URBAN HIDE TANNING CAMP 2016, 2017, 2018
Dene Nahjo's Annual Urban Hide Tanning Camp is a reclamation of urbanized space in the heart of Somba K'e. They host a two week long camp in Somba K'e park, where guests are invited to witness or participate in hide tanning. There are Elders and experienced hide tanners available to mentor learners and share stories. Thousands of people have passed through Dene Nahjo's Urban Hide Tanning Camp, including many students and hide tanning learners. This camp is an Indigenous safe space for us, as Indigenous people, to learn, have fun, make mistakes, make relationships and be vulnerable.
TOOL MAKING WORKSHOP
& HIDE CAMP
MAY & JUNE,2014
8 Miles & Somba K'e, NT.
With the goal of reconnecting to the land and culture, 10 individuals from communities
throughout the NWT met with artist George Roberts at his workshop to make scrapers and knives – precious resources for being on the land, hunting and tanning moose and caribou hides. Over the five days, participants set out with the goal of each creating two tools made from wood, antler and steel – knives to be used for hunting or
general bush living, and hide scrapers for tanning.
Oriented around intergenerational traditional knowledge sharing and cultural revitalization, this project was formed by the deep-seated desire of a young group of Indigenous participants to: reconnect to their traditional territories; learn leadership skills through land-based action and community engagement; and provide an opportunity for hide tanners from several regions to connect and share knowledge. Project participants learned how to tan caribou hides in one of the traditional Gwich’in methods for three weeks at a camp located at 8 miles with the support and guidance of Elder hide tanners.