Environment

Inside the fight to protect the Arctic’s “Water Heart”

How the Sahtuto'ine Dene of Déline created the Tsá Tué Biosphere Reserve, the world's first such UNESCO site managed by an Indigenous community
Russel Kenny taking writer Laurie Sarkadi and Gzowski for a boat ride on Great Bear Lake to check his nets for trout. Expand Image
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In 1865, more than a century before computer models began pointing toward a future where drought, heat waves and hurricanes bring the world’s population to its knees, an eight-year-old boy from De?line, a small community on the southwestern shore of Great Bear Lake in the Northwest Territories, began having visions. The story goes that the boy, Louis Ayah, was visited by angels throughout his lifetime who rolled out glimpses of the future, prompting him to issue some 30 prophecies, several of which came to pass: white men discovered shiny, glass-like rocks (diamonds); something that’s not a cigarette but is rolled by twisting the paper ends became harmful to kids (marijuana); and De?line came to be led by one united body, the De?line Got’ine government — the administration that as of Sept. 1, 2016, oversees the Northwest Territories’ first independently self-governed community. 

Gordon Taniton, right, and other drummers help celebrate Déline's UNESCO status. 
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Stella Mackeinzo, a Déine artist, hangs up a moose hide to dry
Gordon Taniton, right, and other drummers help celebrate Déline's UNESCO status. 
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Diane Andre prepping caribou meat for her uncle's funeral.
Gordon Taniton, right, and other drummers help celebrate Déline's UNESCO status. 
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Great Bear Lake
Gordon Taniton, right, and other drummers help celebrate Déline's UNESCO status. 
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Gordon Taniton and other drummers celebrate Déline's UNESCO status
Gordon Taniton, right, and other drummers help celebrate Déline's UNESCO status. 
Expand Image
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