First Nation Elders Visit De Beers Mine to Taste the Fish

Elders from six Northwest Territories indigenous groups took part in the second annual fish tasting at De Beers Canada’s Gahcho Kué mine
Nov 6, 2017 8:30 AM ET

First Nation Elders Visit De Beers Mine to Taste the Fish

The event is one of the ways the company seeks to gain traditional knowledge as part of the mine’s environmental monitoring programme.

A dozen lake trout were caught from Kirk Lake by elders from Behchoko and Lutsel K’e, who were accompanied by a member of the mine’s environment team. Kirk Lake is about 20km downstream from the mine site.

When the tasting took place, additional elders travelled to the mine. The event included a mine site tour and an opportunity to pick cranberries, blueberries and crowberries from land around the mine.

Elders examined and filleted each fish, commenting on the size, colour and exterior shape as well as the colour, texture of the tissue, parasites and other observations of the fishes’ internal organs. The fish were then boiled without salt, or any other spices, so the elders could discuss the taste of the fish.

Lorette Edjericon from the Northwest Territories Métis Nation said: “I love the taste of it. It tastes just like home.” Wayne Langenhan, with the North Slave Métis Alliance, made use of the remains of the fish, taking the heads home to feed his dog team.

Once the fish were boiled, elders had the fish cooked or fried for them how they liked and they enjoyed bannock made on a barbecue outside the mine’s Cultural Centre to close the day.

Alex Hood, the De Beers Canada aquatics specialist who coordinated the event, said: “It is a great opportunity to show the communities how we operate and to learn from the elders. The fish was so good that elders brought home uncooked fillets to share with their families.”

About De Beers Group
De Beers Group is a member of the Anglo American plc group. Established in 1888, De Beers Group is the world’s leading diamond company with expertise in the exploration, mining and marketing of diamonds. Together with its joint venture partners, De Beers Group employs more than 20,000 people across the diamond pipeline and is the world’s largest diamond producer by value, with mining operations in Botswana, Canada, Namibia and South Africa. As part of the company’s operating philosophy, the people of De Beers Group are committed to ‘Building Forever’ by making a lasting contribution to the communities in which they live and work, and transforming natural resources into shared national wealth. For further information about De Beers Group, visit

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