Welcome to the community of Whatì. The community was formally know as Lac La Martre until it was officially changed in 2005 to Whatì under the Tłįcho Agreement. In 2010 NWT Bureau of Statistics reported the community population of 497.

Whatì is set on a magnificent Lac La Martre, one the largest lakes in the Northwest Territories. The lake boasts ideal fishing year round. Some of the largest Lake Trout and Northern Pike on the planet can be found in these waters. It is also situated along the North American north/south bird migration routes. Each spring and fall, the area’s marshes host thousands of ducks, geese and other migratory species that gather here to feed.

Community members actively participate in traditional activities including hunting, fishing, trapping and arts and crafts. Over 92% of the community fluently speaks their Aboriginal Language, Tłįcho (2009 NWT Bureau of Statistics).

The community infrastructure is a perfect blend of traditional meets contemporary. Log homes, remnants of the original dwellings constructed when Whatì became a permanent settlement are contrasted with modern day conveniences such as the youth center, culture center and the well-equipped Mezi Community School.

Services in the community include: a Catholic Church, RCMP, grocery store, bed & breakfast, and convenience store. Fine and decorative arts, like beaded jackets, mitts, gloves and moccasins, are available for purchase through the Whatì Community Store.

Several kilometers by boat, there is a comfortable camp for trout fishing enthusiasts. Closer to the community, you can relax on a visit to the waterfalls or fish for Grayling at the rapids. Local residents can provide guided tours and fishing excursions.

Whatì  located on Lac La Martre at 63°08'N , 117°06'W, 164 air km northwest of Yellowknife. The community is serviced by daily scheduled flights from Yellowknife. 

In the winter, the community is accessible by winter road. The 125 km drive begins at Highway 3 near Behchokö.

Alcohol is prohibited here, by community plebiscite.

For enquiries, please email info[at]tlicho[dot]com


Population (2010): 497
Primary Language (2009): 92.8% speak Tłįcho 
Traditional Activities (2008):
          47% Hunting & Fishing
          15% Trapping
          78% Consume Country Foods.

Taken from the NWT Bureau of Statistics

Guide to Whatì

Welcome to the community of Whatì. The community was formally know as Lac La Martre until it was officially changed in 2005 to Whatì under the Tłįcho...

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Tli Cho Air Inc. is a joint venture between Air Tindi Ltd. and the Tłı̨chǫ Investment Corporation. The joint venture operates a diverse fleet of aircraft offering charter air services throughout the Tli Cho region. Scheduled air passenger and cargo services to the Tłı̨chǫ communities are provided by Air Tindi Ltd.

Contact Information:

Tli Cho Air:
P.O. Box 685, Yellowknife,NT, X1A 2N5
Tel: (867) 669-8200

Air Tindi:
P.O. Box 1693, Yellowknife, NT, X1A 2P3
Tel: (867) 669-8200
Fax: (867) 669-8210
Toll Free: 1-888-545-6794
Website: www.airtindi.com

There are three units available to book. The B&B has an open concept living area with a fully-equipped kitchen, dining and living room with satellite TV. Breakfast is self-serve. We have an airport shuttle service for your convenience. 

Contact Information:
P.O. Box 93, Whatì, NT, X0E 1P0
B&B Reservation Tel: (867) 573-3244 or (867) 573-3461
614 Unit Guest Tel: (867) 573-3202 
620 Unit Guest Tel: (867) 573-3038 
721 Unit Guest Tel: (867) 573-3595

Fax: (867) 573-3705
Email: georgenitsiza[at]tlicho[dot]com

The store provides the following services: post office, cash machine, groceries, hardware, dry goods, postcards, souvenirs, community bulletin board, and financial services.

Store Hours:
Open Monday to Friday from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm
Open Saturday from 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Open Sunday from 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm

Contact Information:
General Manager Colin Webster
P.O. Box 81, Whatì, NT, X0E 1P0
Tel: (867) 573-3510
Fax: (867) 573-3511

Community Government

Contact Information for Community Government of Whatì

Senior Administrative Officer: Larry Baran (sao[at]whati[dot]ca)
Senior Administrative Officer Trainee: Lisa Mackenzie Nitsiza (saotrainee[at]whati[dot]ca)

  • Mailing Address: PO Box 71 Whatì, NT X0E 1P0
  • Administration Office Tel: 867.573.3401
  • Fax:867.573.3018
  • Fire Emergency: 867.573.3401
  • Public Works: 867.573.3401
  • Sewer & Water: 867.573.3401

The Behchokǫ̀, Gamètì, Wekweètì and Whatì Community Governments were established on August 4th, 2005 as a result of the signing of the Tłı̨chǫ Agreement. It is an independent public government with powers and responsibilities similar to the municipal government of other NWT communities.

