World Snow Sculpting Championship
CANADA - TEAM NT
Niki McKenzie, Maddy Tetrault
Deh Cho Crossing
Three caribou struggle through the turbulent waters of the Deh Cho, escaping a wave of fire. This summer, 70% of the population of the Northwest Territories was evacuated due to wildfires. Thousands of people fled the fire over the Deh Cho bridge- the only road out. When caribou cross rivers, they are at their most vulnerable. Deh Cho, literally translated, is “Big River.” It is 4,241 km (2,635 mi) long and spans up to 7,000 meters (23,000ft). Life north of 60° latitude is precarious. As our climate shifts, our ecosystems are in danger. Increased risk of fire threatens caribou habitat, and their numbers are dwindling. We are surrounded by boreal forest, and as drought conditions worsen, we find ourselves buried under 235 million acres of tinder. When the fire was at our doorstep, some members of our team stayed behind to help aid firefighting
efforts in Yellowknife, NT. When do you leave your home? Before or after the flames have claimed it?
1989 marked the single year record for forest fires in Canada: 19 million acres burned.
2023 saw over 45 million acres reduced to ashes. More than 200,000 Canadians were evacuated from their homes. The piece is inspired by Peter Sawatzky’s “Seal River Crossing” a brass sculpture depicting a migrating herd of caribou.