- Town Hall
The area around Whati is rich with plants and wildlife. It was a favoured hunting area for Dogrib Dene long before the first trading post was set up. It was 1793 when the North West Company set up a permanent trading post although most of the trade occurred at larger posts in Rae, now known as Bechoko, and Wrigley. But, many Tlicho people began settling there permanently while they continued to hunt and fish in the surrounding area. In 1955 a federal school opened. Today the Tlicho maintain a traditional lifestyle and the economy is based almost entirely based on trapping, fishing and hunting.
Whati’s story of creation is shared by all Tlicho people. It begins with a woman and her brothers. One day a handsome man comes and the brothers tell their sister she should marry him so she does. One night she hears a terrible growling and the sound of a dog gnawing on a bone. Eventually one of the brothers shoots the dog but the man who married the woman never returns. The woman discovers she is pregnant and eventually gives birth to six puppies. She loves them but is ashamed so hides them in a sack. One day she discovers that the puppies can turn into human children when she is not around. After hiding behind a bush she goes to them as children. Three jump back in the sack and the other three stay as children. They are the original Dogrib people.
Tlicho culture remains strong. In fact, about 97 per cent of Whati community members speak Tlicho as their first language.