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The Dene people (/ˈdɛnɛ/ DEN-eh) are an aboriginal group of First Nations who inhabit the northern boreal and Arctic
Arctic
regions of Canada. The Dene speak Northern Athabaskan languages. Dene is the common Athabaskan word for "people" (Sapir 1915, p. 558). The term "Dene" has two usages. More commonly, it is used narrowly to refer to the Athabaskan speakers of the Northwest Territories
Northwest Territories
and Nunavut
Nunavut
in Canada, especially including the Chipewyan
Chipewyan
(Denesuline), Tlicho (Dogrib), Yellowknives
Yellowknives
(T'atsaot'ine), Slavey (Deh Gah Got'ine or Deh Cho), and Sahtu
Sahtu
(the Eastern group in Jeff Leer's classification; part of the Northwestern Canada
Canada
group in Keren Rice's classification). But it is sometimes also used to refer to all Northern Athabaskan speakers, who are spread in a wide range all across Alaska
Alaska
and northern Canada. Note that Dene never includes the Pacific Coast Athabaskan or Southern Athabaskan
Southern Athabaskan
speakers in the continental U.S.,[citation needed] despite the fact that the term is used to denote the Athabaskan languages
Athabaskan languages
as a whole (the Na-Dene
Na-Dene
language family). The Southern Athabaskan
Southern Athabaskan
speakers do, however, refer to themselves with similar words: Diné (Navajo) and Indé (Apache). Alexander Mackenzie described aspects of a number of northern Dene cultures in the late eighteenth century in his journal of his voyage down the Mackenzie River.[1]

Contents

1 Location 2 Ethnography 3 Notable Dene 4 See also 5 References 6 Further reading 7 External links

Location[edit] Dene are spread through a wide region. They live in the Mackenzie Valley (south of the Inuvialuit), and can be found west of Nunavut. Their homeland reaches to western Yukon, and the northern part of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Alaska
Alaska
and the southwestern United States.[2] Dene were the first people to settle in what is now the Northwest Territories. In northern Canada, historically there were ethnic feuds between the Dene and the Inuit. In 1996, Dene and Inuit
Inuit
representatives participated in a healing ceremony to reconcile the centuries-old grievances.[3] Behchoko, Northwest Territories
Northwest Territories
is the largest Dene community in Canada. Ethnography[edit] The Dene include five main groups:

Chipewyan
Chipewyan
(Denesuline), living east of Great Slave Lake, and including the Sayisi Dene
Sayisi Dene
living at Tadoule Lake, Manitoba Tlicho
Tlicho
(Dogrib), living between Great Slave and Great Bear Lakes Yellowknives
Yellowknives
(T'atsaot'ine), living north of Great Slave Lake Slavey (Deh Gah Got'ine or Deh Cho), the North Slavey (Sahtu, (Sahtúot’ine), including the Locheux, Nahanni, and Bear Lake peoples) living along the Mackenzie River
Mackenzie River
(Deh Cho) near Great Bear Lake, the South Slavey southwest of Great Slave Lake
Great Slave Lake
and into Alberta and British Columbia. Sahtu
Sahtu
(Sahtúot’ine), including the Locheux, Nahanni, and Bear Lake peoples, in the central NWT.

Although the above-named groups are what the term "Dene" usually refers to in modern usage, other groups who consider themselves Dene include:

Tsuu T'ina,[4] aka the Sarcee, currently located near Calgary, Alberta. The Beaver people (Danezaa or Dunneza) of northeastern British Columbia and neighbouring regions of northwestern Alberta. The Tahltan, Kaska, and Sekani
Sekani
people of the Northern Interior of British Columbia. Another group in this region, the Tsetsaut people, lived in the Portland Canal area of the northernmost BC Coast near the border with Alaska. They are now extinct. The Dakelh
Dakelh
(Carrier) peoples of the Northern and Central Interior of British Columbia, and their subgroup the Wet'suwet'en The Tsilhqot'in
Tsilhqot'in
people of the eponymous Chilcotin District of the Central Interior of British Columbia The extinct Nicola Athapaskans, aka the Stuwix ("strangers" in the Shuswap language), migrated south from northern BC into the Nicola Valley region in the late 18th century and were absorbed into the Nicola people, an alliance of Nlaka'pamux
Nlaka'pamux
and Okanagan peoples. The Gwich'in and Tanana and other peoples of Yukon
Yukon
and Alaska
Alaska
are also considered to be Dene, which is to say part of the family of Athapaskan-speaking peoples.

In 2005, elders from the Dene People decided to join the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation (UNPO) seeking recognition for their ancestral cultural and land rights. The largest population of Denesuline speakers live in the northern Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan
village of La Loche
La Loche
and the adjoining Clearwater River Dene Nation. In 2011 the combined population was 3389 people. The Denesuline language
Denesuline language
is spoken by 89% of the residents.[5] Notable Dene[edit]

Thanadelthur (c. 1697 – 5 February 1717) a woman of the Chipewyan Nation, a guide and interpreter, who was instrumental in forging a peace agreement between the Chipewyan
Chipewyan
and the Cree
Cree
people Ethel Blondin-Andrew, former MP for Western Arctic
Arctic
(Northwest Territories) Leela Gilday, Canadian folk singer, Juno winner Jimmy Herman (1940-2013) actor, Dances with Wolves Matonabbee (c. 1737–1782), guide for Samuel Hearne's expedition to the Coppermine River Tahmoh Penikett, actor, Battlestar Galactica and Dollhouse Eric Schweig, actor, The Last of the Mohicans

See also[edit]

Athabaskan languages Alaskan Athabaskans (Alaskan Dene, Tinneh), Athabaskan peoples of the interior of Alaska Navajo
Navajo
Nation (Diné), southern Athabaskan people Apache
Apache
people (Inde), southern Athabaskan people Hupa, California Athabaskan people Cahto people, California Athabaskan people Mattole people, California Athabaskan people Wailaki, California Athabaskan people Galice language-speakers (Oregon Athabaskan): Chetco, Tolowa, Coquille, Tututni

References[edit]

^ [1] ^ " First Nations
First Nations
Culture Areas Index". the Canadian Museum of Civilization.  ^ "CBC's David McLauchlin dies at 56". CBC News. May 26, 2003.  ^ " Dene History". Tsuu T'ina Nation
Tsuu T'ina Nation
website. Archived from the original on March 8, 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-04.  ^ "History of La Loche
La Loche
( La Loche
La Loche
2011)". 2012-11-15. 

Further reading[edit]

Abel, Kerry M. Drum Songs: Glimpses of Dene History. McGill-Queen's studies in ethnic history, 15. Montreal: Buffalo, 1993. ISBN 0-7735-0992-5 Bielawski, E. Rogue Diamonds: Northern Riches on Dene Land. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2004. ISBN 0-295-98419-8 Holland, Lynda, Celina Janvier, and Larry Hewitt. The Dene Elders Project: Stories and History from the Westside. La Ronge, Sask: Holland-Dalby Educational Consulting, 2002. ISBN 0-921848-23-4 Marie, Suzan, and Judy Thompson. Dene Spruce Root Basketry: Revival of a Tradition. Mercury series. Hull, Quebec: Canadian Museum of Civilization, 2002. ISBN 0-660-18830-9 Marie, Suzan, and Judy Thompson. Whadoo Tehmi Long-Ago People's Packsack: Dene Babiche Bags : Tradition and Revival. Mercury series. Gatineau, Québec: Canadian Museum of Civilization, 2004. ISBN 0-660-19248-9 Moore, Patrick, and Angela Wheelock. Wolverine Myths and Visions: Dene Traditions from Northern Alberta. Studies in the anthropology of North American Indians. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1990. ISBN 0-8032-8161-7 Ryan, Joan. Doing Things the Right Way: Dene Traditional Justice in Lac La Martre, N.W.T.. Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 1995. ISBN 1-895176-62-X Sharp, Henry S. Loon: Memory, Meaning, and Reality in a Northern Dene Community. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2001. ISBN 0-8032-4292-1 Watkins, Mel. Dene Nation, the Colony Within. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1977. ISBN 0-8020-2264-2 Wake, Val. White Bird Black Bird, Charleston, South Carolina, Booksurge, 2008 ISBN 1-4392-0345-8

