Lloyd Chicot navigates his boat through Tathlina Lake. "There's been a lot of development in these parts the last 50 years or so. If you fly over, you can seismic lines all over the place," he says. "It never used to be like that - there are less moose in the area now and the summer's are longer. Development and climate change is impacting our way of life."

Ka’a’gee Tu: Northern Borders

Above image: Lloyd Chicot navigates his boat through Tathlina Lake.
“There’s been a lot of development in these parts the last 50 years or so.
If you fly over, you can see seismic lines all over the place,” he says.
“It never used to be like that – there are less moose in the area now and the summer’s are longer.
Development and climate change is impacting our way of life.”

Ka’a’gee Tu (meaning between the willows) is located near the Alberta border on Tathlina Lake in Canada’s Northwest Territories. It is the traditional home of the Kakisa Dene First Nation, a community of 45 residents who live in the nearby village of Kakisa. 

Since the 1960’s, oil and gas companies have had an interest in the area. More recently, talk about new mining exploration has made the First Nation concerned that large-scale projects will cut through their land, threatening the landscape and wildlife they rely on. 

Kakisa is championing the protection of Ka’a’gee Tu as a large conservation area, important to their culture and livelihood. The annual fall harvest is a time when families reconnect to gather food for the winter. In the past few years, warming temperatures have caused widespread drought and forest fires in the region. 

This is the first community harvest in three years. 

The campsite of the Kakisa Dene First Nation, at the narrows of Tathlina Lake, Northwest Territories, Canada.

The campsite of the Kakisa Dene First Nation, at the narrows of Tathlina Lake, Northwest Territories, Canada.

  Stairway to Heaven

George Simba sits by the fire at camp.

George Simba sits by the fire at camp.

Tarik Chicot hauls a beaver into a boat. The beaver meat will be cooked while the hide will be made into mitts or a hat.

Tarik Chicot hauls a beaver into a boat. The beaver meat will be cooked while the hide will be made into mitts or a hat.

Leah Simba holds binoculars to her eyes (backwards) while on a short scouting trip for ptarmigan and grouse with Rosie Canadien.

Leah Simba holds binoculars to her eyes (backwards) while on a short scouting trip for ptarmigan and grouse with Rosie Canadien.

Gabriel Chicot watches a rare jet pass over the camp. Even in remote places like Tathlina, the comforts of modernity show up now and again.

Gabriel Chicot watches a rare jet pass over the camp. Even in remote places like Tathlina, the comforts of modernity show up now and again.

Anita Chicot cuts wood for the fire. Everyone is expected to pitch in and help with camp duties during the harvest.

Anita Chicot cuts wood for the fire. Everyone is expected to pitch in and help with camp duties during the harvest.

Lloyd Chicot, Chief of Kakisa Dene First Nation, boats to camp on Tathina Lake, NWT with his wife Anita.

Lloyd Chicot, Chief of Kakisa Dene First Nation, boats to camp on Tathina Lake, NWT with his wife Anita.

Pat Kane

Pat is a Yellowknife-based photographer covering Canada’s Far North. He is among the most experienced and reliable shooters working in the region today. His ability to win the respect of his subjects and venture to places few have been, sets him apart as a trusted pro. He is a regular contributor on many projects for magazines, businesses, government departments, NGO’s and marketing agencies nationwide.

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