Marian Watershed Stewardship Program | Tłı̨chǫ Aquatic Ecosystem Monitoring Program | Boots-on-the-Ground Program

Things we are monitoring

Our programs are monitoring fish, water, sediment, sediment core and dendrochronology; water quality and fish health; and caribou based on the traditional knowledge of indigenous elders and harvesters.

About our program

The Tłı̨chǫ have three distinct programs that they run. The Marian Watershed Stewardship Program is contributing to a growing body of knowledge and capacity-building for a community-based aquatic effects monitoring program in the Marian Watershed prior to the proposed NICO mine development. We will monitor cumulative effects of development, land disturbance, and climate change drawing on both western and Aboriginal science to obtain a clear picture of baseline conditions and potential changes over time.

Our community-driven project, the Tłı̨chǫ Aquatic Ecosystem Monitoring Program is collecting baseline information on fish and fish habitat to compare future changes and develop a way to monitor fish that builds on both traditional Tłı̨chǫ knowledge and science. Each summer the project rotates to a different Tłı̨chǫ community, and information is exchanged between elders, fishers, youth and Tłı̨chǫ scientists. Participants share Tłı̨chǫ perspectives on assessing ecosystem health and take part in hands-on scientific monitoring activities such as collecting fish tissues and water and sediment samples for analysis.

Boots-on-the-Ground is a caribou monitoring program based on the traditional knowledge of indigenous elders and harvesters. The program is studying Kokètì (Contwoyto lake), where the teams camp and travel on foot and by boat to follow caribou and document TK and wildlife observations. The long term traditional knowledge monitoring program for the Bathurst caribou will monitor the conditions of Bathurst herd’s summer range by focusing on the following indicators: caribou habitat and environment, caribou, predators, and industrial disturbance. The program is based on the principle that local people who live on the land and rely on caribou for their daily subsistence are the people best positioned to know the current conditions of caribou and of the land.

Contact us

Michael Birlea

[email protected]
867-392-6381 ex 1355


Mailing address

Location: 127 Donda Tili, Behchokǫ̀, NT
PO Box 412
Behchokǫ̀ NT X0E 0Y0