Our land includes a diversity of landscapes, waterways, animals, fish, birds and plants – everything our people needed to make a living. We too are part of this land and, over many generations, we developed a vast body of knowledge about the land’s resources and the best places, seasons and methods to harvest them.
Tremendous forces shaped this landscape over millions of years. At different times this land was the floor of an ancient sea, a site where tectonic plates collided causing the upthrust of mountains, and part of the ice-free subcontinent during the last glaciation. Below are just a few features of interest from our geological story.
The rivers, creeks, lakes, ponds and wetlands of our homeland are habitat for a variety of fish, waterfowl and animals. They nourish us, the land, and many kinds of creatures.
The plants of the boreal forest are hardy survivors of harsh climate. Some are remnants of the Beringian refugium and grow only in this area that was ice-free during the last glaciation. They provide us with food and incredible beauty.
There was a time when the animals of this earth spoke like people. We treat these creatures, upon which we rely, with respect.
This is a land of extremes. It has a sub-arctic climate with long cold winters and short warm summers. Temperatures can range from a high of 36o in summer to as low as -50o Celsius in winter. Despite its northerly latitude, it is a good place for gardeners. Plants thrive during the long summer sunlight hours of the midnight sun, during an average frost-free period of 90 days. In winter, daylight hours are short and cold air masses can settle over this inland plateau area causing prolonged cold periods.
Battling bulls, part of the Porcupine Caribou Herd, 2008.