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Introduction Native peoples of the Canadian north have hunted barren plains caribou since long before the Europeans arrived in North America Hunters and social groups relied heavily on the caribou for food clothing and utensils as well as a source of culture and spiritual beliefs When caribou populations declined or migrated indigenous peoples were forced to either move with the herd or suffer from severe starvation Today the fur trade still takes place in the Canadian north with roughly 100000 people in total participating in Canada Animals such as the caribou provide one of the few sources of income available to the natives in some regions and the natural resources they provide are used to purchase food-stuffs ammunition and equipment from the south The Indian Inuit and Dene ethnic groups in Canada all still rely on the caribou as a source of food despite the fact that native cultures have changed as indigenous peoples have adapted parts of their lifestyle to the new technological advances The introduction of rifles and snowmobiles into the northern economy have changed hunting and trapping methods and native people are being forced to continually redefine their own culture as technology filters into the north There is therefore an increasing need for native people to choose the way in which they interact with southern society and the blending of traditional skills and modern technology to utilize resources seems to be the most common approach to this problem Caribou in the northern regions of Canada are fairly plentiful in numbers and travel in large herds through wide tracts of land in which they can be easily hunted by residents of local communities Since barren plains caribou are so easily hunted it is inevitable that they are the favoured meat resource in a renewable resource economy It is important to note however that it is this very attribute that makes them so valuable to the animal market economy which also
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