Indigenous Relationships to Land

Land Claim Implementation and Indigenous Relationships to Land Scoping Workshop

Research Theme: Indigenous Relationships to Land

Between October 2-5, 2018, the Indigenous Relationships to Land Theme held two workshops discussing our work to date and seeking future research direction on the implementation of modern treaties.

Workshop 1 took place in Yellowknife and included the co-leads Hayden King and John B. Zoe, support from Executive Director Tee Lim, and seven Tłı̨chǫ Government lands or treaty implementation staff. We discussed our review of the literature that currently exists on modern treaties, with a focus on lands, as well as an environmental scan of co-management and land use planning regimes in modern treaty areas. We also gathered feedback and took direction. The themes emerging from these discussions revolved around co-management success stories, the need for archival / place-name / and mapping work, as well as on-the-land program evaluation. This reflects some of the Lands Theme initial focus.

Workshop 2 was a mobile workshop over two days that took place in and around Behchokǫ̀ and included visits to the Tłı̨chǫ Department of Culture and Lands Protection, the Tłı̨chǫ Government archives, the Chief Jimmy Brunea School, a Yamohza sacred site, and a "feeding the fire" ceremony. Participants were the Lands team, Tee Lim, former Tłı̨chǫ Grand Chief Eddie Erasmus, Elder (Cowboy) Joe Mantla and conversations with numerous others. Discussions focused on the history of the Tłı̨chǫ Comprehensive Claim generally but also specifically Lands, ongoing political challenges, and the importance of stories and place-names. The primary theme regarding implementation challenges in Workshop 2 revolved around Tłı̨chǫ cultural resurgence.

There were a number of additional meetings to supplement these more formal gatherings. They included discussions with Steven Ellis of Tides Canada, Dene Nahjo, and former NWT Territorial Archeologist Tom Andrews. We heard the need for collaboration in on-the-land program evaluation, urban representation in modern treaty implementation, and once again the importance of place-names and mapping. Both workshops and other side-meetings resulted in valuable learning, information gathering and sharing, and opportunities for collaboration. Hayden King’s visit to Tłı̨chǫ N'de also marked a clear distinction between years one and two of our project and has created a path to better conceptualizing work required in future years.