Akaitcho Programs

Aboriginal Aquatic Resource & Oceans Management (AAROM)

AAROM was developed to respond to a number of issues identified during discussions on the renewal of the Aboriginal Fisheries Strategy. The goal of AAROM is to help Aboriginal groups to participate effectively in advisory and decision-making processes used for aquatic resource and oceans management.

Regional Coordinator: Roles and Responsibilities

Diane Giroux has held the position of AAROM/AAMP Coordinator for the Akaitcho Territory Government since October 2005. Diane works at the ATG office in Deninu K’ue (Fort Resolution).

Diane’s role as Regional Coordinator is based on First Nation direction to AAMP; to provide support as requested and to build capacity.

Main Responsibilities:

  • Program Related Administrative Tasks
  • Funding Access Through Proposal Development
  • Regular Communications with First Nations and Others
  • Support with Technical Aspects Related to Aquatic Research and Monitoring
  • All Program Reporting, including quarterly reports to the Akaitcho Executive & at ATG’s Annual General Assembly
Executive: Roles and Responsibilities

Role: To administer the Akaitcho Aquatic Monitoring Program (formerly ATG GSLW AAROM Program) through funding accessed from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada under their Aboriginal Aquatic Resource & Oceans Management (AAROM) Program for the Great Slave Lake Watershed (GSLW).  AAMP does not have any authority to make decisions for its member Akaitcho First Nations and does not deal with any consultation or rights issues.

Responsibility: The ATG Executive (comprised of Akaitcho First Nation Chiefs) provide direction, oversee and monitor all aspects of the Akaitcho Aquatic Monitoring Program (i.e. oversee staff, provide programming direction, approve proposal/budget).

AMP Technical Advisor: Roles and Responsibilities

Role: The AAMP Technical Board was established to develop programming and function as a working committee under ATG. The AAMP Technical Board is technical in nature and holds no decisiion making authority (held by First Nation).

Responsibility: Board members are appointed by First Nations and are comprised of First Nation environment resource staff whom are collectively tasked with development of aquatic research and monitoring programming within Akaitcho territory.

  • The Akaitcho way of life has always respected the Land, Water, and Tech’adi (e.g. all living things) on Mother Earth.
  • The Akaitcho Dene have always had the responsibility of being the “Keepers of the Land, Water, and Tech’adi.”
  • The Akaitcho Dene way of life is connected to the Land, Water, and Tech’adi.
  • The Akaitcho Dene way of life has always had a spiritual connection to the Land, Water, and Tech’adi through our customs and practices
  • The Akaitcho Dene way of life has always followed the oral history passed down from generation to generation.
  • The Akaitcho Dene have co-existed together and with others.
  • The Akaitcho Dene have always encouraged our young people to pursue their educational goals, both traditional and formal.
  • The Akaitcho Dene are proud to be Dene.

“As long as the sun shines, the rivers flow and the grass grows,” the Akaitcho Dene are united to protect our sovereign and inherent rights to our water, land and Tech’adi in our traditional territory, through the spirit and intent of Treaty making in 1899 and 1900, thus setting the foundation for the future generations.”

Mission Statement

The mission of the Akaitcho Aquatic Monitoring Program is to empower, advocate and guide member First Nations to implement programs that will create awareness of environmental concerns and effects to our water, land and Tech’adi by securing resources for program development, research, and monitoring.

