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

Education and Training

  • 2011-2016 Délı̨nę Language, Music and Place

    Language, Music and Place in Délįnę, Northwest Territories, Canada develops an interdisciplinary approach to language documentation. As the community of Delįnę makes a transition to self-government, there has been increased interest in stories, song, and concepts of place in order to better understand what these reveal about self-government, or, more particularly, what is at the core of being a Dene (person). Governance thus is one focal point of this research. Complementing this, the project involves the development of an indigenous research methodology with respect to language research. More particularly, the research explores variation, change and continuity in language, stories, song, and concepts of place as they relate to governance and land stewardship. The approach involves documentation with three groups of families from distinct traditional land use areas across generations, including archival and new materials, as well as dialogue with relatives from neighbouring communities with distinct dialects in order to understand the role of place of origin in variability.

    Nicole Beaudry is leading development of a book based on her research on Dene songs. Jane Modeste is prioritizing production of books based on transcribed oral texts.

    Team Members


    University of Cologne

    Total Budget

    $7, 409

    Research Summary

    pdf Learning about Glottal in Délı̨nę got’ı̨nę Kedǝ and Oromo Language (869 KB) s

  • 2014-ongoing Cross-Cultural Research Camp

    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)

  • 2016-ongoing Sahtú Research Library

    This project aims to create an online library ofSahtú-related research that will be accessible for community members and approved outside researchers – a one-of-a-kind online library of Sahtú research for Sahtu people!

    The library began in 2016 and really started to grow in 2017, through the work of several researchers who generously shared their materials with one of the primary managers of the library. Now, in September 2018, the library includes one thousand references! A citation (the title, author, year, and place published) is always available so that anyone who uses the library can go find the piece. And for most of the references, the entire written piece (journal article, newspaper article, report, etc.) is attached so it can be conveniently read on the spot. The library includes research about human health, species at risk, environmentalism, land-based education, traditional knowledge, addiction, radiation, mental health, and many more topics.

    The library is not yet available to the public, but we are hoping to get to that point very soon. Once the library is publicly accessible, we think it will be a great resource to let Sahtu people know about past and current work done around their region, so we can all be in the know about the place we live and love. If you know about any research that should be included in the library, please send us a message at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We would love to hear from you!

    Team Members:

  • 2017-ongoing From Dene Kedǝ to Dene Ts’ı̨lı̨: Rethinking Resurgence in the Sahtú Region

    tentFrom Dene Kedǝ to Dene Ts’ı̨lı̨ is a collaborative project that explores lessons learned through the past fifty years of Dene and Métis language and way of life initiatives. Bringing together knowledge and experience from longtime activists and educators and youth, as well as review of over 275 documents, the aim is to create a resource for decision-makers and researchers as a basis for resurgence in the Sahtú Region. All phases of this project involve a dialogue between today’s initiatives and yesterday’s legacy.

    The picture that has emerged is complex, involving at least seven domains of resurgence: speakers and learners; local knowledge; documentation; education; media; law and policy; and ways of life. During this project we saw the emergence of exciting projects like the Dene Ts’ı̨lı̨ School, a cross-cultural on the land learning opportunity for youth. This school became an integral part of the research and learning process.

    Explore the resources that contributed to this research using the Dene Kedǝ to Dene Ts'ı̨lı̨ Catalogue of Resources.

    Key Messages

    Three key messages have emerged so far from this project:
    1. Sahtú Dene and Métis families need to live, learn and be well on the land.
    2. Holistic Dene Kedǝ and Dene Ts'ı̨lı̨ programs support strong governance.
    3. Youth need to be drivers for Dene Kedǝ and Dene Ts'ı̨lı̨ initiatives.

    Phase One – Research and Reporting

    January-October 2017, and ongoing

    graphThe research team began with a SSHRC-funded research project, resulting in an October 2017 report. This report synthesized existing knowledge about Dene Kedǝ, (Dene language) and Dene Ts’ı̨lı̨ (being Dene, Dene ways of life) in the Sahtú Region. Its focus, was to review revitalization programming from the last 50 years of Sahtú history, in order to understand what work was already done, what impact it has had, and what lessons have been learned from it. Key report sections included a literature review; a synthesis of Dene and Métis youth interviews; a timeline; an annotated bibliography; key messages for policy; and a plan for knowledge mobilization. The research team recognizes that there remain gaps in the compilation, and plans to continue adding to the compilation during Phase 2.

