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: 16072
Organization: Naats'ihch'oh National Park Reserve, Parks Canada
Licensed Year(s): 2017 2016
Issued: Mar 29, 2017
Project Team: Leon Andrew (Lead Interviewer / Translator), Janet Bayha (Interviewer / Translator, Parks Canada, Tuilta), Patrick Carroll (Advisor, Parks Canada, SW NWT Field Unit)

Objective(s): To identify place names, present and past harvesting or hunting areas, modern trails and the identification of archaeological sites, cultural landscapes and landscape features and places of cultural importance within park boundaries.

Project Description: Objectives of this research are:
1. to identify place names, present and past harvesting or hunting areas, modern trails and the identification of archaeological 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 in 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 knowledge sharing between youth and Elders; and,
6. to develop products (for park visitors and the Tulita District communities of Norman Wells and Tulita) that convey the cultural importance of the park lands.

In 2016 a four phased approach was proposed: Phase 1 – interviews with key Elders; Phase II – Workshops; Phase III – Park Trip; Phase IV – Analysis and Report Writing. Over 20 interviews were completed in 2016, two workshops held and 12 land corporation members visited the park.
In 2017 the research team will complete a small number of interviews that were unable to be completed in 2016 and to host one or more workshops. The analysis and report writing will be completed once all the information has been collected.

Interviews – Elders to be interviewed were identified in 2016, a small number of interviews are still outstanding. Interviews are individual or small group sessions with key Elders. They focus on areas of cultural importance, cultural resources, place names and oral histories from the land within Nááts’ihch’oh National Park Reserve. Interviews will be up to half a day in length, and will be recorded.

Workshop(s) – In 2016 Elders requested a follow-up workshop to continue dialogue on a place names. The workshop(s) will see further input on place names, cultural values and how best to manage and communicate about sites of cultural importance in the park.

Analysis and Report Writing – To be finalised after information collection is complete. There will be an opportunity for those that have contributed to review the findings, provided 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 Committee (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 contributed to the development of the Terms of Reference. The interviewers are both members of one of the Tulita District Land Corporations.

A report will be produced following the completion of the study, which will be shared with the Norman Wells and Tulita RRCs, Land Corporations 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 Naats’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 at annual open house events in the Norman Wells and Tulita.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from March 30, 2017 to May 24, 2017.