“Aboriginal people speak about language and culture in the same breath. Fluent speakers, particularly elders, are certain that without their languages, their cultures will be lost, because it is impossible to translate the deeper meanings of words and concepts into the languages of other cultures …the intimate relationships between language, culture and thought underlie the insistence of Aboriginal people that language education must be a priority.” …Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, Volume 3: Gathering Strength, 1996.
The Tłįchǫ Intergovernmental Services Agreement (ISA) was signed by Canada, the Government of the NWT and the Tłįchǫ Government in 2003. The Agreement established the position of the Cultural Coordinator to advise the Parties on how to use their respective powers in ways that respect and promote Tłįchǫ language, culture and way of life. Tłįchǫ language, culture and way of life is the foundation of self-government.
Cultural Coordinators are appointed for the life of the current Tłįchǫ Assembly. The first Cultural Coordinator was appointed in 2010. The second Cultural Coordinator was appointed in 2014 to serve during the life of the 3rd Tłįchǫ Assembly from 2014-2017. Under the terms of the ISA, the Cultural Coordinator is required to produce a report every three years. This first report “Gonàowo t’a nàts’etso, Ełets’ats’edi t’a Nàts’etso” for 2010-2013 describes the current state of Tłįchǫ language, culture and way of life, and addresses issues relevant to the Parties to the Agreement.