Fish drying on wooden poles

Dechinta: Dene Self-Determination in Theory and Practice

Coursework: FNIS 360D, 3 credits

About the program

Blachford Lake Lodge, Yellowknives Dene Territory, Treaty 8, Denendeh (NWT)

Coursework: FNIS 360D, 3 credits

This land-based intense delivery course will critically explore the Dene struggle for self-determination since the establishment of the Indian Brotherhood of the Northwest Territories in 1970. Particular attention will be paid to examining the ways in which the Dene and other Indigenous communities in the North have sought to overcome the ongoing effects of colonialism through a variety of means, including efforts aimed at achieving cultural recognition through land claims, self-government and economic development, and by reconnecting and revitalizing the land-based practices and relationships that form the core of many Indigenous peoples’ identities and ways of life. Upon course completion, students will not only have improved faculties of critical analysis but will have done so incorporating hands-on Indigenous land-based skills which will contextualize and inform theoretical concepts and ideas. Students will gain a more relevant understanding of the dynamics in Indigenous communities and the importance of land in these relationships. To facilitate this learning, each day will integrate seminar lectures on the land with instruction from Dene elders and community experts in land-based practices of self-determination, including the setting and checking of fish nets, preparing and drying fish and meat, and learning about and gathering medicinal plants, all according to Dene tradition.


  1. Gain an understanding of cultural, social, political and economic dynamics in Dene and other Indigenous communities in the North
  2. Learn political and social strategies that promote decolonization and cultural self-empowerment on the land.
  3. Students will be introduced to Dene land-based practices and the forms of critical knowledge associated with these practices.
  4. Gain an understanding of the centrality of land to Dene identity, governance, economic development, and self-determination.
  5. Learn introductory skills associated with boat safety, firearms safety, fish net preparation and setting, cleaning and drying fish, and medicinal plant use.

General timeline

Part One - June 19 - 20 (Vancouver): Orientation to the course and working with Indigenous communities, particularly the Yellowknives Dene First Nation (YKDFN) in a land-based context.

Part Two - June 26 - July 3 (Dechinta):

  • Introduction and to Dechinta, safety orientation, Feed the Fire Ceremony with YKDFN Elders
  • Boat safety orientation, setting fishing nets, drying fish and setting snares with instructors and Elders
  • Seminars: The Dene Nation: A History, Land Claims and Self-Government in the Northwest Territories; Dispossession and Canadian Indian Policy; Indigenous Political Traditions; Land Claims and Self-Government in the Northwest Territories; Gender Justice and Indigenous Communities
  • Medicine Walk: Medicine Plants and Remembering with community Elder
  • Closing Ceremony.


One of FNIS 210, FNIS 220 (or third-year standing)

This program is suitable for students in third year and above in the Faculty of Arts and/or in the following majors:

  • First Nations and Indigenous Studies Program
  • Political Science
  • History
  • Gender Race and Social Justice 
  • Related Programs

Prior to taking part in this program, students should have completed coursework in these disciplines, and should also have a record of strong academic performance.

Please contact if you are interested in the program but do not belong to the above programs.

Program fees and costs

The program fee is $2910 (approximately). The final fee depends on the number of students in the program. Students do not pay the Go Global fee when applying to a Global Seminar. The Go Global fee is built into the Program Fee and is payable upon acceptance to the program.

All qualifying students will receive a $1000 Go Global Award.

Program fee includes

*The Dechinta program costs are paid directly to Dechinta

Program fee does not include

Travel to and from Dechinta from Yellowknife


Accommodations at Dechinta


Travel that is related to the program


All excursions and day- visits 

All meals  
Go Global Fee  

*UBC Tuition - Not included. Part of your costs

This amount will differ for domestic and international students. This amount will be assigned to you on the Student Service Centre (SSC) according to normal UBC tuition timelines. Read about tuition fees.

This amount is not determined or applied by Go Global.

All students participating in a Global Seminar will have tuition applied to their SSC account.

*Flights - Not Included. Part of your costs

Travel to Yellowknife is a separate cost.  You are responsible for arranging your own travel.Go Global can provide suggestions upon program confirmation. 

*Incidentals - Not Included. Part of your costs

Some examples include: personal mobile communication, personal transportation that is not related to the learning outcomes of the program, additional meals that are not already identified as part of the program fee, immunizations, Visas

Global Seminars refund policy

Refund on deposits

Students are eligible for a refund of their deposit minus the administrative fee ($407) if they withdraw from the program within 30 days of paying the deposit; this provides time to fill vacated spots so the cost to other students does not increase. After 30 days, the deposit is non-refundable. Exceptions may be determined at the discretion of Go Global. Any funds allocated to students through the ARA program must be returned in their entirety.

Refund on program fees

Students who withdraw from a Global Seminar after having paid the remaining program fee are not eligible for a refund of their deposit or the program fee. Exceptions may be determined at the discretion of Go Global. Any funds allocated to students through the ARA program must be returned in their entirety.

Students who decide to withdraw their application must submit a request in writing by email to the Global Seminar Advisor at


Go Global Vancouver

When emailing us, please include:

  1. Your student number in the subject line
  2. Your full name and if you are an incoming or outgoing exchange student in the body of the email

Go Global Vancouver

Telephone: 604 822 0942

Fax: 604 822 9885

International House
1783 West Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2


Mon9:00 am - 4:15 pm
Tue9:30 am - 4:15 pm
Wed9:00 am - 4:15 pm
Thu9:00 am - 4:15 pm
Fri9:00 am - 4:15 pm