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Feb 19, 2017

Denendeh Hide Tanning Program, Cultural Revitalization and Leadership



This project aligns with the following Sustainable Development Goals. To learn more about the United Nations SDGs, please click here

Dene Nahjo
Dene Nation, Northwest Territories, Canada
July 2016

“I’m so excited to tan moosehides in downtown Yellowknife this summer because as a young woman, it was something I was very interested to learn but my opportunities to see tanning in practice were very limited. Going into the bush to tan hides traditionally can be expensive and time consuming. This project gives people an opportunity to experience a traditional hide tanning camp while not having to leave home or their jobs for an extended period of time. I also find this project to be culturally significant as the area in which we’ll be working was traditionally the local Dene moose hunting grounds, so many camps will have happened in the area in the past. This will give visitors a chance to meet Dene Nahjo, participate in activities, and to witness the revitalization of this ancient and spiritual practice.”
— Tania Larsson, Gwich’in Artist and Founding member.

This project is a three-week moose & caribou hide tanning camp in Yellowknife, Canada. Hide tanning is an important contemporary cultural practice, but the opportunities to learn are not readily accessible to many women. Tanning includes different stages through which people relate to their territories and the knowledge they have of their lands. Moreover, moose & caribou hide tanning opens the space for intergenerational knowledge exchange.
The proposed Hide Tanning Program will be hosted in Yellowknife and include four components:

  1. Three-week hide tanning camp July 11 – 29, 2016
  2. Leadership & capacity building workshops for Indigenous women leaders in areas such as: leadership and governance, cultural revitalization, political and business skills, family and women building workshops, traditional clothing in a contemporary setting, as well as technical skills like grant-writing and accessing social media.
  3. General public outreach: dissemination of traditional knowledge with a broader audience
  4. Possible production of one finished hide for future PWNHC use.