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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

Dechinta Certificate in
Land-Based Research

At Dechinta, we are brought together by our care for the land, each other, and our desire to revitalize and practice Northern Indigenous ways of knowing and being. Dechinta is dedicated to creating a future of Indigenous cultural revitalization through a reconnection with the land. Through our programs, we strive to create Northern Indigenous communities that are radically self-determining, healthy, sustainable, and connected to Indigenous knowledge and practices. We aim to ensure that the education we offer is accessible to all community members, including: parents, youth, women, and Two Spirit, LGBTQ+ and gender non-conforming people.

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Dechinta Research, Resources and Publications

As always, we are profoundly grateful to the Yellowknives Dene First Nation for working so closely with us over the past decade to anchor our organization and regional programming in embodied Dene ethics and values. The contributions of Yellowknives Dene Elders  has been key to the success of Dechinta. We are grateful for the generosity and hospitality of Elders, knowledge holders, artists and harvesters in the North and we exist because of their brilliance.

Get in Touch!

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