For years, the influence of western culture has affected the traditional way of life of the Tlicho people of the Northwest Territories. In the past, Tlicho elders actively passed down ancient knowledge about the land and the people to the young in their language. Now, as young people leave their communities to pursue jobs and classroom education, this cycle of learning and teaching has become fractured. The Tlicho language and culture are now threatened. This project took significant steps to allow the Elders’ knowledge to be passed on to a new generation, before this vital knowledge is lost.
Our program created summer jobs for 30 high school and college aged Tlicho youth. By participating in this summer job program, youth earned money while staying in the four remote Tlicho communities. They gained hands-on experience from Elders and community mentors in traditional and modern ways of life such as, food harvesting and preparation, travel routes, canoeing, Tlicho language, first aid, GPS mapping and firearms safety. Participants in the 2011 summer program hope to return as coordinators and teachers in following years. In this way we are helping to repair the traditional Tlicho cycle of learning.
Thank you sincerely to all the people who donated and made this project a success.