Best of Both Worlds
The Ɂehdzo Got’ı̨nę Gots’ę́ Nákedı is partnering with Ɂehdzo Got’ı̨nę to conduct research and consultations in the Sahtú to understand and support the “mixed economy” – in which people have the choice to make their living from traditional activities, or the wage economy, or both.
In the Sahtú, especially in recent years, the amount of industrial activity (such as oil and gas exploration) has increased. Although most families used to live almost exclusively off the land, more and more people now have jobs. Many of these people, however, still rely on hunting, trapping, fishing, gathering, producing arts and crafts, outfitting and other traditional activities to support their families.
The sale of NWT furs alone contributed more than $2.5 million to the economy in 2012-2013 ($725,000 in the Sahtú). This is a significant increase over previous years. A major contribution to family incomes also comes from producing arts and crafts, gathering wood for fuel and building, and harvesting food from the land – caribou, moose, fish, ducks, geese, beaver, berries, other plants. Some jobs in industry require knowledge and skills of the land, environment and wildlife (eg. environmental monitoring and assessment, guiding, development planning).
The Board is identifying what skills are needed to participate in jobs and in traditional activities, how these skills can best be developed, whether there is a need for specific training programs to help people get these skills, how this training can best be delivered, and what each community wants to do to ensure people have as many choices as possible.