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Flag of the Tåîchô Government

The Tåîchô or Tłįchǫ First Nation, formerly known as the Dogrib, are a Dene Aboriginal Canadian people living in the Northwest Territories (NWT), Canada.

On August 25 2003, they signed a land claims agreement, also called Tłįchǫ, as the Tlicho Government, with the Government of Canada. The agreement will cede a 39,000 square kilometres (15,100 sq mi) area between Great Bear Lake and Great Slave Lake in the NWT to Tåîchô ownership. The territory includes the communities of Behchoko, Gamèti, Wekweeti and Whatì along with Diavik Diamond Mine and Ekati Diamond Mine.

The Tåîchô will have their own legislative bodies in the area's four communities, of which the chiefs must be Tåîchô, though anyone may run for councillor and vote. The legislatures will have, among other authorities, the power to collect taxes, levy resource royalties, which currently go to the federal government, and control hunting, fishing and industrial development.

The Tåîchô will also receive payments of $152 million over 15 years and annual payments of approximately $3.5 million.

The federal government will retain control of criminal law, as it does across Canada, and the NWT will control services such as health care and education.

This land-claims process took twenty years to conclude. A similar process with the Inuit in the NWT brought about the creation of the new territory of Nunavut. Though Tłįchǫ will not be a separate territory, the extent of its powers has invited comparisons both with the birth of Nunavut and with the creation of the NWT government in 1967.

The Tłįchǫ or Dogrib language belongs to the Athabaskan languages which are part of the Na-Dené languages family.

The writer Richard Van Camp, author of The Lesser Blessed, is a member of this nation from Fort Smith, NWT.

The artist James Wedzin is a member of this nation from Behchoko, Northwest Territories.


The novel White Bird Black Bird, by Val Wake, a CBC Northern Service reporter based in Yellowknife from 1969 to 1973, tells the story of Dogrib input into the formation of the NWT Indian Brotherhood. A lot of the action is set in what was then called Rae.

Further reading

  • Dogrib Treaty 11 Council. Tłi̧cho̧ Agreement Implementation Plan. [Ottawa]: Queen's Printer for Canada, 2003. ISBN 0662349725
  • Football, Virginia. Dogrib Legends. Yellowknife, Canada: Curriculum Division, Dept. of Education, Northwest Territories, 1972.
  • Helm, June. Prophecy and Power Among the Dogrib Indians. Studies in the anthropology of North American Indians. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1994. ISBN 0585266441
  • Helm, June, Nancy Oestreich Lurie, and Gertrude Prokosch Kurath. The Dogrib Hand Game. Ottawa: [Queen's Printer], 1966.
  • Helm, June, and Jordan Paper. 1996. "Prophecy and Power Among the Dogrib Indians". The Journal of Religion. 76, no. 4: 675.
  • Helm, June, and Nancy Oestreich Lurie. The Subsistence Economy of the Dogrib Indians of Lac La Martre in the Mackenzie District of the Northwest Territories. Ottawa: Northern Co-ordination and Research Centre, Dept. of Northern Affairs and National Resources, 1961.
  • Moffitt PM. 2004. "Colonialization: a Health Determinant for Pregnant Dogrib Women". Journal of Transcultural Nursing : Official Journal of the Transcultural Nursing Society / Transcultural Nursing Society. 15, no. 4: 323-30.
  • Szathmary EJ, and N Holt. 1983. "Hyperglycemia in Dogrib Indians of the Northwest Territories, Canada: Association with Age and a Centripetal Distribution of Body Fat". Human Biology; an International Record of Research. 55, no. 2: 493-515.

External links



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