Representatives of the WRRB met with other members of the Wek’èezhìı Forum on October 17, 2017 in Behchokǫ̀ to share information on projects and priorities for the Wek’èezhìı region. WRRB Board Members Charlie Jeremick’ca and Jonas Lafferty, Board Chair Grant Pryznyk and the Board’s Executive Director Jody Pellissey participated in the meeting on behalf of the WRRB.
The Wek’èezhìı Forum was established following the implementation of the Tłı̨chǫ Agreement to discuss matters of common interest between the Wek’èezhìı resource co-management boards –the WRRB and the Wek’èezhìı Land and Water Board—and the Tłı̨chǫ Government, Department of Culture and Lands Protection. By updating each other on their respective roles, responsibilities and activities, the Forum as a collective body can identify areas where they can collaborate and share expertise and resources.
The Tłı̨chǫ Aquatic Ecosystem Monitoring Program (TAEMP) and the Tǫdzı and Wildfire study, both led by the WRRB, are examples of collaborative initiatives. In the TAEMP, Tłı̨chǫ communities and scientists are collecting baseline information on fish and fish habitat to compare any future changes. This program is in its comparative stage and has returned to sample fish, water and sediments near three of the four Tłı̨chǫ communities to date. In the Tǫdzı and Wildfire study, the WRRB and the Tłı̨chǫ Government are using traditional Tłı̨chǫ knowledge to learn more about tǫdzı (boreal caribou) habitat and habitat use in Wek’èezhìı, particularly after wildfire. At the meeting, the WRRB updated the Forum on both these research and monitoring programs.
Another program is the Marian Watershed Monitoring Program. It involves collecting data to assess and make decisions on cumulative impacts at a regional scale for the Marian Watershed. Cumulative impacts are effects on the environment which are caused by the combined results of past, current and future activities.
John B. Zoe, Senior Advisor to the Tłı̨chǫ Government, gave a presentation about Tłı̨chǫ cosmology, spanning important events in the history of the Tłı̨chǫ from the time of Yamǫǫ̀zha and the making of Dene laws to present day.
The Wek’èezhìı Forum closed with a supper and Open House.
The Wek’èezhìı Forum Members are: