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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(6), 5751-5782; doi:10.3390/ijerph110605751
Review

Is Hunting Still Healthy? Understanding the Interrelationships between Indigenous Participation in Land-Based Practices and Human-Environmental Health

1,*  and 2
1 National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia 2 Indigenous Environmental Studies Program, Trent University, Peterborough, ON K9J 7B8, Canada
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 February 2014 / Revised: 5 May 2014 / Accepted: 13 May 2014 / Published: 28 May 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue IJERPH: 10th Anniversary)
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Abstract

Indigenous participation in land-based practices such as hunting, fishing, ceremony, and land care has a long history. In recent years, researchers and policy makers have advocated the benefits of these practices for both Indigenous people and the places they live. However, there have also been documented risks associated with participation in these activities. Environmental change brought about by shifts in land use, climate changes, and the accumulation of contaminants in the food chain sit alongside equally rapid shifts in social, economic and cultural circumstances, preferences and practices. To date, the literature has not offered a wide-ranging review of the available cross-disciplinary or cross-ecozone evidence for these intersecting benefits and risks, for both human and environmental health and wellbeing. By utilising hunting as a case study, this paper seeks to fill part of that gap through a transdisciplinary meta-analysis of the international literature exploring the ways in which Indigenous participation in land-based practices and human-environmental health have been studied, where the current gaps are, and how these findings could be used to inform research and policy. The result is an intriguing summary of disparate research that highlights the patchwork of contradictory understandings, and uneven regional emphasis, that have been documented. A new model was subsequently developed that facilitates a more in-depth consideration of these complex issues within local-global scale considerations. These findings challenge the bounded disciplinary and geographic spaces in which much of this work has occurred to date, and opens a dialogue to consider the importance of approaching these issues holistically.
Keywords: Indigenous; land-based practices; health; environment; transdisciplinary Indigenous; land-based practices; health; environment; transdisciplinary
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).
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King, U.; Furgal, C. Is Hunting Still Healthy? Understanding the Interrelationships between Indigenous Participation in Land-Based Practices and Human-Environmental Health. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 5751-5782.

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