Dene Nahjo is a new generation of leaders and community builders working to promote indigenous leadership and advance social and environmental justice for Northern peoples.
By living, learning and celebrating their culture on the land through the guidance of elders, Dene Nahjo strives to foster emerging leaders, strengthen relationships and create long-term, positive change in the North.
“Being part of Tides Canada gives us administrative and fundraising support, so we can focus all of our energy and attention towards building relationships and creating projects across the North,” said Kyla Kakfwi-Scott, a member of Dene Nahjo’s steering committee.
“Creating a new organization takes a lot of time and effort, and plugging into Tides Canada’s existing platform and expertise has allowed us to accomplish a lot in a short period of time,” she said.
Dene Nahjo is currently organizing an Indigenous Circumpolar Women’s Gathering, to be held in Yellowknife on November 12-15. The gathering will bring together established and emerging Indigenous women leaders from across the circumpolar world for a series of workshops and panel discussions.
As part of its strong focus on cultural revitalization and commitment to traditional knowledge, the group also organizes workshops on caribou and moose hide tanning, along with traditional tool making, in the belief that the solutions to contemporary issues affecting Northern indigenous peoples are rooted in the teachings of their ancestors.
“This year has already far surpassed our expectations in terms of positive response to Dene Nahjo and the projects we are taking on. We are most excited to build relationships and networks in Denendeh and across the North to expand Dene Nahjo’s membership and the work we are able to do,” Kakfwi-Scott remarked.
“We have the circumpolar indigenous women’s gathering coming up this fall, and we are hoping to offer the tool making workshop and hide tanning camps again next year. We’re also beginning to plan for a gathering of emerging leaders in Denendeh for next spring.”