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A Modern Tlicho Life

Mason Mantla goes to live in the bush like his ancestors before him. Mason hopes to reconnect with the memory, and a new understanding, of being Tlicho. As he works on setting a fish net, getting firewood and living in the cold, Mason finds the inspiration to be both a better parent and community leader.

EPISODE 1

A Modern Tlicho Life

Mason Mantla goes to live in the bush like his ancestors before him. Mason hopes to reconnect with the memory, and a new understanding, of being Tlicho. As he works on setting a fish net, getting firewood and living in the cold, Mason finds the inspiration to be both a better parent and community leader.

“I just felt it was really cold and really demanding but at the same time I felt this kinda joy of being out on the land.”

- Mason Mantla

Behchoko and North Slave Region

The community of Behchoko (meaning “Big Knife in the  Tlicho language), previously called Fort Rae, is located on the northwest tip of Great Slave Lake and was established originally as a wintering provision post for the Hudson’s Bay Company. The North Arm of Great Slave Lake is the traditional territory of the Tlicho Dene. Historically, the Tlicho and the Yellowknives Dene quarreled. The Yellowknives Dene had access to firearms, which allowed them to control trade and hunting grounds around Great Slave Lake for about 30 years. The conflict ended around 1823. The government viewed Fort Rae’s location as unsuitable for expansion in the 1950’s, and so the new community, Edzo was established. However, most of the Dene families in Fort Rae refused to move. Today, the community’s are separate but administered together. Behchoko is governed through the Tlicho Government, which was established in 2005.  The town is located in the North Slave Region of the Northwest Territories; the region also includes Dettah, Gameti, Lutsel k’e, N’Dilo, Wekweeti, Whati and Yellowknife.  The Akaitcho communities in the North Slave Region are currently negotiating their own self-governing agreement.

Mason Mantla

Mason Mantla

    Mason is a Tłįchǫ filmmaker and musician from Behchokǫ̀. At 20, Mason has spent the last two years trying to reconnect himself with the Tłįchǫ culture and language. He is the father of a three year-old and has high hopes for the future of his community.