Mountain regions play a significant role in the cultural livelihoods of Indigenous peoples through story and song. The Sahtú Region is home to the Mackenzie Mountain range and to the Shúhtagot’ı̨nę (Mountain Dene), for whom the mountains represent both ecological value and a source of their community’s identity.
Leon Andrew, Raymond Yakeleya, Richard Andrew, and Deborah Simmons at UAlberta North’s Spirit of the Mountains – Northern Indigenous Stories of Place. (Christy Urban).
As part of International Mountain Day 2016 celebrations at the University of Alberta, several speakers representing the Shúhtagot’ı̨nę shared their perspectives on the community’s history, way of life, stories, and contemporary concerns. (Full speaker list below).
The event also featured traditional drumming, as well as screenings of two short films: Tie-cho-ka: Images of the Great North, a silent film by Jean Michéa (1958), and The Last Mooseskin Boat, a National Film Board production by Tulı́t’a Dene award-winning filmmaker and director Raymond Yakeleya (1982).
The event attracted more than 100 keen attendees on a cold Tuesday evening and was hosted by UAlberta North, which works to bring energy, coordination, and institutional priority to the full scope of the University’s work across the circumpolar North.
Thank you to all of our speakers and sponsors for their contributions to this successful event.
Leon Andrew – Mountain Dene Elder, Tulit’a Dene Band
Richard Andrew – Mountain Dene Artist, Tulit’a Dene Band
Deborah Simmons – Executive Director, Sahtu Renewable Resources Board
Raymond Yakeleya – Filmmaker
This event was part of the Canadian Mountain Network’s 2016 Mountain Festival, made possible through the generous support of the University of Alberta faculty of Science, the University of Alberta faculty of Arts, Campbell Scientific Canada, Canadian North, and Marmot Basin. Search #IMD2016CMN to find live-tweets and posts from the 2016 Mountain Festival!
See the Canadian Mountain Network’s YouTube channel for more Mountain Festival videos!