Climate change is a topic talked about all the time, but often a piece is missing ̶ what's happening from the perspective of people at ground zero who see the impacts every single day.
Well, a new podcast titled All Ages, All Voices, A Denendeh Podcast seeks to change that by creating a platform where people throughout the Dehcho region of the Northwest Territories share their stories and knowledge.
The ultimate goal is to inform Dehcho members on how climate change impacts the region, and what is happening in the territory. The podcast is a collaboration between the Dehcho First Nations, Wilfred Laurier University and the Dehcho Collaborative on Permafrost.
"We really want to emphasize that anybody can talk about climate change and it's not just some big abstract scary thing happening in a faraway land," says Ramona Pearson of the Dehcho First Nation.
Local first - but for everyone
She emphasizes that the podcast is giving people across the region the ability to tell their stories of climate change and adaptation because people in the Dehcho are seeing the impacts of climate change first hand every single day.
"The goal of the podcast is to benefit the local people first, but I think we can extend the focus as well and the reason for doing it, for getting this project underway, to build those bridges with non-Indigenous people," says Miguel Sioui, an Indigenous geographer at Wilfred Laurier University and one of the leads on the project.
The team working on the podcast want people of all ages and all voices to talk about climate change, the path forward and what is happening in the N.W.T. They hope that the podcast will reach international audiences who will hear and learn from the stories and experiences of those in the Dehcho.
Topics for everyone and the future
Now, if you're even a little bit interested in climate change and climate science, this podcast is aimed at you. This is because it is going to examine a wide range of topics including the patterns of the boreal caribou, salmon in the Mackenzie, thawing permafrost in the region, food security and changes to agriculture as warming occurs.
The first episode is with the Dehcho First Nations Grand Chief Gladys Norwegian with more content planned for early 2021.
The podcast is just the beginning
"We're always saying that we want to create a future for the youth, and I believe by taking this conversation digital we're creating a platform where we can do just that. Make it accessible for anyone to participate," says Pearson.
And the podcast is just the beginning. The team is buying equipment for communities and distributing it so that people can begin telling stories, in both Dene Zhatie and English. Then, there will be opportunities for on-the-land programming, storytelling, education and science that will bring together modern digital communications and traditional knowledge of the Dehcho First Nations.
It will all culminate in a vast knowledge base shared with the world and future generations from one of the regions most affected by climate change.