For some, the Arctic is considered the final frontier. It’s a place to explore and conquer. It’s a place filled with mystery and promise of more resources to extract and sell. For those of us who live here, our lands and waters are an extension of our family, a member of our community. We are in close relationships with the beings that inhabit this place, we interact and learn from our environment daily. It has been this way for countless generations, but external pressures are impacting the pristine quality of our land and water. Over thousands of years, we have sustainably utilized resources we have sourced from our environment. In the last two hundred years, our perceived need for development and extraction of resources has critically damaged the earth and degraded our ecosystems. In the north,...

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Kira Young has lived on Great Slave Lake for most of her 14 years but doesn’t know much about it, scientifically. That’s about to change as she and six other students from across the N.W.T. embarked on a week-long science expedition Saturday aboard a research vessel to uncover some of the lake’s secrets.

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In a remote camp in the Northwest territories, Melaw Nakehk’o documented her family passing time in isolation while the territory was in lockdown mode due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nakehk’o is an activist and Dene/Dënesųłiné artist, originally from Fort Simpson, N.W.T. She made her first Hollywood debut in 2015 when she played the character Powaqa in the Leonardo DiCaprio film The Revenant.

She’s also a recognized community leader and helped revive and teach moose hide tanning techniques, work which initiated a resurgence of the practice. As well, Nakehk’o is a founding member of Dene Nahjo.

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This article was originally written by Jimmy Thomson for The Narwhal. It was published on June 26th, 2020. As the federal government crafts its COVID-19 economic recovery plan, Indigenous leaders argue investments in guardian programs can create thousands of jobs, while protecting the land and healing communities. Indigenous guardians have been on the front lines of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic in their communities: they’ve been monitoring who is entering their communities, delivering groceries and firewood to Elders and carrying on field research when outside scientists couldn’t travel. Now, as the country enters its recovery, some are calling for guardians — who monitor the land and water — to play an even bigger role. “We know that recovery in this country is going to be oriented toward maintaining and hopefully creating jobs,” says Valérie Courtois, director of the...

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