Indigenous Land-Based Education, Research, and Community Programs Rooted in Northern Indigenous Knowledge and Values
The Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning is an Indigenous land-based initiative delivering accredited post-secondary education and research experiences in the North. Led by northern experts, Dechinta aims to engage students, researchers and community members in transformative academic programs based on the unique needs of Dene and Inuvialuit communities. Our work is centered around three main pillars: Post-secondary accredited programs, research and community engagement.
Another core pillar of Dechinta programming is community engagement. Dechinta supports an intergenerational reconnection to the land and traditional land-based knowledge/skills among Dene and Inuvialuit communities in the North. Through our programs at Dechinta, which now span across multiple communities and nations in the North, we work to strengthen the relationship individuals have to the land by teaching students and community members practical land-based skills and knowledge.
One of the core pillars of Dechinta programming is research. We support Dene and Inuvialuit communities who are committed to generating the next generation of Dene Knowledge Holders and we follow their lead in generating and preserving knowledge within their communities. Our research program at Dechinta has recently expanded to include more regions, more communities, and more creative and diverse projects that generate Dene and Inuvialuit knowledge from and with the land and in close relationship to the communities we aim to serve.
Providing accredited post-secondary land-based education is at the heart of Dechinta. Our blended model of education innovatively combines Indigenous knowledge with academic credentials to ensure students are positioned for success on the land, in the community, in post-secondary education and in employment.
We currently offer 1-3 week long courses in three semesters throughout the year: Winter, Summer and Fall.
"The first sight of self-governance community built by Dechinta brought me back to four decades ago when I felt the cold, crisp air on my face -it felt like a dream which I could finally wake up to. The sound of my ancestral footsteps was like the sound of walking on a dried potato snack. I felt sure of myself after practicing my culture and tradition once again. It all came clear to me… I am home. I am here on my homeland where my ancestors once roamed on Denedeh. With the help of all Dechinta staff I came back to myself, my land and my people. Techniques and handling fish almost immediately came natural to me. I thought to myself, ‘maybe I was not lost, just disconnected’”
- Bertha Drygeese, Dechinta Student in 2021 and 2022
Dechinta Certificate in Land-Based Research
Offered in partnership with the University of British Columbia, Dechinta students have the option to work towards graduating with an open studies post-secondary certificate in Land and Community Based Research.
To receive this university certificate, students must complete 5 of the courses offered by Dechinta that are accredited by the University of British Columbia. Students will be required to take 2 core courses (INLB 210 and INLB 220) and 3 option courses (INLB 252, INLB 201 etc.). These course credits can also be transferred to other post-secondary institutions to help students work towards completing their degree, with permission from their institution.