Attending this year's online Sahtu Assembly? Here's a snapshot of its agenda

The Sahtu Annual General Meeting will happen on Zoom this year from Dec. 9-11.

Sahtu Trust, food security to be hot topics

A sunset over Great Bear Lake, part of the Tsá Tué biosphere reserve in the N.W.T. (Striking Balance)

This year's Sahtu AGM will be brought online amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Leadership will be in Deline, but there will be screens for people to watch in the other communities where hundreds of people will be able to watch the video conference call, says Colville Lake Chief Wilbert Kochon.

He says he's confident that Sahtu beneficiaries both in and outside the region can handle the online shift.

"It's pretty amazing how, from the other side of Canada, you can talk to people right here," Kochon said. "It's a little bit slow here, but we're okay. We're alright."

The meeting is set to be held from Dec. 9-11 and is expected to run from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day with breaks.

Food security, Sahtu Trust to be discussed

Sahtu Secretariat Chair Charles McNeely says that a hot topic of discussion, as usual, will be what's happening with the Sahtu Trust. 

He says the money has grown, even in the middle of some historic market fluctuations.

"That'll be good news for our beneficiaries, even with COVID[-19] being around, still our trust managed to do good," he said. 

The Sahtu Trust has generated controversy for years, with a small group of beneficiaries repeatedly calling for the secretariat to be investigated for how it manages the funds.

Kochon, meanwhile, says he'll bring his concerns about food security to the table.

He says the impacts of COVID-19 on the South have reminded northerners just how tenuous the supply chains can be, and reminded Kochon of the importance of autonomy for Sahtu communities.

"Elders have always warned us about things like that," he said. 

Kochon says he wants to make sure people have what they need to hunt and harvest country food.