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Podcast will explore climate change’s impact on Dehcho

Last modified: November 13, 2020 at 9:59am


A new podcast called All Ages, All Voices – or Azhǫ Gots’ęndeh, Dánét’ée Goghae Azhǫ in Dene Zhatie – provides a platform for Dehcho Dene to discuss how climate change is impacting their region.

Ramona Pearson, a communications officer for the Dehcho First Nations, said: “We’re hoping to inform membership about changes on the land, how we’ve come to adapt to them, and how we will adapt to them coming into the future.”

Pearson said Dehcho Dene use stories to share how to move forward into the future. The podcast’s producers hope to bring that perspective to climate change.

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“We know that when people think First Nations, they often think traditions. We also want to bring in the ideas and innovations … for figuring out new and better ways to approach similar problems,” Pearson said.

“The feedback [on the podcast] has been positive and very engaging. Everybody’s got a different idea about how they can involve themselves, their neighbors, their friends, their parents, and their Elders.”

The podcast is intended to make climate change approachable (or “without all the doom and gloom,” Pearson said).

As the name implies, shows will feature all ages and all voices from the Dehcho.

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Wilfrid Laurier University, the Dehcho First Nations, and the Dehcho Collaborative on Permafrost are working together to produce All Ages, All Voices.

Miguel Sioui, an assistant professor at Wilfred Laurier working on the project, said most episodes will use a conversational storytelling format.

“We’re trying to make sure that Dene knowledge is reflected in the science that’s being done in terms of permafrost thaw research, and also vice versa,” Sioui said. The podcast is designed to allow research results to be shared in a meaningful way.

Part of Sioui’s job is working with First Nation leadership to develop permafrost thaw adaptation and mitigation plans for the region. Through the podcast, he’ll be able to share those plans and hear from people across the Dehcho about changes they are seeing on the land.

He added producers will be careful to edit out any sensitive local traditional knowledge before each episode is published.

The first episode, featuring Grand Chief of the Dehcho First Nations Gladys Norwegian, is due out around November 27.

The podcast will be available on all major podcast platforms, Sioui said, noting each episode will be about an hour long.

The podcast’s producers are busy buying equipment for Dehcho communities so each can record their own episodes, and hope to recruit youth to participate.

They also hope to make the podcast bilingual, with episode available in either Dene Zhatie or English.

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