ARCHIVED - Tli Cho Landtran

Archived information

This Web page has been archived on the Web. Archived information is provided for reference, research or record keeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please contact us to request a format other than those available.

The Tlicho Investment Corporation of Behchokö, Northwest Territories owns the subsurface and surface rights as a self government, 39,000 sq km of land where a lot of trucking is happening, on that land.

Transcript: Tli Cho Landtran

My name is George Mackenzie. I’m the president of Tlicho Investment Corporation. I reside in Behchokö, Northwest Territories and I belong to the Nation of the Tlicho Government and we own the subsurface and surface rights as a self government, 39,000 sq km of land where a lot of trucking is happening, on that land. In the past, we worked on all those lakes and all those rivers and all those lands where the trucks are running their freights right now.

Our ancestors worked on the land, travelled on the land by dog teams, canoe, boat, you name it. They did it for livelihood to survive on the land. So, it’s only right and rightly so that the Tlicho have occupy those lands, use that land. There economically, they should benefit from those lands. My career started as a classroom teacher, administrator of a school, I ran cultural programs and I did all the kind of work with the young people, for 24 years of teaching. After that I got into the business and then became the first Grand Chief and then back into the business, almost like a full circle. Some of those trips we did with the students going on the land. Where we used to have our camp, our tents, right by Drybone Lake, which is at the edge of the trees. And there we used to see a lot of trucks go by. And those trucks didn’t belong to us those days. And those young boys would run out to the lake in the open and wave at the truck drivers and they would do this with their hand.

So, every once in awhile, a kind driver would honk their horn to those young boys, that were working on the lands, being part of our program. Right then I thought, wouldn’t it be nice if it was their brothers honking the horn at their little young brothers. That means that we have to own the trucks and we have to have drivers in those trucks. Now we own the company, now we’re in the freights. Hopefully soon we’ll get more drivers on those trucks. The future of this business is to branch out. In order to grow to another level we have to form partnerships with other Aboriginals that want to do partnerships.

I think if we help each other we cover more grounds and there are better opportunities and it’s better for the Aboriginal world, for capacity and for the profit to remain in our communities. My dream as an Aboriginal person…I’m a man of two cultures…I can practice my own Tlicho culture to the best I know how. I can go on the land on my own, drumming, trapping, I’ve done all that and I can do that. The dream is someday these young people or these young girls and boys they are in executive level type positions and they go out and make a deal for us and they come back and we have a big celebration. No time to change. So, they still have their suit on or their high heels on and they drum in to the drum dance and they dance before they change. That shows that they have two cultures. That’s the dream for our people, for our young people. To make it happen we have to take advantage of the resources on our land.

Date modified: