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


Wednesday, 06 June 2018 21:26

The Inquiry Film

From Description: "The Inquiry Film was shot in the summer of 1976, during the final months of the Berger Inquiry. It features interviews with many key figures in the Inquiry, as well as footage from the community hearings at Rae (Behchokǫ̀) and Colville Lake. This independent film, produced by Arthur Pape and directed by Jesse Nishihata, won the Canadian Film Festival Award for Best Documentary over 90 Minutes in 1977. The film was donated to the Prince of Wales Heritage Centre by Michael Jackson, Special Counsel for the Berger Inquiry."

Read more about the Inquiry in the Final Report: Northern Frontier, Northern Homeland. 

Watch the film on Vimeo or the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre website. 

Access this Resource: 

Nishihata, Jesse. The Inquiry Film. Toronto : CFMDC, 1977.


Saturday, 13 January 2018 11:00

Native Broadcasting in Canada

This paper discusses the early years of radio in Northern Canada, including both “trail radio,” (i.e., hand-held, then two-way communications for bush travel). “Community radio,” as opposed to trail radio, was a CBC service provided to all Canadian communities of 500 or more, requiring only a small transmitter, reasonable premises, and a local radio society of volunteers. The paper explains that local operators could decide which CBC radio programs would be aired: including the Dene languages programming produced in Yellowknife. Many local stations created “phone-in” time, and the author gives one example of a station in Povungnituk which played a traditional game where one player imitates an animal on air, and the first caller to correctly identify the animal wins. The author emphasizes radio’s role in language preservation, but also in building strong community relationships. The report ends by heralding the beginning of the Northern Native Broadcast Access Program (NNBAP), and commenting that it may be useful in combatting the increase in southern television programming on northern screens.

Abstract: This article examines recent efforts to create native radio and television stations in Canada. In the beginning, trail and community radio provided the initial model for native Canadian broadcasting. Eventually, the Northern Native Broadcast Access Program, sponsored by the Native Citizens Directorate of the Secretary of State, led to further developments. In the last few years, native Canadian broadcasters have created many innovations and have successfully confronted the challenge of presenting serious discussions of native issues to a native audience which was previously accustomed to commercial, light-entertainment programing from southern Canada and the United States.

Read more about the history of northern broadcasting on this database: from APTN, and from The Northern Review. 

Read the SRRB Facebook feature on this topic from March 2018. 

Access this Resource: 

Research Gate


Rupert, Robert. "Northern Broadcasting in Canada." Anthropologica 25, no. 1 (1983): 53-61.

The authors discuss a 1985 Southern Tutchone radio broadcast wherein co-performers used deitic spatial terms, placing a listener in relationship to the landscape being discussed, and “spatially evoking the history of the entire region.” (282). The authors contend that the linguistic features of radio performances such as these are linked to social uses and perceptions of place, including land claims and Indigenous rights to land.

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Access this Resource: 

Moore, Patrick and Daniel Tlen. “Indigenous Linguistics and Land Claims: The Semiotic Projection of Athabaskan Directionals in Elijah Smith's Radio Work.” Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 17, no. 2 (December 2007): 266-286.


Saturday, 13 January 2018 11:00

Dene, A Journey

Dene, a Journey is a two-season documentary series created by Yellowknife-based filmmaker Amos Scott, broadcast on APTN (Aboriginal Peoples Television Network) in 2013 and 2015. Tagged as a "land-based cultural adventure show," the series profiles young urban Dene who seek to reconnect with their Indigenous cultural heritage and traditional territory. Two episodes feature youth with Sahtú roots: in Season 1, Episode 6, Juno Award-winning musician Leila Gilday learns to tan a moosehide in Délı̨nę; in Season 2, Episode 8, Vancouver-based Eugene Boulanger goes on a hunting trip up the Keele River into Shúhtaot'ı̨nę territory with relatives.

Watch Season 6, Episode 1: 

Dene A Journey Season 1, Episode 6- Dene Today and Tomorrow from Dene A Journey on Vimeo.

Access full episodes: 



Scott, Amos. Dene, A Journey. Documentary Series. Yellowknife: Dene A Journey, 2015.

The authors examine the relationship between connectivity, communications infrastructure, and democratic expression and civic participation. In an analysis of the Mackenzie Valley pipeline inquiry and the 2012-2013 Nunavut May River iron ore hearings, the Dalseg and Abele contend that communications technology is essential, but only functional given certain social and organizational conditions. These conditions include: local institutions for citizen mobilization, Indigenous language use, funding, and receptive public institutions.

