30-Year Old Tłı̨chǫ Drum Songs Released on CD

Museum Alive! Open House

Yellowknife, NT (July 12, 2012) – Minister of Education, Culture and Employment Jackson Lafferty, will present the first CD copies of drum songs to the Tłįchǫ chiefs at the annual Tłįchǫ Gathering in Wekweètì.

In 1982, Robert Janes, Director of the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre (PWNHC) in cooperation with the Dene Nation and CBC North, contracted anthropologist Ronald Wright to record Dene music. This project was to both preserve a sample of traditional Dene music and share the music with the world. Recorded in Behchoko, the songs have been preserved in the NWT Archives at the PWNHC. PWNHC, CBC North and the Tłįchǫ government worked together to finalize the recordings and produce the CD, Songs of the Tłįchǫ Drum Dance.

“We are extremely excited about this project,” said Minister Lafferty. “Music and celebration are a big part of the foundation of our northern cultures. Some of these songs haven’t been heard or performed in 30 years, and today, they are remastered and produced on a CD to share with other cultures. This is a tremendous gift. The songs are part of our heritage, and we look forward to sharing them with the families and communities of the original musicians, and with the world.”

A celebration with the original anthropologist, Ronald Wright, is planned for the fall at the PWNHC.


Jacqueline McKinnon
Manager | Public Affairs | Education, Culture and Employment
Phone: (867) 920-6222
Email: jacqueline_mckinnon@gov.nt.ca