    Phase Two – Knowledge Mobilization


    chartsThe research team has begun building results into a searchable database, sharing results on social media, and adding new resources to accessible platforms as they are surveyed. Future goals include the development of an interactive online timeline. This review of historical programming also continues to inform contemporary projects with youth such as the Dene Ts’ı̨lı̨ School, which many of the Dene Kede to Dene Ts’ı̨lı̨ report co-authors are involved with. A further output of this project has been the development of a new network of knowledgeable individuals, both currently active and retired, as well as Territorial and regional organisations with an interest in supporting Dene Kedǝ and Dene Ts'ı̨lı̨ processes. As Sahtú-based co-authors directly apply research results in regional and community initiatives (such as the SRRB, Nę K’ǝ Dene Ts'ı̨lı̨ Forum, Sahtú Youth Network, and local Ɂehdzo Got'ı̨nę), the regional network will disseminate knowledge with an eye to best practices in policy and scholarship.

     Team Members

    For more information about this project, or to access this project’s resources, please contact Deborah Simmons at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


    This research was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada: An Indigenous Knowledge Synthesis Project as part of the Imagining Canada’s Future Initiative. The team also thanks the Ɂehdzo Got'ı̨nę Gots'ę́ Nákedı and University of Toronto for their partnership.

    Total Budget


    Research Summary

    pdf Dene Kedǝ to Dene Ts'ı̨lı̨ - Máhsı cho, ToC and Executive Summary. (636 KB)


    This report provides an overview of the implications of this Knowledge Synthesis, followed by a discussion of project scope and approach. Results are provided in two sections: first a thematic timeline summarizing the literature review, and second a summary of key messages from the activities, focus groups and interviews at Dene Ts'ı̨lı̨ School. More details are provided in a series of appendices.

      pdf Full report with appendices. (4.03 MB)

    Report Sections

    pdf Main report. (983 KB)

    pdf Appendix A (189 KB) : a list of acronyms and terms used in the report, along with a map of Sahtú communities. 

    pdf Appendix B (424 KB) : experiential reflections by the four Dene/Métis co-authors. 

    pdf Appendix C (1.86 MB) : an in-depth discussion of “Youth Knowledge” from Dene Ts'ı̨lı̨ School and the questionnaire used for interviews. 

    pdf Appendix D (1.29 MB) : an exploration of statistics about speakers and learners in the Sahtú Region. folder

    pdf Appendix E (439 KB) : a detailed timeline of events. 

    pdf Appendix F (601 KB) : a bibliography of 177 annotated sources.

  • Bat Monitoring and Education

    This project involves confirming observations of bats in the area of Norman Wells by using a bat sensor, and educational activities to enhance awareness of bats as a species scheduled for forthcoming assessment under the Species At Risk Act.  A bat booklet and final report will be produced.  The final report and data will be made available for the forthcoming bat assessments to be completed in 2016.  Bats were recently found in this area, previously unknown to scientists as bat habitat.

    Team Members


    Government of the Northwest Territories - Species At Risk

    Total Budget


  • Dene Ts'ı̨lı̨ School - Wellness and Leadership Training Workshop

    Winter 2018 Wellness and Leadership Training

    Ron DoctorApplications are now being accepted for the Winter 2018 Dene Ts'ı̨lı̨ School on February 19-March 5 with the objective of training present and future leaders in on the land programs. The program will take place at Dǝocha, Sahtú Dǝ (Bennett Field, Bear River), in the Délı̨nę District (with thanks to the Délı̨nę Got'ı̨nę Government). The program will provide essential training in wellness, healing and trauma-informed practice, as well as on the land experiences. The deadline for applications is January 29. Click pdf here (281 KB) for the application package. Photo credit Ron Doctor. 

     Help spread the word! Click pdf here (1.09 MB) for the poster.

     Eligible participants are:

    • 18 years or older
    • Sahtú beneficiaries or residents
    • People who are interested in helping to build healthy communities and Dene/Métis ts'ı̨lı̨ (ways of life) on the land
    • Are committed to full participation in program activities, including pre-camp planning, activities at Dǝocha, and follow-up projects defined with the trainers
    • Are committed to being sober (drug and alcohol free) for at least two weeks prior to the school, and during the school (ie. the full month February 5-March 5)
    • Willing to participate in a screening interview
    • Willing to provide medical information (this information will be kept confidential and will be used only for your safety and the safety of camp participants) and sign a waiver before the camp
    • Are supported by a reference from a community leader, mentor or elder

    Travel costs will be provided. Honoraria will be offered to non-salaried participants upon completion of the program - $1,000 for adults and $500 for youth 18-30.

     For more information or for assistance with your application, contact Joe Hanlon, Lori Ann Lennie or Shelby Lennie at the SRRB office, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone 867-588-4040.

    Instructor Team