External links[edit]

Dene Nation People of the Deh Cho Dene Crafts: Explore photographs, a comprehensive bibliography, and a brief history of Dene Crafts. Voyages from Montreal Through the Continent of North America to the Frozen and Pacific Oceans in 1789 and 1793 Vol. I (1902 ed.) Voyages from Montreal Through the Continent of North America to the Frozen and Pacific Oceans in 1789 and 1793 Vol. II (1903 ed.) 1970s The Rise of Aboriginal Political Organizations NWT Historical Timeline, Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre

v t e

First Nations
First Nations
in Alberta

Cultural areas

Plains Subartic

Historical confederacies

Blackfoot
Blackfoot
Confederacy Iron Confederacy

Numbered Treaties

Treaty 6
Treaty 6
(Central Alberta, 1876) Treaty 7
Treaty 7
(Southern Alberta, 1877) Treaty 8
Treaty 8
(Northern Alberta, 1899)

Ethno-cultural groups and languages

Umbrella Groups (language families)

Athapascan

Dene

Algonquian

Anishinaabe Cree Blackfoot

Siouxan

Nakota

Historically

Eastern Shoshone
Eastern Shoshone
/ Sosoni

language

Kootenay / Ktunaxa

language

Gros Ventre
Gros Ventre
/ A'aninin

language

Present-day

Beaver / Daneẕaa

language

Blackfoot
Blackfoot
/ Niitsítapi (language) Chipewyan
Chipewyan
/ Denésoliné

language

Plains Cree
Cree
/ Paskwāwiyiniwak (language) Sarcee / Tsuu T'ina

language

Saulteaux
Saulteaux
/ Nakawē (language) Slavey / Dene Tha'

language

Stoney / Nakoda (language) Woodland Cree
Cree
/ Sakāwithiniwak

language

First Nation governments (bands)

Alexander Alexis Athabasca Chipewyan Bearspaw Beaver Beaver Lake Cree Bigstone Cree Chiniki Chipewyan
Chipewyan
Prairie Cold Lake Dene Tha' Driftpile Duncan's Enoch Cree Ermineskin Cree Fort McKay Fort McMurray Frog Lake Heart Lake Horse Lake Kainai Kapawe'no Kehewin Cree Little Red River Cree Loon River Louis Bull Lubicon Lake Mikisew Cree Montana O'Chiese Paul Piikani Saddle Lake Samson Cree Sawridge Siksika Smith's Landing Sturgeon Lake Sucker Creek Sunchild Swan River Tallcree Tsuu T'ina Wesley Whitefish Lake (Atikameg) Whitefish Lake (Goodfish) Woodland Cree

Regional and tribal councils

Athabasca Tribal Council Confederacy of Treaty 6
Treaty 6
First Nations Four Nations Administration Kee Tas Kee Now Tribal Council Lesser Slave Lake
Slave Lake
Indian Regional Council North Peace Tribal Council Treaty 8
Treaty 8
First Nations
First Nations
of Alberta Treaty 7
Treaty 7
Management Corporation Western Cree
Cree
Tribal Council Yellowhead Tribal Council

Acho Dene Koe First Nation (land claim, based in NWT) Onion Lake Cree
Cree
Nation (part of reserve, mostly in SK) Kelly Lake (land claim, urecognized, based in BC) Michel Band (unrecognized band) Papaschase (unrecognized band) Sharphead (extinct band) List of Indian reserves in Alberta

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