Tłı̨chǫ Research and Training Institute

Since the early years of the twentieth century, research has been conducted in the Tłı̨chǫ region, initially with little or no community oversight and involvement.  Modern research models have increasingly required more community involvement and control.  This is now fully recognized in the establishment of a Tłı̨chǫ Research and Training Institute (TRTI) that derives its’ mandate from the Tłı̨chǫ Government, and has an advisory board that reports directly to the Tłı̨chǫ leadership through the Chiefs’ Executive Committee (CEC).  

From initially serving the goals of academia, other governments and the corporate sector, the focus of Tłı̨chǫ research will increasingly shift to support local goals to sustain Tłı̨chǫ lands, language, culture and way of life. To do this effectively, Tłı̨chǫ people must have oversight on the work, and be involved as equal participants in culturally appropriate research inquiry.

Under the direction of the Chiefs' Executive Council of the Tłı̨chǫ Government, the mandate of the Tłı̨chǫ Research and Training Institute (TRTI) is to advance the study of Tłı̨chǫ lands, language, culture and way of life through the promotion of research, and its use for training, education and monitoring Government commitments and responsibilities. The Tłı̨chǫ Research and Training Institute (TRTI) will do this by:


  • The promotion of research of value to the Tłı̨chǫ communities and Tłı̨chǫ Government, especially inquiry which studies the traditional knowledge of our elders concerning our lands, language, culture and way of life;
  • The promotion of the development and use of indigenous research design and appropriate community methodologies such as narrative and participatory action research. These methods can be based on an exploration of aboriginal ways of knowing that make "qualitative sense of diverse variables" by being deeply contextual, relational and integrated with an on-the-land focus;
  • The promotion of research that supports the education and training of Tłı̨chǫ youth by Tłı̨chǫ elders while encouraging engagement with contemporary issues;
  • Review proposed research submitted for licensing through the Aurora Research Institute under the NWT Scientists Act, and provide approvals or voice concerns as necessary to the CEC; 
  • Provide support and assistance to approved researchers by fostering communications between researchers working or proposing to work in the region and including local field resources wherever possible such as cultural informants, guides, and community infrastructure including access to offices, accommodation and related resources;
  • Enhance collaboration with academic, government and corporate partners to create research and training programs that respond to the dynamic issues in the north.


Training & Education:

  • The development and training of Tłı̨chǫ researchers who can design and lead research projects across our lands on Tłı̨chǫ priorities, while combining multiple perspectives including traditional knowledge based on a Tłı̨chǫ cultural framework, to western science;
  • Encouraging and supporting young people to engage with issues related to their lands, language, culture and way of life by organizing research based training programs, internships, summer field camps and summer employment;
  • Informing our people, and interested outsiders about significant Tłı̨chǫ Traditional Knolwedge and other resources concerning our lands, language, culture and way of life using a variety of media, including publishing online through, and in occasional papers and journals;
  • Developing the Tłı̨chǫ digital database of oral history, maps, photographs, video and other documentary resources through the collection, preservation, organization and presentation of information about our lands, language, culture and way of life.


Canadian Polar Commission

Established in 1991, the Commission is Canada’s primary polar knowledge agency and has responsibility for: monitoring, promoting, and disseminating knowledge of the polar regions (Arctic and Antarctic); contributing to public awareness of the importance of polar science to Canada; enhancing Canada’s international profile as a circumpolar nation; and advising government on matters related to the polar regions. In carrying out its mandate, the Commission builds and maintains polar knowledge networks, hosts conferences and workshops, publishes information regarding the polar regions, and works closely with other governmental and non-governmental agencies to promote and support Canadian polar knowledge.

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Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre

The PWNHC holds in trust for the public a large collection of objects that represent the peoples and cultures of the NWT, and produces exhibitions that tell stories about the land, people and history of the NWT. However, the PWNHC is more than a museum. In addition to its exhibits, collections and conservation programs, the PWNHC houses the NWT Archives, provides technical, logistic and financial support to individuals and organizations involved in cultural activities and the arts, and authorizes archaeological studies in the NWT.

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