through implementation of these surveys, since they could be seen as an advocate for the health of local people rather than an adversary.   Methodologies for conducting country food surveys in BC are well established (e.g., Chan et al., 2011) and could be adopted by New Gold consultants for implementation with First Nations communities near the Blackwater Mine. A community-based approach that could aide in facilitation would be to enlist and train (with compensation) younger individuals from each community to go door to door on reserve to facilitate surveying community members (personal communication, S. McLachlan15, 2015).   Knowledge Translation A key feature of the CMHMP is the reporting of results to consumers of country foods in a culturally appropriate and clear manner that can be easily understood.  Reporting should include ongoing updates on the status of the program as well as results from different stages of sampling.  Plain language summary reports, for example, could be posted on a community website (e.g.                                                  15 Dr. Stéphane McLachlan is a Professor and head of the Environmental Conservation Lab at the University of Manitoba. 104  LDN have their own Facebook page), posted at Band offices, or published along with community newsletters.  Such a report could be modeled after the plain language summary report on country foods that was done for the Ajax Project near Kamloops, BC (KGHM Ajax Mining Inc. 2016).   A cultural camp or hunt can be an effective approach to engage community members of all ages and to share ideas about traditional food and practices. Supporting a culture camp is also another way for the mining industry to support local community. For example, Rio Tinto hosted a culture camp for Aboriginal elders and youth living near the Diavik diamond mine, NWT. The cultural camp was also documented and made into a short documentary film (that hired local youth for part of the production) to exemplify this unique collaboration of a mining company and Aboriginal people (Roaming Pictures 2013). Cultural camps such as this may also facilitate the exchange of scientific and traditional ideas and perspectives of wildlife and ecosystem health.  Following the delivery of the CMHMP wildlife health workshop, plans for facilitating a culture camp with LDN community members on the Kluskus reserve were discussed, along with the possibility of also inviting wildlife veterinarians, regional biologists and local teachers to partake (personal communication, N. Gauthreau, 2015). A culture camp would also be an opportunity to promote the CMHMP and to train hunters and harvesters in sampling and data collection protocols. Connecting with other First Nations who deliver culture camps in BC was recommended. However, the initiative to organize such a program must come from the LDN.  Engaging local First Nations in „citizen science‟ initiatives is another way to create interest in monitoring wildlife. Social media and publically accessible apps can be especially effective tools for engaging youth and younger people. „Mymoose‟, for example, is an app that was developed to enable public citizens to report moose sightings in order to improve our understanding about the regional abundance of the species throughout BC (Goldstream Publishing Inc. 2006). The BC government also is currently working to develop a similar tool to engage hunters and other members of the public in supporting wildlife health research (Hume 2015). Additionally, the BC government is in the second year of implementation of an online Moose Winter Tick Survey to 105  establish a citizen science-based winter tick surveillance program (Government of BC 2016), which the CMHMP has been promoting.  