“I hold Dehcho in My Heart”

Presentation by Lesley Johnson & Kristen Tanche
Saturday, February 22, 2020
Year of video/Session: 

35th Wilderness & Canoe Symposium www.wcsymposium.com 21-22 February, 2020 York University Toronto This annual symposium is a mid-winter gathering of kindred spirits in search of knowledge and a sense of place. Its purpose is to educate and remind us of how sacred, fragile, and endangered the remaining natural wilderness areas are, and to celebrate wilderness experiences in our northern Canadian habitat. Each speaker offers a unique perspective on far-ranging topics that include subjects such as ecology, First Nations, guiding, history, unique trips, conservation, etc. 

JOHNSON, LESLEY is a filmmaker and programmer based in Toronto and Yellowknife, whose work relates stories of personal transformation to environment and culture. She is fortunate to have worked in remote access communities and wilderness locations in the Northwest Territories, such as the Dehcho (Mackenzie River) and along the Arctic coastline. Lesley has a background in biological sciences and holds an MFA in Film Production from York University.  Her film “I Hold the Dehcho in My Heart / Sedze Tah Dehcho E’toh” won the NWT Professional Media Association’s award for Best Documentary, and is available on CBC Gem. Her shorts “Princess Jack” and “Charlie” have won awards and screened at numerous festivals. As a producer, her projects have appeared on CBC, APTN, and been selected for TIFF and Canada’s Top Ten. Her latest film, “Revolution Moosehide”, will be released in winter 2020, and she is currently producing the feature length documentary “She Sings in Shadows” in Afghanistan.

TANCHE, KRISTEN is a member of Łı́ı́dlı̨ı̨ Kų́ę́ First Nation. Raised across the North, Tanche returned to her mother’s home community of Łı́ı́dlı̨ı̨ Kų́ę́ (Fort Simpson), NT to reconnect with her family, community, and Dene culture ten years ago. She continues to live in the community, where she is employed by Dehcho First Nations as the Regional on the Land Coordinator. In that capacity, she plans, coordinates, and delivers regional land-based programs guided by the values of the Dehcho First Nations and Dehcho K’éhodi Stewardship Program Principals. In 2017 Tanche participated in the Dechinta Dehcho River Semester which brought a group of 20 by canoe from Fort Providence, NT to Fort Good Hope, NT down the Dehcho (Mackenzie River). Since that time Tanche has been able to do annual Dehcho trips either though her employer or on her own with her family. 


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