The authors define a Northern problem they call “knowledge isolation,” which captures the difficulties of sharing essential information across Northern communities quickly, along with a dearth of opportunities to discuss collective decisions. They then turn to a history of northern communications technology, beginning after the Second World War. The introduction of radio in the 1950s through 1970s played an important role in Indigenous communities’ ability to mobilize politically and share knowledge. Television also expanded quickly after the Anik satellite permitted broadcasts to and from the north in 1973.

The Berger Inquiry was broadcast both on television and over CBC radio, along with topical bi-weekly documentaries on Our Native Land. Two Indigenous language broadcasters worked with CBC Northern Service and filed daily reports in seven Indigenous languages: Chipewyan, Dogrib, North and South Slavey, Gwich’in, and Inuktitut. Louie Blondin translated North and South Slavey. These translations were essential to the inquiry’s success, as they ensured that all communities understood the issues at play, and could hear their own perspectives echoed in other places.

From Abstract: 

In a country as large as Canada, connectivity—whether by road, rail, radio, or the Internet—plays an important role in economic growth, political and social development, and civic engagement. The importance of communications infrastructure especially is evident in the northern two-thirds of Canada, where radio, television, and the Internet have been instruments of democratic expression and civic participation. As pressures for resource extraction mount, northern communities must respond to economic, social, and political challenges from a position of geographical and, more significantly, “knowledge” isolation. Northern community residents need effective, community-led channels of communication. Addressing these needs will require both social and technological innovation—which can, fortunately, proceed from an existing base of experience and community expertise. In this article, we analyze two moments in northern public policy discourse in which new communications media played a pivotal role in advancing democratic dialogue in northern Canada: the 1975-7 Mackenzie Valley pipeline inquiry, and the 2012-3 hearings into the Mary River iron ore project in Nunavut. Our goal is to advance understanding of the purposeful use of communications infrastructure to support the development of local understanding, citizen engagement, and opportunities for effective community participation in development decisions. We find that technological capacity is foundational, but effective only under specific social and organizational conditions, which include the existence of appropriate institutions at the local level for citizen mobilization and response, dominance of Indigenous language use by northern citizens, appropriate levels of funding, and receptive public institutions to and through which northern citizens can speak.

Access this Resource: 

Download this paper for free from The Northern Review: http://journals.sfu.ca/nr/index.php/nr/article/view/473/yukoncollege.yk.ca/review

Kennedy Dalseg, Sheena, and Frances Abele. “Language, Distance, Democracy: Development Decision Making and Northern communications.The Northern Review 41 (2015): 207-240.


As a part of the Task Force on Aboriginal Languages and Cultures project, established in 2002 by the then Minister of Canadian Heritage, APTN was asked to prepare an analysis of the role of Aboriginal language broadcasting in Aboriginal language revitalization across Canada. The Final Report highlights the importance of broadcasting to Aboriginal survival, though they argue it is underutilized; the need for legislation to protect Aboriginal language broadcasting; the need for more resources for broadcasting research and development; and the importance of involving youth broadcasters and speakers. It also comments on the importance of broadcast programming as a resource for archival materials. The authors suggest that a national association and conference program would be useful to allow broadcasters to meet, share resources, and address common issues.

The Northern Native Broadcast Access Program (NNBAP) funded some surveys in the 1980s that suggested that language programming had a positive impact on language retention: however, results were not quantitatively conclusive and there has not been funding available to conduct similar (or follow-up) studies since.

Access this Resource:

Full text available online.

David, Jennifer and Debwe Communications Inc. Aboriginal Language Broadcasting in Canada: An overview and recommendations to the Task Force on Aboriginal Languages and Cultures. Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, November 26, 2004.


Saturday, 13 January 2018 11:00

Fort Good Hope

This short documentary film was shot during the Berger Inquiry, mostly at Fort Good Hope. It includes footage both of Justice Berger and of many speakers, including the Fort Good Hope chief and a K’asho Got’ine translator. It deals with the issues not just of development, but also of education, language, cultural skills, employment, and land skills.

Fort Good Hope, Ron Orieux, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

Cite this Resource:

Orieux, Ron. Fort Good Hope. Montreal: National Film Board of Canada, 1977.