Dene Tha’ is a Northern Alberta Treaty 8 First Nation with populations centered in three communities: Bushe River, Meander River, and Chateh. Located are north in the beautiful Alberta North Peace region, it is a member of the North Peace Tribal Council.
Community members speak English and Dene, the latter of which includes the South Slavey language. Dene Tha’ First Nation facilities include First Nation office and public works buildings in Chateh; public works buildings and Four Chiefs Complex in Bushe River; and First Nation office and public works buildings in Meander River. Municipal services include water and sewer systems, a fire truck, a water truck, and a sewer truck. Dene Tha’ First Nation economic activities include a gas station/food store; other stores (hardware, crafts, fur purchasing); a laundromat; a post office; a bottle depot; snack and coffee shop; Dene Tha’ Construction; and natural gas distribution. Member-owned businesses provide taxi service, home building and electrical services, and small engine repair.
Engage North and Dene Tha' First Nation have been partners since 2013. Since the summer of 2014, Engage North interns have been invited to Chateh to promote community-driven projects. Interns primarily work through the Chateh Health Center. Current projects being facilitated by EN interns include developing community wellness workshops for community members and creating summer programming for youth and others in the community.
Community Radio Internship (past project) -
Working with local groups, a media consultant, and Dene Tha’ staff, the intern supported the development of a radio broadcasting program for Dene Tha’ First Nation. This involved helping to create a corporate society for the CKCA-FM Dene Tha Communications Society radio station; supporting a training program for community-based radio; and providing general communications and administrative support in the development of a successful community radio station.
Health and Wellness Internship -
Working with the Chateh Health Centre, Community Health Representatives, community members, and community groups as appropriate, the intern will work to further the health needs of the community. In 2018, the primary focus of the intern is to help develop workshops related to leadership development, health and nutrition and and community gardening. These programs include coordinating regular sporting events and educational camps for youth, as the intern works closely with the Youth and Recreation intern. This internship potentially included the opportunity to travel with the Dene Tha’ youth to celebrations and camps. The intern, with the help of the Youth and Recreation intern, will also provide support for the youth to develop a youth centre in the Chateh arena.
Youth and Recreation Internship -
Working with the Health Centre, the Recreation Coordinator and community members, the Youth and Recreation intern will provide programming for children and youth in the Dene Tha’ community. The Youth and Recreation intern supports youth programming and community recreation events throughout the summer. Interns work closely with Dene Tha' First Nation and University of Alberta mentors to develop programing and recreational opportunities for youth and community members throughout the summer. These duties include developing after-school programming during May and June; developing summer break programming for youth; accompanying Dene Tha’ youth to events and camps within and outside of the Dene Tha’ reserves; participating in fundraising events for youth; and organizing community-wide events to facilitate intergenerational sharing of knowledge and skills. Interns are also expected to engage with the community in traditional events and gatherings as they arise. Interns are encouraged to develop a wide array of programming, which may include baking and cooking workshops, exercise and sporting events, STEM exercises, arts and crafts workshops and music development.