Integration into EA and IBA Details of monitoring programs, such as the CMHMP, along with plans for their implementation and follow up should be structured into EAs as well as negotiated agreements (i.e. IBA). This can help to maximize the effectiveness of these programs as management tools versus being developed for superficial appeasement (i.e. „Comfort Monitoring‟ (Noble and Birk 2011)) of interest groups.  Expand scope of tissue analysis to include other potential contaminants New Gold‟s CFMP proposes to analyse tissue metal concentrations of select small mammal and fish species (Amec 2014b). Assessments of these metals were also thus selected for analysis in Phase 1 of the CMHMP. In addition to metals, future phases of the CMHMP could also include tissue analysis of other contaminants potentially related to mining activities. Other country food monitoring programs, for example, have also analysed tissue samples for levels of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDE), Perfluorinated Compounds (PFCS), Dioxins and Furans (e.g., Chan et al. 2011; McLachlan 2014). However, consideration of the cost effectiveness and affordability of additional tests must also be considered.  Mine planning, mitigation and land reclamation It is in the best interest of both New Gold and of country foods consumers to ensure that moose are minimally impacted by the Blackwater Mine. Mine planning could incorporate  designs that might mitigate impacts on moose by considering moose habitat use and need  (Wall, Belisle, and Luke 2011). This might include measures such as ensuring good water quality, providing road signs and fencing to prevent incidents with traffic, restricted public access to sensitive moose areas (e.g.  select wetlands) and increased hunting enforcement to prevent overhunting of local populations of moose due to increased public access of previously inaccessible wilderness. A progressive mine closure plan, for example, might include approaches to land reclamation and 106  habitat restoration that particularly consider public access to the use and need of moose. Such a forward looking plan for moose would also demonstrate to First Nations the commitment New Gold has in addressing a key concern regarding the health and safety of country foods for perpetuity.  107  CLOSING REMARKS Local communities, wildlife populations and the mining industry have much to gain from effective implementation of country food assessment and monitoring programs. These programs can provide information to communities on the health status of wildlife as well as any potential risks to people of consuming traditional food sources from wildlife species. This is especially important in First Nations communities, where in addition to being culturally important; country foods also represent a significant component of food security. Moreover, some First Nations communities may perceive the potential risks of environmental and social harm from mine development as threats to their