Projects Database

Our research agenda in the Tłı̨chǫ region has historically been broad in scope covering a variety of research interests covering the environment, health and wellness, and Tłı̨chǫ language, culture and way of life.  The number of projects we are able to support is steadily increasing as we build the capacity to move beyond only being able to support the research interests of other organizations and individuals, to identifying, planning and implementing the research that is of most value to people in our communities and to the Tłı̨chǫ Government.

The following descriptions are intended as a compendium of current and past research projects over the past few years undertaken by the Tłı̨chǫ Research & Training Institute and its partners, the Tłı̨chǫ Government, and its predecessor, the Dogrib Treaty 11 Council (1992-2005), and the Tłı̨chǫ Community Services Agency and its predecessors, the Dogrib Community Services Agency (1997-2005)  and the Dogrib Divisional Board of Education (1989-1997):

Current Projects:

Tłı̨chǫ Nàowoò Whatì (Tsǫ̨̀tı̨̀) Deè Gots’ǫ Hàèłı̨ı̨ Ts’ǫ

Category: Traditional Knowledge, Historical Research, Language and Culture
Release Year: 2024
End Year: 2024

This report considers Tłı̨chǫ knowledge of Tsǫ̀tı̀deè, from Whatì to Hàèlı̨ı̨. This knowledge encompasses the activities and places that are and have always been culturally important to the Tłı̨chǫ people in this area. 


The research grew from concerns within the Whatì community about possible negative impacts from the Tłı̨chǫ Tı̨lıı̀ (Tłı̨chǫ Highway) as more non-Dene come into the area. They want to protect their lifestyle and relationships with animals, places, trails, and associated stories that allow them to know their past, while planning for the future — as they travel, work, and thrive within Mǫwhı̀ Gogha Dè Nı̨ı̨tlèè, the place where Tłı̨chǫ belong. 


The overall goal of this project was to support the Tłı̨chǫ government to protect the river, fish and their habitat, camps, grave sites, and other places, to ensure that non-Tłı̨chǫ and Tłı̨chǫ alike care about and show respect for the land. 


The research objectives were to document Elder’s knowledge and stories of Tsǫ̀tı̀deè and Gòlotı̀deè, as they relate to fish and fisheries, including seasonal movement; other animals harvested in relation to the river; landscapes and places where people camped, fished, and harvested; Tłı̨chǫ rules associated with fish, fisheries, water, and places; and Nàı̨lı̨ı̨ and its historic and cultural importance to the Tłı̨chǫ. 

Tłı̨chǫ Placenames — Indicators of Knowing Mǫwhì Gogha Dè Nı̨ı̨tłèè

Category: Traditional Knowledge, Historical Research
Release Year: 2024
End Year: 2024

This project was a continuation of the studies funded by the West Kitikmeot Slave Study Society on placenames as indicators of bio-geographic knowledge, and caribou migration and the state of their habitat. To record and document places and placenames in Mǫwhì Gogha Dè Nı̨ı̨tłèè, the research team worked with Elders in Tłıchǫ communities. They documented placenames and the stories Elders shared. The study area takes in all of Tłıchǫ nèèk’e—the place where Tłıchǫ belong. This includes traditional territory within Mǫwhì Gogha Dè Nı̨ı̨tłèè as well as neighbouring areas well known to and used by Tłıchǫ people, especially areas to the northwest around Sahtì, southwest to Dehtso, and eastward into the tundra. 

Dene Medicine Project

Category: Traditional Knowledge, Health and Wellness, Historical Research
Release Year: 2024
End Year: 2024

This 2024 report is an updated version of the 1994 Traditional Dene Medicine Report submitted to the Lac La Martre Band Council by Marie Adele Rabesca, Diane Romie, Joan Ryan, and Martha Johnson. The 2024 edition was updated for Dedats’eetsaa, with the support of the Department of Culture and Lands Protection, Tłı̨chǫ Government. 

Annual Research Expo and Museum Gathering

Category: Traditional Knowledge, Health and Wellness, Historical Research, Language and Culture
Release Year: 2023
End Year: 2024

Sǫǫ ̀mbakwè K’egoɂǫ ̀: Where there’s mineral wealth

Category: Environmental Monitoring, Historical Research
Release Year: 2023
End Year: 2023

Kwetı̨ı̨ɂaà (Rayrock) Activities 2017-2018

Category: Environmental Monitoring, Traditional Knowledge, Health and Wellness
Release Year: 2017
End Year: 2018

Kwetı̨ı̨ɂaà, also known as Rayrock, is a former uranium mine built in the 1950s approximately 145 kilometres northwest of Yellowknife. It has been a site of monitoring and remediation activities of the Tłı̨chǫ Government for many years, and in 2018, the Tłı̨chǫ Government is launched its Kwetı̨ı̨ɂaà Traditional Monitoring Program, with the goal of restoring Tłı̨chǫ confidence and use in the site.

Situated Social Identities: The Storied Experiences of Tłı̨chǫ High School Graduates

Category: Graduate Students, Health and Wellness, Language and Culture
Release Year: 2011

The doctoral thesis was a social phenomenological inquiry that explored lived experiences of 11 Tłı̨chǫ high school graduates from the Indigenous community of Behchokǫ̀​​​​​​​, Northwest Territories. A blended identity-based and ecological lens facilitated holistic understandings of resilience processes, lifecourse patterns, and domains of meaningful learning. Narratives revealed a bi-cultural tension embodied in late Elder Elizabeth Mackenzie’s call for Tłı̨chǫ​​​​​​​ youth to become “strong like two people”: competent and confident in both an Indigenous and non-Indigenous cultural world. Deeper understandings of social identities and resilience enhancing supports, resources, and contexts informed the development of a model of dynamic resilience for Tłı̨chǫ​​​​​​​ students and three broad educational policy recommendations. A relational research model to guide researchers working qualitatively in cross-cultural contexts or with marginalized populations also emerged.

Ekwǫ̀ Nàxoèhdee K’è: Boots on the Ground

Category: Environmental Monitoring, Traditional Knowledge, Health and Wellness, Historical Research, Language and Culture
Release Year: 2016
End Year: 2024

Ekwǫ̀ Nàxoèhdee K’è: Boots on the Ground is a caribou monitoring program based on the traditional knowledge of the Indigenous elders and harvesters. Faced with challenges from the decline of the Bathurst caribou herd and a self-imposed ban on caribou hunting in 2015, the Tłı̨chǫ Government initiated Ekwǫ̀ Nàxoèhdee K’è (the program) to collect critical field knowledge of the Bathurst caribou herd and its habitat. It is a multi-year traditional knowledge monitoring program for the Bathurst caribou and monitor the conditions of Bathurst herd’s summer range by focusing on indicators: (1) caribou habitat and environment, (2) caribou, (3) predators, and (4) industrial disturbance.