AAMP Goals
  • Presence on Great Slave Lake
  • Clean and Healthy Lake, Shores and Rivers
  • Develop Partnerships/Relationships
  • Uphold and respect Dene Law
  • Gathering Existing Information and data on Great Slave Lake
  • Ensure Healthy and Abundant Fish
  • Ensuring clean and safe water
  • Pursue funding for program delivery from different sources
  • Skill Development
AAMP Projects and Programming to Date

Monitor Programs – Sport fishers/angler surveys
Fish Studies – Sampling/collection
Contaminants Research – Metals in Fish
Water Sample Programs – Baseline data
Youth Workshops with Land Users/Elders (TK & WS)
Habitat Restoration Pilot Projects
Watershed Forums (YK River, Water is Life, Keepers of the Water)
Training – Sampling protocols, safety and capacity building for staff
Planning: Visioning Workshops, Strategic Planning, Policy & Procedure Manual and Technical Sessions
Equipment – Purchases and access
Communications materials – Newsletters, DVD’s

Akaitcho Community Skills Development

The Akaitcho Community Skills Development is a program that is provided across Canada. Through a contribution agreement with Service Canada, this program was designed to help the Aboriginal population share in Canada’s economic opportunities by the attainment, advancement and retention of meaningful and sustainable employment.


AHRDS to ASETS: Historical Background on ASETS Program

In 2009, the Government of Canada announced a successor strategy to Aboriginal Human Resource Development Agreement (AHRDS), now known as Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy (ASETS), which continues to be an opportunity to modernize the Aboriginal labour Market programming while also addressing challenges and gaps.

    Three Strategic pillars were introduced to support ASETS:

  • Demand Driven Skills Development
  • Strategic Partnerships
  • Increased Accountability
Services Provided by the Akaitcho Community Skills Development Program

To assist the Indigenous and Inuit population in training initiatives to work toward accomplishing their career goals, such as:

    Minimum Level of Service:

  • Assist with Resumes/Applications
  • Job Search
  • Referrals to other ASETS holders
  • Other needed assistance


  • Safety Training: needed to secure employment individually or can be provided through ASETS as group training.
  • Short Programs: Start Your Own Business, Trades Helper, ETC.
  • Final year of a 3+ year program


  • Summer Student Employment (Ages 15- 30)
  • Youth-at-risk projects (Ages 15- 30)
  • On-the-job work experience
  • Projects that provide training to assist First Nation and Inuit Populations with finding employment.

First Nation and Inuit Child Care Initiative (FNICCI):


  • Communities can access GNWT listed daycares and/or dayhomes in their area while employed or enrolled in training programs, but are required to apply for ECE Wage Subsidy to qualify.
ASETS: Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who is ASETS looking for?

A: Serious clients looking to maintain and secure employment for the long term.

Q: Is ASETS an education fund?

A: NO, The ASETS program to create opportunities to the First Nation and Inuit populations with support needed to prepare for, find, and keep high demand employment now and in the long term.

Q: As a First Nation/Inuit member, how do I access ASETS funds?

A: The ASETS Program is available throughout Canada. The Akaitcho ASETS Program is residency based so depending on where you currently reside, determines the type of service needed.

Q: Because I am employed, I cannot access ASETS sponsorship?

A: Clients who are currently employed and seeking training assistance do not meet the requirements because ASETS considers this, employee capacity building.  If a client requires additional training to become promoted or change positions within the company, then confirmation by way of an employer letter is required.

Q: Do you have to be a First Nation/Inuit member within the five (5) Akaitcho communities to qualify?

A: No, ASETS is community based so it would depend on your currently living situation.

Q: Why does ASETS require so much information?

A: Akaitcho funding agreement states that each client is to seek other funding options before applying for ASETS and the information provides the ETO with the ability to properly assess the client’s needs based on the client’s long term goals.

Gerard Engen, ASETS recipient & owner of iTNT / Information Technology Northwest Territories

Akaitcho ASETS provides services to these five (5) communities within the Northwest Territories:

  • Yellowknife, NT (Dettah and Ndilo)
  • Lutsel Ke, NT
  • Fort Resolution, NT
  • Hay River, NT (Enterprise)
  • Fort Smith, NT

Akaitcho Language Program

The Akaitcho Territory Government is committed to preserving the traditional languages spoken by their member nations: Weledeh, Chipewyan, Tłįchǫ, Dene Zhatie, North Slavey, and Michif.

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Helen Hayes