The data used to establish Acho Dene Koe traditional territory comes from archival research, library research, and interview research about ADK lands, culture, and ways of life.
During the archival research phase, a survey of ethnographic and historical publications related to the ADK and Fort Liard Métis (FLM) was conducted. The Acho Dene Koe research team, led by Rob Diaz, visited the archives at The Royal British Columbia Museum and reviewed several sources of information there. Information was also acquired from the University of Victoria, and material at the Library and Archives of Canada was also reviewed.
Importantly, the research team used information provided by ADK and FLM Elders and community members when establishing the boundaries of ADK traditional territory. Research trips involved interview sessions with Elders and other community members familiar with the uses and history of local lands. These trips produced several hours of recorded interviews, which include lengthy descriptions of uses of animals and plants, and the ADK and FLM words for place names and animal species.
Upon completion of library and interview research, several ADK and FLM members were employed to ‘ground-truth’ the areas that Elders had described during the interviews, which means that ADK and FLM members showed researchers around the traditional territory. Sites were accessed via helicopter, truck, boat, and traveling on old trails by all-terrain vehicles (ATVs).
Researchers viewed where ADK and FLM peoples hunt, trap, and collect medicinal and edible plants, the location of villages and camps, and, importantly, the connections between knowledge of the land and the actual procurement of food. In the end, the research team was able to accurately map ADK traditional territory.