The Deline Knowledge Centre: From Vision to Reality

An Excerpt


The vision of the Déline Knowledge Centre, as determined by the people of Déline and its partners, is a gathering of new and old knowledges to benefit everyone and shape the future. Its mission is to respectfully understand, preserve, and share knowledge of the Dene environment to benefit all people past, present and future. (Goldman 2003)

The Déline Knowledge Centre vision and mission were developed through three community focus groups during January 31-February 5, 2003 as well as a facilitated workshop and public meeting on February 18-20, 2003. This article provides a brief description of the Déline Knowledge Centre and its benefits to Déline, other northern communities, and all Canadians based on the planning and activities to date that have taken place primarily within our community of Déline.

Our community of Déline, “Where the River Flows,” in the Sahtu Region of the Northwest Territories, is home to approximately 650 Dene, Métis and non-Aboriginal people. It is the only human settlement on Sahtu/Great Bear Lake, the largest lake in Canada and ninth largest in the world in terms of surface area (31,326 km) and volume. Situated within the Arctic Circle, it is the largest lake in the world that is still in a relatively pristine condition, despite historical uranium mining impacts. The Sahtugot’ine have been living with the long-term impacts of the mine that operated at Port Radium on the eastern shores of Great Bear Lake. Port Radium was originally mined for radium in the 1930s and later for uranium ore, all of which was utilized in the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima during World War II. The mine site and surrounding area are now radioactive.

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