Tlicho Nation taking lead role in N.W.T. caribou conservation


The number of Bathurst caribou in the Northwest Territories is declining fast and deep.

From a high of half a million in 1986 to roughly 6,000 in 2021 – that’s a drop of more than 98 per cent.

Observers say it’s due to the effects of hunting, development, climate change and increased predation.

But the Tłı̨chǫ government wants to learn from and teach Indigenous hunters on the ground.

It is doing this through the Ekwǫ̀ Tłı̨chǫ Traditional Knowledge Crew, a program that promotes safe and respectful harvest of caribou (Ekwo).

“A lot of stories I’ve collected are about respecting the animals, how to respect the animal,” said Irene Lafferty, a researcher with the program.

It’s a way the Tłı̨chǫ Nation can take a lead role in wildlife conservation.