wellbeing and their way of life. CMHMP is an endeavor that strives to link environmental and social approaches to health and move beyond the silos that have separated these approaches. By helping to facilitate a culturally appropriate country food monitoring program, the mining industry can demonstrate support for community wellbeing and care for the health of wildlife and the environment. Whether a mine is granted by FN a social license to operate can hinge on how effectively concerns regarding country foods have been addressed. Furthermore, the CMHMP provides an invaluable framework and model from which the mining industry can call upon to approach the assessment and monitoring of country foods.   In final summary, the CMHMP can be utilised and applied within the mining industry by:  Providing a framework and model to approach the assessment and monitoring of traditional wildlife food sources  Being integrated into Impact Benefit Agreements and the environmental assessment process  Complementing traditional knowledge, traditional use and occupancy and  diet studies  Helping to foster relationships and forge new collaborations  Exemplifying progressive and sustainable mining practices  Bolstering the campaign for a Social License to Operate     108  BIBLIOGRAPHY  AAND  2015 Northern Contaminants Program: Call for Proposals 2016-2017. Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada. http://science.gc.ca/default.asp?lang=En&n=3CD01B77-1.  AFN  2007 Traditional Foods: Are They Safe For First Nations Consumption? Assembly of First Nations: Environmental Stewardship Unit. http://www.afn.ca/uploads/files/rp-traditional_foods_safety_paper_final.pdf, accessed February 1, 2016.  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Harvest your moose as you would normally do. 4. As soon as you bleed the moose, collect blood on filter paper.  It is important to use clean blood so if the neck blood is not clean, use another large blood vessel or heart as you gut the animal.  Put the paper strips somewhere safe while you process the moose.  The papers must be dried completely afterwards and then placed into the envelope and bag. 5. Use your phone or camera to take pictures of your harvested moose, even if everything is normal.  Take pictures of (and email to coordinator, Neil or Rocky):  The whole animal with the hide on after the kill  The animals and its intestines or guts when the abdomen opened  Anything that seems strange – take several photos (from further away, then closer and from different angles if needed.  Put something in the photo to give an idea of size – a ruler, a pen or best would be a ruler) 6. Skin/ prepare moose as you would normally 7. Measure back fat  8. Collect all samples (see checklist on datasheet) 9. Fill out datasheet 10. Freeze completed kit and/or give to coordinator/ Neil/ band office ASAP 11. Help coordinator/ Neil mark kill location on map  Questions? Contact the community project coordinator, Neil Gauthreau, or the program developer, Rocky Lis.        142  Appendix E  List of contacts for the CMHMP Contact Title Ogranization Link to  Project Becky Cadsand  Regional Biologist BCMFLNRO, Williams Lake Animal Health support & sample drop-off Caroline Nistler Laboratory Administrator Matson's Lab, Montana Lab for tooth age analysis Chelsea Himsworth Head of Veterinary Science and Diagnostics  Animal