Oral history project contributing to the definition of the extent of the Déline Fishery

Regions: Sahtu Settlement Area

Tags: social sciences, traditional knowledge, history, fisheries

Principal Investigator: Oliver, Meryl J. (1)
Licence Number: 14815
Organization: National Historic Sites Directorate, Parks Canada Agency
Licenced Year(s): 2010
Issued: Oct 29, 2010
Project Team: Henry Cary, Cultural Resource Manager (principal interviewer, Parks Canada Agency), Margaret Bertulli, Senior Archaeologist (co-interviewer, Parks Canada Agency), Michael Neyelle (Interpreter / Coordinator of Elder Consultations, Déline Knowledge Project)

Objective(s): To plot the boundaries of the historic Déline fishery in order to define the extent of Déline Fishery / Franklin’s Fort National Historic Site of Canada.

Project Description: The goal of this oral history project is to plot the boundaries of the historic Déline fishery in order to define the extent of Déline Fishery / Franklin’s Fort National Historic Site of Canada.

Participants will be identified by the Déline Knowledge Centre as those who can identify the specific location of the fishery generally located on the western end of Great Bear Lake’s Keith Arm. Interviews will last between 1 to 1 ½ hours. The interviewees will be aided by National Topographic maps and printed Google Earth imagery. Interviews will be recorded on digital voice recorders for later transcription and archiving, while geographic positional information will be collected using a hand-held survey-grade GPS.

This is an oral history project involving between 5 and 10 community elders. The oral history and the resulting research paper are the direct result of the 1996 designation of Déline Fishery / Fort Franklin National Historic Site, requested by the Community and Band of Déline. At that time, the extent of the fisheries were not specifically defined and mapped. The information gathered in the course of the community consultation will document an important aspect of Déline’s history as it pertains to the fishery, before, during and after Sir John Franklin’s second overland expedition (1825-27) used this area as a wintering camp. It will provide cultural and educational benefits to the community by consolidating and clarifying knowledge as it relates to this national historic site.

A clear definition of the designated place of a national historic site is essential so that the site can be added to the Register of Historic Places in Canada. This is also necessary for drafting a Commemorative Integrity Statement, which helps to define the reasons for designation and identify any potential threats to the site’s integrity.

Results of interviews will include:
• Copies of the digital recordings of the interviews, as well as their transcriptions, will be deposited with a local organization such as Déline Knowledge Centre. If the participants wish to have a copy of their interview the researcher will provide them with one.
• The final results of this study will be presented to the HSMBC in the form of a written report to the Status of Designations Committee (SDC).
• A community presentation will be made after the paper is prepared.
• The community will be informed in writing of the recommendation(s) of the SDC once minutes are completed and approved.

The dates of data collection are from October 29nd, 2010 to December 31st, 2010.