The Trees All Changed to Wood: Remembering Rayrock Uranium Mine

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It appeared like the land had been destroyed  … The land looks dry and trees look like wood  … I guess the land kind of died (John Quitte 96/08/21)

The overall objective of the Rayrock project is to show that people who actively harvest renewable resources in an area are the best people to monitor changes to the environment in that area. They know the land and its interrelated parts. They understand the behaviour and physical makeup of the wildlife that inhabit the area.

This project provided an opportunity to:
  • Document Tłı̨chǫ elders’ knowledge of the environment and ecosystem before and after the Rayrock uranium mine operated.
  • Invite selected Tłı̨chǫ elders to share their oral narratives related to how the locale changed from Kwetı̨ı̨ɂàa, a place of happiness and good hunting, to Rayrock, a place of sickness and death.
The Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (DIAND) funded this project. The Dogrib Renewable Resources Committee (DRRC) submitted a proposal under the Arctic Environmental Strategy. Two elders from each of the four Tłı̨chǫ communities form the DRRC.  The Report was original published March 1997, and republished March 2016. 

For more information, please contact: 
Wendy Mantla, 
Manager of Research Training and Operations, at the Tłįchǫ Government, Behchokǫ̀, NT 
867.392-6381 ext 1310.

 

The Trees All Changed to Wood: Remembering Rayrock Uranium Mine

Release date: March 2016

Publication type: Tłįchǫ Traditional Knowledge Reports: Series 2

Dedats’eetsaa has republished and released,  in paper and electronic formats,  an important 1997 TK report on the Rayrock uranium mine north of Behchokǫ̀. The overall objective of the original Rayrock research project was to show that people who actively harvest renewable resources in an area are the best people to monitor changes to the environment in that area. They know the land and its interrelated parts. They understand the behaviour  and physical makeup of the wildlife that inhabit the area. The report was originally prepared by the Dogrib Renewable Resources Committee, the Dogrib Treaty 11 Council for the Arctic Environmental Strategy, and the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development.

March 1997

Research team: Allice Legat, Principle Investigator Joan Ryan, Assistant Analyst, Sally Ann Zoe, Researcher Marie Adele Rabesca, Researcher and translator Madelaine Chocolate. Re‐published by Dedatseetsaa: the Tłı̨chǫ Research and Training Institute, with spelling updates for Tłı̨chǫ (Dogrib) terms

ISBN: 978‐1‐896790‐52‐7