Traditional Knowledge

Woman and the Pups

There once lived an old woman and her young daughter. They had lived for so long in the same place, that they decided to move away to another location. So, one day they broke camp and prepared to leave.  While they were packing, their dog died of old age. The woman and her daughter were very upset over the dog's death. However, since they were in a hurry, they left the dog in the camp and set off through the woods. When they had gone a fair distance, the daughter suddenly remembered that she had forgotten their moose-hide scraping log in the camp.

How the Tlicho People Came to Be

A young woman who did not have a husband, lived with her two brothers. One day a handsome stranger came to their house. The brothers said to the sister, “This handsome man has come for you so you must marry him.” So the couple were wed.

On their wedding night the young woman awoke to the sound of a dog gnawing on a bone. The woman’s husband was also no longer at her side. She jumped up, lit the fire, and searched the tent but there was no dog in the tent. 

Traditional Knowledge of Wekweeti

The area around Wekweètì was a common boat and sled route as the Tłı̨chǫ travelled towards the nearby barren lands every fall in search of migrating caribou. Wekweètì came to be seen as a perfect location for those who wanted to live a life more closely associated with the land and caribou. Johnny Simpson  was the first Elder to build a house at Wekweètì, around 1960. Soon after, ten more houses were built and today there are approximately 30 households living in this still traditional community. Wekweètì means ‘His rock lake’ (Snare Lake).

Traditional Knowledge of Gameti

The father of the late Johnny Arrowmaker was the first to build a house at Gamètì. In addition to being an important place for caribou, it was also known as a fine place for furbearing animals and for its good fishing. There is also a fine whagweè (a sandy area) at Gamètì. Gamètì is named after Gamè, and tì means ‘lake’. It was known to be a beautiful area, surrounded by many islands and hills, and people began to move there.

Traditional Knowledge of Whati

Whatì is a place where conflict occurred long ago between the Tłı̨chǫ and the Chipweyan. It was Mǫwhì’s brother-in-law who was the first person to build a house in Whatì. The area has been a good trapping area – Whatì means ‘marten’. Nearby is the Nìı˛lı˛ı˛ (waterfall), where sometimes one can see a rainbow over the falls, which is taken as a sign and a reminder of the history of the Tłı̨chǫ.

Traditional Knowledge of Behchoko

Mǫwhì’s father, Ewaàghoa, was the first person to build a house at Behchokǫ̀. In the past, Tłı̨chǫ used to live at Nı˛hshìì (Old Fort Rae), an area on the shores of Great Slave Lake. There remain many gravesites and old houses at Old Fort Rae. Because of the challenges of travelling on Great Slave Lake, many Tłı̨chǫ people decided to move to Behchokǫ̀ because it is good area for fish. It was kweèka (a rocky place), making it a good landscape to build houses.

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