- Town Hall
In the 1960s and 1970s colonization could be felt by Tlicho people in the Behchoko area, mainly through the introduction of the trade in the previous century. Tlicho elder and former chief Alexis Arrowmaker sought a more traditional lifestyle. He took several families with him several hundred kilometers north and settled in what is now Wekweètì. Traditionally the Dogrib did not have permanent homes but by the early part of the 20th century people were settling more in Behchoko. The area in Wekweètì was traditionally Dogrib hunting territory. The community is located on the Snare River, which is part of the route used by Dogrib for generations to travel from the Yellowknife River system to the Coppermine River system.
All Tlicho people share Wekweètì story of creation. It begins with a woman and her brothers. One day a handsome man comes and the brothers tell their sister she should marry him so she does. One night she hears a terrible growling and the sound of a dog gnawing on a bone. Eventually one of the brothers shoots the dog but the man who married the woman never returns. The woman discovers she is pregnant and eventually gives birth to six puppies. She loves them but is ashamed so hides them in a sack. One day she discovers that the puppies can turn into human children when she is not around. After hiding behind a bush she goes to them as children. Three jump back in the sack and the other three stay as children. They are the original Dogrib people.
Tlicho culture remains strong. In fact, nearly 95 per cent of Wekweètì community members speak Tlicho as their first language. Traditionally, the people are also know for making birch bark canoes, caribou skin huts and babiche (woven sinew) bags. The culture has always relied heavily on fishing and hunting caribou.