Health Centre, Abbortsford Consult for assessment of animal tissues Christine Friedrichsmeier  Office Administrator BCMFLNRO, Vanderhoof  coordination of sample drop-off David & Maureen Harrington Hunter Guide Outfitter Euchiniko Lakes Lodge Hunter and sample collector Dean Watt Account Manager ALS, Burnaby New Gold account manager at ALS Francis Iredale Regional Biologist BCMFLNRO, Kamloops Animal Health support & sample drop-off Helen Scwantje BC Wildlife Veterinarian BCMFLNRO, Nanaimo  Animal Health support Janis Shandro Population Health Specialist University of Victoria Consult for health impact assessment Jim Linnell Hunter Guide Outfitter Independent guide Outfitter  Hunter and sample collector John Blackwell Hunter Guide Outfitter Moose Lake Lodge Hunter and sample collector Judit Smits Professor of Ecosystem and Public Health University of Calgary Support for toxicology interpretation  Malcolm Scoble Professor of Mining Engineering University of British Columbia Consult on mining   143   Appendix E Continued  Contact Title Ogranization Link to  Project Manigandan Lejeune Virapin Wildlife Parasitologist University of Calgary Contact for veterinary diagnostics Neil Gauthreau Natural Resource Manager LDN, Quesnel Interim community-based coordinator Rocky Lis Veterinarian and consultant UBC/ independent consultant CMHMP Phase 1 Coordinator Steve McNaughton Project Assessment Officer BCEAO, Victoria Consult on EA Susan Kutz Professor of Ecosystem and Public Health University of Calgary Contact for veterinary diagnostics Tim Bekhuys Director of Environment and Sustainability New Gold, Vancouver Consult of Blackwater Mine       144  Appendix F  Estimated total metal concentrations (mg/kg) in moose specimens from Phase 1 of the CMHMP Sample ID   A21 A21  A21  A23 A23  A23  A1  A1  A11  A10  A10  A10  A9  A9  Tissue  Muscle Kidney Liver Muscle Kidney Liver Kidney Liver Liver Muscle Kidney Liver Kidney Liver Date Sampled   10/08/15 10/08/15 10/08/15 10/11/15 10/11/15 10/11/15 9/14/15 9/14/15 9/29/15 10/03/15 10/03/15 10/03/15 9/16/15 9/16/15   Detection Limit               % Moisture 0.25 71.2 81.7 70.7 74.2 84.3 74.8 73.3 71.4 59.7 75.8 79.7 69.1 81.7 75.6 Metals                              Aluminum (dry) 2.0 27.6 11.0 31.5 4.5 4.7 7.3 <2.0 <2.0 10.3 2.2 3.8 <2.0 <2.0 <2.0 Aluminum (wet) 0.40 7.93 2.02 9.24 1.15 0.74 1.85 0.50 0.42 4.15 0.54 0.77 <0.40 <0.40 <0.40 Antimony (dry) 0.010 0.030 <0.010 0.074 <0.010 <0.010 <0.010 <0.010 <0.010 0.043 0.028 <0.010 <0.010 <0.010 <0.010 Antimony (wet) 0.0020 0.0086 <0.0020 0.0217 <0.0020 <0.0020 <0.0020 <0.0020 <0.0020 0.0172 0.0067 <0.0020 <0.0020 <0.0020 <0.0020 Arsenic (dry) 0.020 <0.020 <0.020 0.021 <0.020 <0.020 <0.020 <0.020 <0.020 <0.020 <0.020 <0.020 <0.020 0.031 <0.020 Arsenic (wet) 0.0040 0.0044 <0.0040 0.0061 <0.0040 <0.0040 <0.0040 <0.0040 <0.0040 0.0079 <0.0040 <0.0040 <0.0040 0.0056 <0.0040 Barium (dry) 0.050 0.705 0.491 1.93 0.077 0.479 0.287 0.423 0.137 0.602 0.232 0.543 0.378 0.277 0.713 Barium (wet) 0.010 0.203 0.090 0.567 0.020 0.075 0.073 0.113 0.039 0.243 0.056 0.110 0.117 0.051 0.174 Beryllium (dry) 0.010 <0.010 <0.010 <0.010 <0.010 <0.010 <0.010 <0.010 <0.010 <0.010 <0.010 <0.010 <0.010 <0.010 <0.010 Beryllium (wet) 0.0020 <0.0020 <0.0020 <0.0020 <0.0020 <0.0020 <0.0020 <0.0020 <0.0020 <0.0020 <0.0020 <0.0020 <0.0020 <0.0020 <0.0020 Bismuth (dry) 0.010 <0.010 <0.010 <0.010 <0.010 <0.010 <0.010 <0.010 <0.010 0.013 <0.010 <0.010 <0.010 <0.010 <0.010 Bismuth (wet) 0.0020 0.0028 <0.0020 <0.0020 <0.0020 <0.0020 <0.0020 <0.0020 <0.0020 0.0053 <0.0020 <0.0020 <0.0020 <0.0020 <0.0020 Boron (dry) 1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 1.1 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 Boron (wet) 0.20 <0.20 <0.20 <0.20 <0.20 <0.20 <0.20 <0.20 <0.20 <0.20 <0.20 <0.20 <0.20 <0.20 <0.20 Cadmium (dry) 0.0050 0.263 37.5 4.48 0.0121 25.6 3.38 8.82 1.43 0.860 0.0551 42.8 4.64 75.6 0.354 Cadmium (wet) 0.0010 0.0757 6.87 1.31 0.0031 4.02 0.854 2.36 0.409 0.346 0.0133 8.69 1.43 13.8 0.0864 Calcium (dry) 20 841 436 379 160 534 228 399 140 323 211 437 147 432 206 Calcium (wet) 4.0 242 79.9 111 41.2 83.9 57.6 107 40.1 130 50.9 88.6 45.5 78.9 50.2 Cesium (dry) 0.0050 0.220 0.304 0.0603 0.122 0.139 0.0382 0.0177 0.0061 0.0279 0.0820 0.0967 0.0218 0.137 0.0431 Cesium (wet) 0.0010 0.0633 0.0556 0.0177 0.0316 0.0218 0.0096 0.0047 0.0017 0.0112 0.0198 0.0196 0.0068 0.0249 0.0105 Chromium (dry) 0.050 0.537 0.714 0.091 0.750 0.115 0.476 <0.050 1.29 0.536 2.24 1.86 <0.050 0.055 0.557 Chromium (wet) 0.010 0.154 0.131 0.027 0.194 0.018 0.120 <0.010 0.369 0.216 0.541 0.377 <0.010 0.010 0.136 Cobalt (dry) 0.020 0.040 0.329 0.267 <0.020 0.263 0.234 0.168 0.283 0.114 <0.020 0.193 0.115 0.388 0.051 Cobalt (wet) 0.0040 0.0114 0.0603 0.0784 0.0046 0.0414 0.0590 0.0449 0.0810 0.0461 0.0047 0.0392 0.0356 0.0708 0.0124 145  Appendix G continued  Sample ID   A21 A21  A21  A23 A23  A23  A1  A1  A11  A10  A10  A10  A9  A9  Tissue  Muscle Kidney Liver Muscle Kidney Liver Kidney Liver Liver Muscle Kidney Liver Kidney Liver Date Sampled   10/08/15 10/08/15 10/08/15 10/11/15 10/11/15 10/11/15 9/14/15 9/14/15 9/29/15 10/03/15 10/03/15 10/03/15 9/16/15 9/16/15   Detection Limit               % Moisture 0.25 71.2 81.7 70.7 74.2 84.3 74.8 73.3 71.4 59.7 75.8 79.7 69.1 81.7 75.6 Metals                              Copper (dry) 0.10 5.59 14.9 186 3.20 20.9 128 17.7 111 210 11.0 16.3 116 14.7 2.49 Copper (wet) 0.020 1.61 2.73 54.6 0.827 3.28 32.3 4.73 31.7 84.7 2.65 3.31 35.9 2.69 0.607 Iron (dry) 3.0 171 193 648 104 896 1220 226 338 174 147 269 676 138 1290 Iron (wet) 0.60 49.1 35.4 190 26.9 141 309 60.5 96.5 70.2 35.5 54.5 209 25.1 314 Lead (dry) 0.020 0.872 <0.020 11.4 <0.020 <0.020 <0.020 <0.020 <0.020 1.11 0.043 <0.020 <0.020 <0.020 <0.020 Lead (wet) 0.0040 0.251 <0.0040 3.35 <0.0040 <0.0040 <0.0040 <0.0040 0.0048 0.446 0.0105 <0.0040 <0.0040 <0.0040 <0.0040 Lithium (dry) 0.50 <0.50 <0.50 <0.50 <0.50 <0.50 <0.50 <0.50 <0.50 <0.50 <0.50 <0.50 <0.50 <0.50 <0.50 Lithium (wet) 0.10 <0.10 <0.10 <0.10 <0.10 <0.10 <0.10 <0.10 <0.10 <0.10 <0.10 <0.10 <0.10 <0.10 <0.10 Magnesium (dry) 2.0 837 755 509 869 887 495 698 572 413 992 819 444 865 503 Magnesium (wet) 0.40 241 138 149 224 139 125 186 164 166 240 166 137 158 123 Manganese (dry) 0.050 1.92 9.82 8.40 0.567 11.8 8.36 11.4 10.6 4.14 1.60 7.77 4.17 7.17 0.377 Manganese (wet) 0.010 0.551 1.80 2.46 0.146 1.85 2.11 3.05 3.04 1.67 0.387 1.58 1.29 1.31 0.092 Mercury (dry) 0.0050 0.0066 0.211 0.0207 0.0067 0.229 0.0219 0.153 0.0146 0.0073 0.0050 0.0652 0.0083 0.441 0.0111 Mercury (wet) 0.0010 0.0019 0.0387 0.0061 0.0017 0.0360 0.0055 0.0409 0.0042 0.0029 0.0012 0.0132 0.0026 0.0805 0.0027 Molybdenum (dry) 0.020 0.177 1.82 3.20 0.091 2.82 3.46 2.68 5.13 2.14 0.157 2.53 