Blog Archives

Ross River Dena Council shocked, angry at land claim proposal

ross-river-dena-council

‘There was no consultation … and it creates a bit of difficulty,’ said Ross River Dena Council chief Jack Caesar, pictured at left with councillors Derick Redies, Verna Nukon and Jenny Caesar. (Nancy Thomson/CBC)

The Kaska Dena Council – asking for $1.5B from Ottawa – doesn’t speak for us, First Nation says

By Nancy Thomson, CBC News June 23, 2017

Members of the Ross River Dena Council are upset by a land claim proposal submitted recently on their behalf by the Kaska Dena Council (KDC).

The proposal asks for $1.5 billion from the federal government. That would include $500 million for the Ross River Dena Council, whose traditional territory encompasses 13 per cent of Yukon’s landmass. Read the rest of this entry

‘The barrenlands are not a friendly place,’ says N.W.T. trapper after 2 searches in 1 month

north-barrens-n-w-t-mackay-lake

With little vegetation, deep crevices in the rocks, and its remote location, the area around MacKay Lake, N.W.T., can be dangerous for hunters. (submitted by Colin Patrick)

Two searches have been launched in the past month near Mackay Lake

By Alex Brockman, CBC News, Feb 25, 2017

The barrenlands of the Northwest Territories have been known as a dangerous place for hundreds of years.

It’s unforgiving. There are few signs of vegetation beyond the treeline, treacherous crevices in the rocks and freezing winds bringing temperatures below —50. The Dene have traditional stories of people going in and never coming back. Read the rest of this entry

A starving wolf stalked a woman and her dog for 12 hours. Then along came a bear.

Joane Barnaby

Joanne Barnaby, left, is reunited with Tammy Caudron after 18 hours in the Canadian bush.

June 17, 2016

Joanne Barnaby was deep in the deadfall, smeared in mosquitoes and blood, dehydrated and near exhaustion, when she heard the call of a mama bear searching for its cub.

Barnaby couldn’t believe her luck.

Twelve hours earlier, she had been picking mushrooms in the remote Canadian wilderness when she had heard a growl behind her. She turned around and saw Joey, her faithful mutt, locked in a snarling standoff with a skinny black wolf. Read the rest of this entry

La Loche shooting: Teen suspect charged with four counts of 1st-degree murder

sask-shooting-20160123

Don Herman, a uncle of two of the victims, holds a rosary as police investigate the shooting scene at the La Loche Community School on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016. (Jason Franson/Canadian Press)

CTV News, January 23, 2016

A 17-year-old male has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder following a mass shooting that left four people dead in La Loche, Sask.

At a press conference on Saturday, RCMP Supt. Grant St. Germaine said that the suspect, who can’t be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder, seven counts of attempted murder and a single count of unauthorized possession of a firearm. Read the rest of this entry

Suspect ‘opened fire in the building’: At least five dead, one person in custody, in La Loche school shooting

La loche shooting 1

School in La Loche, Saskatchewan, that was the scene of a shooting incident. Photo: CTV News

Star Phoenix, January 22, 2016

“Right now, La Loche is devastated,” said an emotional First Nation chief after at least five people were killed and a suspect was taken into custody after a daytime shooting at the community school in the northern Saskatchewan community.

Those in the remote Dene town of about 3,000 people on the eastern shore of Lac La Loche were left searching for answers and details but found themselves with only more questions in the wake of the shooting, approximately six hours north of Saskatoon. Read the rest of this entry

A quiet crime wave against Manitoba’s Sayisi Dene women

A photo of Annie Yassie from Manitoba’s Project Disappear database. The 13-year-old girl had just returned home to Churchill, Man., from residential school when she disappeared on June 22, 1974. (RCMP)

A photo of Annie Yassie from Manitoba’s Project Disappear database. The 13-year-old girl had just returned home to Churchill, Man., from residential school when she disappeared on June 22, 1974. (RCMP)

Northern community’s murdered, missing women and girls remain unnoticed

By Donna Carreiro, CBC News, April 7, 2015

It’s been 45 years since Ila Oman was murdered in the Dene Village outside Churchill, Man. But to this day, no one knows who sexually assaulted her. No one knows who physically attacked her. And no one knows which came first.

In fact, few people know Ila Oman even existed, let alone died a brutal death.

“It was like no one really cared. It was like this was almost normal,” recalled Nancy Powderhorn, who was a child at the time of the incident. Read the rest of this entry

2nd N.W.T. mother demands traditional name for daughter

Andrea Heron says six years ago, she had to use a hyphen in her daughter's name Sakaeʔah in order to register her birth​ in the Northwest Territories. (CBC News/submitted by Andrea Heron)

Andrea Heron says six years ago, she had to use a hyphen in her daughter’s name Sakaeʔah in order to register her birth​ in the Northwest Territories. (CBC News/submitted by Andrea Heron)

Like Shene Catholique Valpy, Andrea Heron had to change spelling to register birth

CBC News, March 9, 2015

A second mother from the Northwest Territories says she had to change the spelling of her daughter’s name after the vital statistics office wouldn’t allow her to use a glottal stop, part of her traditional language.

Andrea Heron says six years ago, she had to use a hyphen in her daughter’s name, Sakaeʔah, in order to register her birth​. Read the rest of this entry

Dene People in Northern Saskatchewan Are Resisting Uranium and Tar Sands Mining

All photos courtesy of Joey Podlubny, Vice.com,

All photos courtesy of Joey Podlubny, Vice.com,

By Michael Toledano, Vice.com, February 11, 2015

On November 22nd, 2014, a small group of Dene trappers called the Northern Trappers Alliance set up a checkpoint on Saskatchewan’s Highway 955, allowing locals to pass while blockading the industrial traffic of tar sands and uranium exploration companies. On December 1st, officers of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police descended on the site with an injunction from the province and forcibly dismantled the blockade.

Eighty days later, the trappers remain camped on the side of the highway in weather that has routinely dipped below -40C. They are constructing a cabin to stay there permanently. The cabin will be a meeting place for Dene people and northern land defenders.

Read the rest of this entry

RCMP Serve Injunction to Northern Trappers Alliance “Holding the Line” Camp

Dene trappers Saskatchewan 1from Earth First! Newswire, Dec 1, 2014

According to updates from the Northern Trappers Alliance, who have braved icy winter conditions to blockade oil and gas territories on their land, the RCMP have issued an injunction and have moved in.

The Dene alliance formed the blockade about a week and a half ago in order to maintain traplines and prevent industry vehicles from passing through. The camp, called Holding the Line, is in a rural area of Saskatchewan, where the First Nations say that the energy industry is attempting to obstruct their lifeways. Read the rest of this entry

Protests as Arizona Snowbowl Opens with 100% Treated Sewage Snow on Sacred Site

FLAGSTAFF, AZ — On Friday, November 28, 2014, more than 50 people rallied and marched as Arizona Snowbowl ski area opened with snow made from 100% treated sewage on the sacred San Francisco Peaks. With no natural snowfall, Snowbowl had a mere 3 out of 40 ski runs open.  People came from Prescott and Kayenta, AZ and as far away as Shiprock, NM to support residents of Flagstaff who were addressing concerns with Snowbowl’s opening, which the multimillionaire owner promotes as “White Friday.” Read the rest of this entry