Despite disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic, Tłı̨chǫ citizens still have the opportunity to follow the annual gathering next week.
Just not in person.
Henry Zoe, senior director of governance with the Tłı̨chǫ Government, says safety is a priority for the organizers.
“It’s unfortunate we can’t get together like we normally do,” he says.
But that doesn’t mean the show won’t go on.
Organizers have arranged for Tłı̨chǫ citizens to participate in the annual gathering this year by streaming on Zoom or Facebook, watching on TV and listening by phone or radio.
“You have five opportunities to listen in or watch,” Zoe says.
Although citizens will not take part in the physical gathering — assembly members, delegates and support staff will be at the Kǫ̀ Gocho Sportsplex Centre in Behchoko for the broadcast. Health restrictions will be enforced, including social distancing, Zoe says.
This means anyone entering the building will receive a symptom check and have their temperature recorded. Food and drinks will be individually served to avoid unnecessary contact with coffee pots or utensils.
The Tłı̨chǫ Annual Gathering
The Tłı̨chǫ Annual Gathering is a chance for the government to discuss various subjects and issues in its annual report with citizens, while providing an opportunity for the community to spend quality time together.
“In normal times, a way to build strength is for the citizens of our communities to come together in unity during the Annual Gathering,” says Grand Chief George Mackenzie, in the annual report. “However, the pandemic has had an impact upon what we can do safely as a Government.”
The Tłı̨chǫ Government distributed its annual report to each household in the Tłı̨chǫ region, Zoe says. The report highlights initiatives the Tłı̨chǫ Government launched to support citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The report presentation will be broadcast on Aug. 11 and Tłı̨chǫ citizens can ask questions or provide comments on Aug. 12 at each presence office in Behchokǫ̀, Whatì, Gamètì and Wekweètì.
Those interested can tune into CKLB on Aug. 11 and 12 for live, all-day coverage of the annual gathering, hosted by Marie Rose Blackduck.