When the Tłı̨chǫ Highway opens later this month, residents of Whatì in Northwest Territory will have a year-round road connection to the rest of the territory, according to the CBC.
It also means nature-lovers will be able to easily visit Whatì Falls, a scenic summer picnic spot where community members go for picnics with family and friends on the weekend.
“It’s really beautiful,” said Joseph Moosenose, a former Whatì community councilor. “It’s two falls with an island in the middle. By the end of September, when the color changes on the leaves, does it ever look beautiful.”
Until now, Whatì Falls was only reachable via a local access road from the community. Moosenose was on the settlement council back in the 1980s that pushed for that access road. “We built a road out there,” he said. “We got money from the government, a little bit and a little bit every year. We just pushed and found a way to finish it.”
Whatì Falls, also known as La Martre Falls, is located outside the community government’s boundary and falls within the Tłı̨chǫ Government’s jurisdiction. As construction began on the highway, the Tłı̨chǫ Government began to ask Whatì residents, through surveys and workshops, for their suggestions for Whatì Falls.
Poskitt said the idea of a campground has come up, but those talks are still in the early stages and some elders cautioned against rushing ahead with the proposal.