Ɂehdzo Got’ı̨nę Gots’ę́ Nákedı
Sahtú Renewable Resources Board

2014-ongoing Cross-Cultural Research Camp Print Email

This project is part of the Wildlife, Habitat and Harvesting program funded by the Environmental Studies Research Fund. The Camp was held on July 12-19, 2014 at Stewart Lake in the Tulı́t'a District, and provided an exciting and rare opportunity for a facilitated on-the-land exchange between Dene/Métis knowledge holders and scientists.

The Camp provided a forum for participants to learn about each other’s research questions and ways of learning about and monitoring wildlife, habitat, harvesting and water. The focal points of activities at the camp will be the two Environmental Studies Research Fund (ESRF) programs this year – Wildlife, Habitat and Harvesting, and Surface Water and Groundwater research. The emphasis will be on cross-cultural learning and relationship building, as well as collection of data in an area near the shale oil play.

Stewart Lake is where some Shúhtagot’ı̨nę people of Tulít’a have a camp. It has also been the site of a forestry camp in the past. It has an airstrip, good solid ground and cleared areas for camping. There is good fishing in the lake (particularly trout and whitefish) as well as outflow and inflow streams that could be used for CABIN water monitoring. Tǫdzı (boreal woodland caribou) are known to be present in the area. Over the past several decades there has been oil and gas exploration in the vicinity of Stewart Lake; there are three Significant Discovery licenses nearby; and over the past few years new leases have been awarded in the area for shale oil exploration. Thus, it is an important area for gathering baseline information. Stewart Lake itself is a Conservation Zone under the 2013 Sahtu Land Use Plan, but there is only a 1 km buffer around the lake.

The three key objectives of the Camp were: 1. Provide an opportunity for learning about traditional knowledge and scientific ways of knowing related to environmental research and monitoring in the shale oil play. 2. Contribute to data collection in an area of the Central Mackenzie Valley near potential hydrocarbon exploration and development. 3. Further understanding of research and monitoring needs in the region.

Watch the photo-voice video!

Featuring photos and voices of Sahtú Dene and Métis and scientists who lived, worked, learned and played together for a week in July, this video highlights the great things that are possible when people share knowledge and skills across cultures.

Workshop Participants

Environmental monitors-in-training

  • John Tobac – Fort Good Hope
  • Louise Yukon – Norman Wells
  • Charles Oudzi – Colville Lake
  • Joanne Krutko – Tulít’a
  • Peter Silastiak, Jr. – Tulít’a
  • Kristen Yakelaya – Tulít’a

Elders, harvesters and community members

  • Theresa Etchinelle – Tulít’a
  • David Etchinelle – Tulít’a
  • Michael Etchinelle – Tulít’a
  • Gilbert Turo – Youth, Fort Good Hope
  • Archie Erigaktuk – Youth, Tulít’a

Sahtú Environmental Research and Monitoring Forum members

  • Michael Neyelle – Ɂehdzo Got’ı̨nę Gots’ę́ Nákedı
  • Jimmy Dillon – Délı̨nę

Scientists / researchers

  • Krista Chin – Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program (GNWT)
  • Morag McPherson – Fisheries and Oceans
  • Robin Bourke – Golder & Associates
  • Stephanie Behrens – GNWT-ENR Sahtú Region
  • Ken Caine – University of Alberta
  • James Hodson – GNWT-ENR Wildlife
  • Heather Sayine-Crawford – GNWT-ENR Sahtú Region
  • Lisa Smith – GNWT-ENR Forestry
  • Dave Polster – contractor for GNWT-ENR Forestry
  • Samuel Haché – Canadian Wildlife Service (Environment Canada)

Camp staff

  • Leon Andrew – Dene language specialist, interpreter, co-facilitator
  • Deborah Simmons – co-facilitator
  • Shauna Morgan – co-facilitator
  • William Horassi – camp attendant
  • Valerie Desjarlais – cook
  • Jeanie Bavard – cook


Environmental Studies Research Fund



Research Summary

pdf At Home on the Land (343 KB)