FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 14, 2023
At a special meeting held in Łutsël K’é on February 2, 2023, Łutsël K’é Dene First Nation (LKDFN) members directed Chief and Council to renew Yúnethé Xá Ɂetthën Hádı, LKDFN’s Caribou Stewardship Plan. The Chief and Council proceeded to do so by Band Council Resolution on February 3, 2023.
Initially approved by LKDFN in January 2020, Yúnethé Xá Ɂetthën Hádı is the First Nation’s law and policy with respect to how it will caretake caribou. The plan contains harvesting policies, monitoring initiatives, and enforcement measures.
Importantly, the plan contains a renewed provision concerning the threatened Bathurst caribou herd. LKDFN members are not to harvest Bathurst caribou, and all other people are advised to do the same. The plan also contains policy around respectful harvesting from non-Bathurst caribou herds, based upon traditional laws prohibiting meat wastage and overhunting.
LKDFN is establishing an Elder Disciplinary Committee to determine appropriate consequences for those who violate the laws and policies contained within the plan. The committee will take a restorative justice approach to discipline and consequences.
Chief James Marlowe noted, “The caribou measures instituted by the GNWT have not been effective at conserving Bathurst caribou. This herd continues to decline, disrespectful harvesting continues, and Dene are feeling criminalized for practicing our way of life. The Łutsël K’é Dene have proven over generations that we have lived in respectful relationship with caribou – our plan is our way to implement our responsibility for caretaking caribou in modern times. We encourage other Indigenous peoples to similarly use their traditional laws as a better way to ensure that healthy caribou remain for future generations.”
Chief James Marlowe
Łutsël K’é Dene First Nation
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We are the Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation. Our vision for Thaidene Nëné is:
Nuwe néné, nuwe ch'anıé yunedhé xa (Our land, our culture for the future).
We’re working with our partners to permanently protect Thaidene Nëné—part of our
huge and bountiful homeland around and beyond the East Arm of Tu Nedhé.