The proposed Nipiy Tu Instituteis envisioned as an Indigenous-led knowledge centre that works to ensure the restoration, protection and promotion of the ecological health and cultural integrity of the Peace-Athabasca Delta and its people.
It is a joint initiative between Mikisew Cree First Nation, the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation and the Fort Chipewyan Métis Association. The Delta Institute will prioritize the traditional ways of life of the Indigenous peoples of Fort Chipewyan through the use of Indigenous knowledge and western science to monitor, study and report on ecological and cultural values associated with the Peace-Athabasca Delta.
The program is currently in its third year of development and an Interim Board of Directors has been selected from the three founding communities. Progress so far includes:
Development of governance and operational models
Identification of key infrastructure needs
A conceptual and schematic design of the institute
Drafting an operational plan
Key aspects being undertaken over the next 18 months include:
Naming and branding the institute
Developing and signing of a formal agreement between the founding communities
Transitioning existing monitoring programs to work collaboratively under the institute
Developing a fundraising campaign
Working with the Federal Government to secure funding to support infrastructure and operational activities, and matching funds for an endowment
Once the core funding has been secured, attention will be turned to construction of the centre, recruitment of an executive director and operational staff.