We are the Lı́ı́dlı̨ı̨ Kų́ę́ Got’ine. People of the community of Lı́ı́dlı̨ı̨ Kų́ę́, “the place where rivers come together”, in the Dehcho Region of Canada’s Northwest Territories. We are proud members of the Dehcho First Nations and the Dehcho Process, negotiations over land and governance that has been going on between the Dehcho First Nations and the Canadian government since the 1990s.
The Mission statement of the Lı́ı́dlı̨ı̨ Kų́ę́ First Nation reads:
“We, the Lı́ı́dlı̨ı̨ Kų́ę́ Got’ine, guided by Dene principles and values, will be educated, proud, strong, unified, strong, self-sufficient, and self-governing people who respect our culture, language, youth, elders, and each others’ voices and spirituality as we are the keepers of our traditional lands and peoples’ health forever”.
“Many positive changes and accomplishments that include having full control of traditional lands and social programs, and a Lı́ı́dlı̨ı̨ Kų́ę́ First Nation that is strong, reliable, relevant, supportive, progressive, representative, results-oriented, and inclusive with engaged and educated members”.
We are the keepers of our traditional lands and peoples’ health. Lı́ı́dlı̨ı̨ Kų́ę́ First Nation is committed to celebrating our culture in a way that bridges the gap between generations. This is emphasized in all our activities. We are actively working towards gaining full control of our lands and programs. Our people are strong and they take pride in our rich heritage, as well as planning for what lies ahead.
We take pride in the beauty and vastness of our home. This land is full of breathtaking views of sunsets and the historic confluence of the waters of the Dehcho (Mackenzie) and Liard Rivers. Within our region is also the Nahanni National Park rich with the incredible landscape of the Mackanzie Mountains. Through the park also flows the South Nahanni River, a white-water paradise and one of the headwaters to the Liard River. Dene people have been traveling all of these river routes since time immemorial and it is our responsibility to preserve them and cherish them for future generations.
The beauty of the Dehcho landscape inspires an intimate connection with the environment. The connection that people gain with the land, the animals, the plants and themselves is amazing in this area. We have a lot more land than cities and more animals than people, allowing us to rain connected to our traditional ways. This beauty and connection to the land has allowed creativity in the form of talented craftspeople to flourish.