9 th  World Wilderness Congress November 9, 2009
Pre-contact <ul><li>Dene occupation since time immemorial </li></ul><ul><li>The word “Dene” </li></ul><ul><li>Sacred and A...
Treaties & Sovereignty <ul><li>The Treaties </li></ul><ul><li>Traditional Homeland </li></ul><ul><li>Our economy creates S...
Shared Stewardship <ul><li>Collective partnership </li></ul><ul><li>Government of Canada </li></ul><ul><li>Dehcho First Na...
One Land, One People  <ul><li>Tribal links </li></ul><ul><li>Trade and Commerce </li></ul><ul><li>Marital arrangement </li...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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The Nahanni National Park and the Deh Cho First Nationa, Grand Chief Samuel Gargan

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Grand Chief Samuel Gargan of the Deh Cho First Nations (Canada), spoke during the Monday (9 November) WILD9 plenary on The Nahanni National Park, Canadian Wilderness and First Nations.

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  • My presentation is going to cover four general areas: First I want to provide you with a little bit of the history of climate change in the Dehcho. Second, I am going to talk about ways in which we have documented the changes in Denendeh, for what purposes, and how our understanding of change is different from the scientific models. While we are not so arrogant to think we can predict how the future will be, prophecy has always been part of Dene cosmology. We also know that we need strong and effective partnerships to be able to bring our understanding forward along with others, to improve the state of the environment, to understand what we are doing relative to our contributions to changing climatic conditions. Third, I am going to talk about the importance of climate change to planning, and the need to plan with climate change in mind. Finally, I want to talk about the issues of vulnerability and adaptations. While mitigation of the contributions to climate change are important, there needs to be solid policy and programs relative to adaptation. Funding adaptation is different from throwing up our hands and saying we accept that nothing can be done to stop climate change.
  • Dene will adapt to unpredictable uncertainty; however, this will mean increasingly hard times for us all. Hard to manage adaptations create greater wear and tear on ourselves, our bodies are stressed, our families and communities; our infrastructure, everything is impacted very hard. All of us need to know what to expect and reinforce our adaptive capacity. We can all cope with change when we have made investments to accommodate a range of changes.
  • Before the Canadian state was formed, before there were commercial fishermen, missionaries and fur traders, we lived here in prosperity. There are some who believe we migrated to Denendeh. I can tell you today our oral history says we were always here. There were other Indigenous Peoples who came here migrating and following games and ice ages. Oral history is important and is the foundations of our knowledge of who we are as a people. Each Dene people is different, as each Cree, or Anishnabe, Taltan, Bloods, Nuu chul nath, and so on. Here I am talking from my perspective and generalizing to an extent about what it means to be Deh Gah Gotie, Deh cho and Dene. Our oral history speaks about before the Dehcho, the Mackenzie River formed. In geological time this would be before huge ice fields in the south melted, it would be millions of years ago. The story tells us that the people were getting ready for spring, that they were preparing to move to spring fish camps and harvest ducks. The spring started but stopped, it froze and people starved. The twins, Yamoriah and Ekonzi heard the people’s cries and they took a big ball of dry meat and rolled it north, slicing off pieces of meat as they rolled the ball north. The path became the Dehcho, the river that was renamed after Mackenzie came north. The story tells us that we have suffered significant catastrophic climate change in the past, we will suffer and we will overcome the changes through our belief in our people, values and principles. After 1930 there were major changes to being Dene in Denendeh. We were not allowed to speak our language, not allowed to govern, to practice our religions, to be families, to have our own economies. Today we are in a state of change and flux.
  • The Nahanni National Park and the Deh Cho First Nationa, Grand Chief Samuel Gargan

    1. 1. 9 th World Wilderness Congress November 9, 2009
    2. 2. Pre-contact <ul><li>Dene occupation since time immemorial </li></ul><ul><li>The word “Dene” </li></ul><ul><li>Sacred and Ancestral </li></ul><ul><li>Dene Values and Principles </li></ul><ul><li>Stewardship </li></ul><ul><li>Adapt to environment (Euro-Canadian) </li></ul><ul><li>Traditional Knowledge </li></ul>
    3. 3. Treaties & Sovereignty <ul><li>The Treaties </li></ul><ul><li>Traditional Homeland </li></ul><ul><li>Our economy creates Self-reliant </li></ul><ul><li>Our way of life creates Self-determination </li></ul><ul><li>Therefore, Self-government comes from the two </li></ul><ul><li>Natural Law / Social Order </li></ul><ul><li>Urban & Rural </li></ul><ul><li>Learning to think, thinking to learn </li></ul>
    4. 4. Shared Stewardship <ul><li>Collective partnership </li></ul><ul><li>Government of Canada </li></ul><ul><li>Dehcho First Nation </li></ul><ul><li>Tribal Links, “the Americas” </li></ul><ul><li>Alliances and Accords </li></ul><ul><li>Water route </li></ul>
    5. 5. One Land, One People <ul><li>Tribal links </li></ul><ul><li>Trade and Commerce </li></ul><ul><li>Marital arrangement </li></ul><ul><li>Custom Adoption </li></ul><ul><li>Wildlife habitat </li></ul><ul><li>Wildlife migration </li></ul><ul><li>Alliance / Accord </li></ul>

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