March 8, 2019
Today is the last day of the first-ever week-long Naka Festival. The Yellowknives Dene First Nation are concluding the week’s events with a cultural gala at the Chief Drygeese Centre featuring a fashion show, live music, traditional food and a sneak peek of the Hamlet’s first Artisan Shop.
See Also: Naka Schedule
The shop, which will present and offer for sale, traditional art, clothing and jewelry by the Yellowknives Dene, has been in the works for some time.
It received a boost last year when the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada, NWT Tourism, and the GNWT signed a deal to fund several priority Indigenous tourism projects in the NWT.
For the community of Dettah, the shop is the first step in a longer-term plan to encourage tourism traffic along the ice road and into their community.
In time, the Chief Drygeese Centre, in which the store is located, will be developed as a destination for visitors looking to take in cultural activities and demonstrations, register with local tour operators, sign-up for hamlet tours and more.
“This is a great business opportunity for the community,” notes Regional Tourism Development Officer, Amy Lizotte. “The ice road is a favorite destination for visitors and locals alike. Everybody ends up in Dettah.”
A formal ribbon cutting and feeding-the-fire ceremony will take place on Saturday from 1:00pm – 5:00pm. Those in attendance will be able to participate in a sewing workshop, learn how to dry fish and gain some oral history of the area from a traditional storyteller.