Nááts’ihch’oh National Park Reserve Traditional Knowledge Study

Regions: Sahtu Settlement Area

Tags: social sciences, traditional knowledge

Principal Investigator: Uunila, Laani (2)
Licence Number: 15893
Organization: Naast'ihch'oh National Park Reserve, Parks Canada
Licensed Year(s): 2017 2016
Issued: May 30, 2016
Project Team: Leon Andrew (Lead Interviewer / Translator), Janet Bayha (Interviewer, Parks Canada), Bonnie Deschene (Junior Interviewer, Parks Canada), Lisa McDonald (Interviewer, Naats'ihch'oh Park Reserve Management Committee), TBD - Park Manager Trainee (Interviewer, Parks Canada)

Objective(s): To gain an understanding of culturally important places and resources found within Nááts’ihch’oh National Park Reserve and their values, to assist in the planning and management of the park.

Project Description: The purpose of this project is to gain a more comprehensive understanding of culturally important places and cultural resources found within Nááts’ihch’oh National Park Reserve and their values, to assist in the planning and management of the park.

Specific objectives are:
1. to identify traditional place names, present and past harvesting or hunting areas, modern trails and the identification of archeological sites, cultural landscapes and landscape features and places of cultural importance within park boundaries;
2. to collect information about the values attached to these places within the park;
3. to record oral histories that relate to the park;
4. to develop an understanding about the sharing of information and places of cultural importance;
5. to facilitate intergenerational knowledge sharing between youth and elders; and
6. to develop products (for park visitors and the Tulita District communities) that convey the cultural importance of the park lands.

A four phased approach is proposed. Phase I will be to request interviews (individual or small group) with key elders identified by the Nááts’ihch’oh Management Committee as those people to most likely have knowledge of the lands in Nááts’ihch’oh National Park Reserve. Interviews will focus on areas of cultural importance, cultural resources, place names and oral histories from the lands within Nááts’ihch’oh National Park Reserve. Interviews will be approximately half day in length, and will be recorded (audio and/or video). Information collected will be validated with the individuals it was collected from to ensure it was recorded accurately.

Phase II will include one or more workshops that are more inclusive, bringing in a wider community of elders. Workshops will share information from Phase I, and seek further input in areas, place names and oral histories. In addition, a key focus will be on discussing and articulating cultural values that are important, why they are important, how to best communicate these values and how to best manage sites of cultural importance in the national park.

Phase III will involve a trip into Nááts’ihch’oh with a small group of students and elders. The location and participants will be selected as further information is gathered in earlier phases of the study. The goal of Phase III is to bring youth and elders on to the land with park staff and possibly an archeologist, to provide a first-hand experience and to document sites identified. Video will be used to acquire footage to support communication of cultural values.

Phase IV will be the analysis and report writing. There will be an opportunity for those that have contributed to review the findings, provide feedback and validate the information being presented.

Parks Canada has been requested to lead this follow-up traditional knowledge study by the Naats'ihch'oh National Park Reserve Management Committee. The Norman Wells Renewable Resource Council (RRC) and Tulita RRC members on the Management Committee would like to ensure that the cultural knowledge about the park reserve lands is recorded and can be used to ensure park management and operations respect cultural resources and values. Additionally, the knowledge gathered will help develop products to communicate the cultural importance of the lands within the Park.

The Norman Wells RRC and Tulita RRC members of the Park Management Committee have contributed to the development of the Terms of Reference. Interviewers and the translator(s) will be drawn from the Tulita District, some of which will be Parks staff who are members of the Tulita District Land Corporations.

Youth are able to be involved as part of the study team, to learn interview skills. Additionally, in Phase III there will be an opportunity for some youth and elders to get out on the land in the national park reserve.

The entire interview team is made up of members from the Tulita District Land Corporations, two of whom do not work for Parks Canada.

A report will be produced following the completion of the study, which will be shared with the Norman Wells and Tulita RRCs, Land Corporation’s and study participants. Associated products, such as maps, brochures, etc. will also be shared as they are published. A reference copy of the report will also be available in the Nááts’ihch’oh Park Reserve library, located in the park office in Tulita. A full presentation of results will be shared at an open meeting of the Naats'ihch'oh National Park Reserve Management Committee.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from May 30, 2016 to December 31, 2016.