2.42 2.42 0.152 Molybdenum (wet) 0.0040 0.0510 0.333 0.939 0.0236 0.444 0.873 0.715 1.47 0.860 0.0379 0.513 0.748 0.441 0.0372 Nickel (dry) 0.20 0.38 0.47 <0.20 0.31 0.39 0.24 <0.20 0.27 <0.20 0.34 1.32 <0.20 0.54 <0.20 Nickel (wet) 0.040 0.110 0.086 <0.040 0.079 0.062 0.061 0.049 0.077 0.063 0.082 0.269 <0.040 0.098 <0.040 Phosphorus (dry) 10 7190 11300 10300 7160 12600 9620 9940 11900 7740 8960 13100 9470 13100 7650 Phosphorus (wet) 2.0 2070 2060 3020 1850 1970 2430 2660 3410 3120 2170 2670 2930 2390 1870 Potassium (dry) 20 11700 12700 8120 13800 16500 10900 11200 10900 6490 16200 13700 8580 13900 14100 Potassium (wet) 4.0 3370 2330 2380 3550 2590 2740 3000 3130 2620 3920 2790 2650 2540 3430 Rubidium (dry) 0.050 16.8 29.7 18.4 17.0 31.5 22.9 13.8 16.0 9.88 12.1 19.7 10.1 34.5 19.3 Rubidium (wet) 0.010 4.83 5.44 5.40 4.40 4.94 5.78 3.70 4.57 3.98 2.93 4.01 3.13 6.30 4.71 146  Appendix G continued Sample ID   A21 A21  A21  A23 A23  A23  A1  A1  A11  A10  A10  A10  A9  A9  Tissue  Muscle Kidney Liver Muscle Kidney Liver Kidney Liver Liver Muscle Kidney Liver Kidney Liver Date Sampled   10/08/15 10/08/15 10/08/15 10/11/15 10/11/15 10/11/15 9/14/15 9/14/15 9/29/15 10/03/15 10/03/15 10/03/15 9/16/15 9/16/15   Detection Limit               % Moisture 0.25 71.2 81.7 70.7 74.2 84.3 74.8 73.3 71.4 59.7 75.8 79.7 69.1 81.7 75.6 Metals                              Selenium (dry) 0.050 0.318 3.30 0.848 0.384 3.51 1.21 2.52 0.368 0.283 0.371 3.40 0.742 4.37 1.02 Selenium (wet) 0.010 0.091 0.605 0.249 0.099 0.552 0.304 0.674 0.105 0.114 0.090 0.690 0.230 0.798 0.249 Silver (dry) 0.0050 <0.0050 <0.0050 0.300 <0.0050 <0.0050 0.118 <0.0050 0.0690 0.0791 <0.0050 0.0132 0.0304 <0.0050 <0.0050 Silver (wet) 0.0010 <0.0010 <0.0010 0.0879 <0.0010 <0.0010 0.0297 <0.0010 0.0197 0.0319 <0.0010 0.0027 0.0094 <0.0010 <0.0010 Sodium (dry) 20 3580 9010 4850 2090 10300 4240 4950 2250 2080 3200 7230 2790 7990 3810 Sodium (wet) 4.0 1030 1650 1420 540 1610 1070 1320 642 838 774 1470 862 1460 929 Strontium (dry) 0.050 0.899 0.521 0.798 0.131 0.548 0.313 0.509 0.145 0.397 0.317 0.496 0.122 0.434 0.200 Strontium (wet) 0.010 0.259 0.096 0.234 0.034 0.086 0.079 0.136 0.042 0.160 0.077 0.101 0.038 0.079 0.049 Tellurium (dry) 0.020 <0.020 <0.020 <0.020 <0.020 <0.020 <0.020 <0.020 <0.020 <0.020 <0.020 <0.020 <0.020 <0.020 <0.020 Tellurium (wet) 0.0040 <0.0040 <0.0040 <0.0040 <0.0040 <0.0040 <0.0040 <0.0040 <0.0040 <0.0040 <0.0040 <0.0040 <0.0040 <0.0040 <0.0040 Thallium (dry) 0.0020 0.0057 0.0271 <0.0020 <0.0020 0.0195 <0.0020 0.0031 <0.0020 <0.0020 <0.0020 0.0102 <0.0020 0.0086 <0.0020 Thallium (wet) 0.00040 0.00163 0.00495 0.00058 <0.00040 0.00306 <0.00040 0.00083 <0.00040 <0.00040 <0.00040 0.00207 <0.00040 0.00157 <0.00040 Tin (dry) 0.10 0.35 0.12 0.39 0.24 <0.10 <0.10 <0.10 <0.10 <0.10 0.15 0.16 <0.10 <0.10 0.12 Tin (wet) 0.020 0.102 0.021 0.115 0.062 <0.020 <0.020 <0.020 <0.020 <0.020 0.036 0.032 <0.020 <0.020 0.030 Uranium (dry) 0.0020 <0.0020 <0.0020 <0.0020 <0.0020 <0.0020 <0.0020 <0.0020 <0.0020 <0.0020 <0.0020 <0.0020 <0.0020 <0.0020 <0.0020 Uranium (wet) 0.00040 <0.00040 <0.00040 <0.00040 <0.00040 <0.00040 <0.00040 <0.00040 <0.00040 <0.00040 <0.00040 <0.00040 <0.00040 <0.00040 <0.00040 Vanadium (dry) 0.10 <0.10 <0.10 <0.10 <0.10 <0.10 <0.10 <0.10 <0.10 <0.10 <0.10 <0.10 <0.10 <0.10 <0.10 Vanadium (wet) 0.020 0.022 <0.020 0.026 <0.020 <0.020 <0.020 <0.020 <0.020 <0.020 <0.020 <0.020 <0.020 <0.020 <0.020 Zinc (dry) 0.50 127 109 86.2 220 130 105 86.7 68.6 48.9 199 118 81.4 111 82.0 Zinc (wet) 0.10 36.5 20.1 25.3 56.8 20.4 26.5 23.2 19.6 19.7 48.2 23.9 25.2 20.2 20.0 Zirconium (dry) 0.20 <0.20 <0.20 <0.20 <0.20 <0.20 <0.20 <0.20 <0.20 <0.20 <0.20 <0.20 <0.20 <0.20 <0.20 Zirconium (wet) 0.040 0.045 <0.040 <0.040 <0.040 <0.040 <0.040 <0.040 <0.040 <0.040 <0.040 <0.040 <0.040 <0.040 <0.040  147  Appendix G  One page summary for Phase 1 of the CMHMP Collaborative Moose Health Monitoring Program Spring, 2016 Interim Summary report  Phase 1 (the trial stage) of the Collaborative Moose Health Monitoring Program (CMHMP) is now completed. This program is related to a Country Foods Monitoring Plan that New Gold has implemented as part of the Environmental Assessment of the Blackwater Mine. First Nations communities near the mine value and use moose as a staple in their diets and wish them to be sampled.  However, moose are challenging to study further consultation and research was required to develop a program specifically to monitor and assess moose.   The goal of the CMHMP is to establish a baseline of moose health (prior to further development of the Blackwater Mine) via an ongoing, community-based collaboration that has so far included the Lhoosk‟uz Dene Nation (LDN), hunter guide outfitters, and has been supported by wildlife veterinarians, biologists and New Gold Inc. Phase 1 has been coordinated by Dr. Rocky Lis (a UBC graduate student and veterinarian) and Neil Gauthreau (LDN Natural Resource Manager) with support from Dr. Helen Schwantje (BC Wildlife Veterinarian). Results from the program will provide information to First Nations and others on moose health and any potential threats to humans.  What has been done so far?  A wildlife health workshop was held (Sept., 2015) in Kluskus to share ideas about wildlife health, to discuss the moose program and to train hunters in sampling protocols.   Distribution of sampling kits to LDN hunters and hunter guide outfitters   Samples collected from moose during the fall, 2015 hunting season were sent to laboratories for analysis  A report describing the program as well as preliminary results was completed  Summary of preliminary results (Phase 1)  6 moose were sampled from within the study area (100km2 of the Blackwater Mine). All sampled moose seemed to be in good health, were in good body condition, no major abnormalities were observed, and there was no indication of infectious agents of significance. Metal concentrations in muscle, kidney and liver reflected those expected of moose living in natural conditions of the region (i.e. baseline conditions, prior to mine construction) and are within safe levels for human consumption.  What’s next? The CMHMP is intended to be implemented over the long term, from now through post-closure of the proposed Blackwater Mine. Phase 2 of the program will entail continued moose sampling by hunters throughout the 2016 winter/ fall season to complete baseline assessments. The CMHMP is also looking to expand to collaborate with other First Nations communities. Phase 3 of the program will include ongoing and long term monitoring of moose and may potentially include helping to coordinate land reclamation plans targeted to suit moose need and use.   


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