K’àgòò tıl̨ ıı ̀Deè - Traditional Knowledge Study for the Proposed All-Season Road to Whatì

This traditional knowledge study is part of the Tłįchǫ Government’s strategy to gather information about the potential benefits and concerns that might arise from a proposed all-season road from Highway 3 to the Tłįchǫ community of Whatì. The purpose of the study is to inform decision-makers and developers about the areas of importance for the practice of cultural activities on the land surrounding the proposed road route, and to identify what impacts the proposed road will have on harvesters, and on the land and animals. 

The study documents the cultural importance of specific sites and natural features, such as Tsotìdeè, Nàı̨lı̨ı̨, and Ewaashì, and of travel routes, burial sites, and land use practices, as hunting, fishing, and trapping. The main concerns of the elders include the predicted impacts of (1) noise and dust pollution from construction and traffic, (2) the introduction of new animal species, and (3) the influx of outsiders and resulting increased pressure on harvesting of  furbearing and ungulate animal populations in the proposed development area. These predicted impacts will pose difficulties to the maintenance of the
Tlicho hunting and trapping economy and way of life. Several mitigations measures are identified to deal with some of these concerns. More information is needed in regards to the concerns and impacts, and priorities are identified, highlighting further research needs. 

The study is based on the traditional knowledge of 16 elders and harvesters in Whatì and Behchokǫ̀, each of whom has personal experience and knowledge of the proposed development area. The researchers applied a qualitative research method based on workshops and individual interviews with each elder and
harvester.

October, 2014

Researcher: Georgina Chocolate GIS coordinator: Sjoerd van der Vielen Principal Investigator: Petter Jacobsen

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