On 1 January 1996, the community officially changed its name from Lac La Martre to the Tli Cho name "Wha Ti", meaning "Marten Lake," the same meaning as the French and then on 4 August 2005 to the current spelling. Other traditional Tli Cho names for the settlement include Tsoti ('fouled water lake') and Mine Go Kola ('net fishing with houses').
With rich and varied wildlife, the area has long been a favored hunting ground of the Dogrib people. The North West Company established a trading post there in 1793, and many natives began settling there permanently, while they continued to hunt and fish in the area.
While trapping, hunting, and fishing continue to be the main economic activities in this traditional community, efforts have been made to develop tourism as well. A fishing lodge was opened, and many tourists come to see the abundant wildlife, including black bears, Barren-ground Caribou, Gray Wolves, and eagles. The community takes especial pride in the fact that no alcohol is allowed there.
Whatì is part of the Tlicho Government.