Tłı̨chǫ Community Government Act established the community government of Behchokǫ̀, Whatì, Gamètì, and Wekweètì, and describes their boundaries. This Act covers the composition and role of the community council, eligibility to vote, the duties of the chief, and it details the powers of these municipalities. A copy of the Act is available online from the Government of the Northwest Territories, or click here for the PDF copy.

The Tłı̨chǫ Community Government of Whatì is a municipal corporation with responsibilities for community planning, public works and community improvements, public utilities such as water quality, water delivery and sewage services as well as emergency response planning and fire protection, recreation and other services such as bylaw enforcement.

The Community Government administers all lands within Whatì, and regulates land use and development through its Community Plan, Zoning By-law, leasing, and Development Permit processes.

A Community Government Council consists of 6 members and lead by a Chief elected by Tłı̨chǫ citizens. Elections are every four years.


 Alfonz Nitsiza

Council: (Eight)

  • Alfred Flunkie
  • Michel Moosenose
  • Alex Nitsiza
  • George Nitsiza
  • Leo Nitsiza
  • Ted Nitsiza
  • Jimmy B Rabesca
  • Sonny Zoe


Alfonz Nitsiza

Council: (Six)

  • George Nitsiza
  • Moise Nitsiza
  • Jimmy B Rabesca
  • Michael Rabesca
  • Freddy Simpson
  • Sonny Zoe


Michel Moosenose

Council: (Eight)

  • Alfred Flunkie
  • Mike Romie
  • Pierre Beaverho
  • Ted Nitsiza
  • Freddie Simpson
  • Charlie J. Nitsiza
  • Albert Nitsiza
  • Alfonz Nitsiza



Mezi Community School was named after Mezi Beaulieu, a respected elder who built the first cabin here sometime between 1850-1865 in what is now called Whatì. He is buried on the rim of land opposite the community where his grave is used as a place of prayer and feasting. Originally held in a wall tent in 1953, the school progressed to a log cabin in the early sixties to a larger log school, to the use of a community hall and a portable classroom to a modern school facility which was opened on the edge of the community in January 1983. Due to continuing growth, the school is now in the center of the community.


Mezi Community School offers programming from kindergarten through grade 12. Our students are primarily Tłı̨chǫ and their native language is called Tłı̨chǫ. We have a cultural program that carries on the traditional culture of the Tłı̨chǫ communities. We have an Aboriginal Language teacher who teaches Tłı̨chǫ from K -12. All of our students (K-8) receive Dogrib daily. There are three credit Tłı̨chǫ language courses offered at the High School Level.

We offer courses in Career and Technology. We offer special programs in Academy of Reading and Academy of Mathematics to those who are in need of extra help. Reading A-Z, Razkids (Reading Program), Star Fall (Reading), Super Sonic Phonics (Reading), LIPS (Reading), Reading Journey (Reading). This is coordinated through our Program Support Teacher (PST). We have a Positive Participation Program (PPP). The students are given ballots for doing something positive during the week. We have EBS program that has been used the last three years. We have a breakfast program that runs from the end of October to June. We have a cultural program that uses the equipment that the school has such as cabins, snowmobiles, boats etc. We usually have O Canada, morning prayer, and announcements in the morning. We have the Feeding the Fire Ceremony, which is performed, at the beginning of the school year. We have morning greeters.

Tlicho Government

The Tłįcho Government was established August 4th, 2005 as a result of the signing of the Tłįcho Agreement a modern land claim and self government between the Government of Canada and the Tłįcho people. The headquarters of the Tłįcho Government is located in Behchokǫ̀. The Grand Chief and the Tłįcho Executive Officer have offices in this community.

Visit the Tłįcho Government section to learn more about the programs provided in the Tłįcho Region. 

Tłįcho Government :

Phone Numbers:

Mail Addresses:

Box 412
Behchokǫ̀, NT
X0E 0Y0
Box 104
Gamètì, NT
X0E 1R0
Box 34
Wekweètì, NT
X0E 1W0
Box 92
Whatì, NT
X0E 1P0

You can also visit the Tłįcho Directory.



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