Indigenous North Americas|
The Dene people (//) are an indigenous group of First Nations who inhabit the northern boreal and Arctic regions of Canada. The Dene speak Northern Athabaskan languages. Dene is the common Athabaskan word for "people". The term "Dene" has two uses:
- Most commonly, "Dene" is used narrowly to refer to the Athabaskan speakers of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut in Canada, especially the Chipewyan (Denesuline), Tlicho (Dogrib), Yellowknives (T'atsaot'ine), Slavey (Deh Gah Got'ine or Deh Cho), and Sahtu[a]
- "Dene" is sometimes also used to refer to all Northern Athabaskan speakers, who are spread in a wide range all across Alaska and northern Canada.[b]
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 and the southwestern United States. 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 representatives participated in a healing ceremony to reconcile the centuries-old grievances.
Behchoko, Northwest Territories is the largest Dene community in Canada.
This section needs additional citations for verification. (July 2023)
The Dene include five main groups:
- Chipewyan (Denesuline), living east of Great Slave Lake, and including the Sayisi Dene living at Tadoule Lake, Manitoba
- Tlicho (Dogrib), living between Great Slave and Great Bear Lakes
- 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 (Deh Cho) near Great Bear Lake, the South Slavey southwest of Great Slave Lake and into Alberta and British Columbia.
- 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, a.k.a. 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 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 (Carrier) peoples of the Northern and Central Interior of British Columbia, and their subgroup the Wet'suwet'en
- The Tsilhqot'in people of the eponymous Chilcotin District of the Central Interior of British Columbia
- The extinct Nicola Athapaskans, a.k.a. 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 and Okanagan peoples.
- The Gwich'in and Tanana and other peoples of Yukon and 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 village of La Loche and the adjoining Clearwater River Dene Nation. In 2011 the combined population was 3389 people. The Denesuline language is spoken by 89% of the residents.
- 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 and the Cree people
- Ethel Blondin-Andrew, former MP for Western 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
- Jim Boucher, politician, businessman
- Shannon Smallwood, justice of the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories
- Be'sha Blondin, elder and founder of the Arctic Indigenous Wellness Foundation
- Athabaskan languages
- Alaskan Athabaskans (Alaskan Dene, Tinneh), Athabaskan peoples of the interior of Alaska
- Navajo Nation (Diné), southern Athabaskan people
- 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
- The listed Athabaskan tribes are the Eastern group in Jeff Leer's classification; but in Keren Rice's classification they part of the Northwestern Canada group.
- Southern Athabaskan speakers also refer to themselves by similar words: Diné (Navajo) and Indé (Apache).
- Sapir (1915), p. 558
- "First Nations culture areas index". The Canadian Museum of Civilization.
- "CBC's David McLauchlin dies at 56". CBC News. 26 May 2003.
- "Dene History". Tsuu T'ina Nation. Archived from the original on 8 March 2009. Retrieved 4 January 2009.
- "History of La Loche". PortageLaLoche. La Loche 2011 census. 15 November 2012.
- Sapir, Edward (1915), "The Na-Dene languages: A preliminary report", American Anthropologist, 17 (3): 534–558, doi:10.1525/aa.1915.17.3.02a00080, JSTOR 660504.
- Abel, Kerry M. (1993). Drum Songs: Glimpses of Dene history. McGill-Queen's studies in ethnic history. Vol. 15. Montreal, Quebec: Buffalo. ISBN 0-7735-0992-5.
- Bielawski, E. (2004). Rogue Diamonds: Northern riches on Dene land. Seattle, Washington: University of Washington Press. ISBN 0-295-98419-8.
- Holland, Lynda; Janvier, Celina; Hewitt, Larry (2002). The Dene Elders Project: Stories and history from the west side. La Ronge, Saskatchewan: Holland-Dalby Educational Consulting. ISBN 0-921848-23-4.
- Marie, Suzan; Thompson, Judy (2002). Dene Spruce Root Basketry: Revival of a tradition. Mercury series. Hull, Quebec: Canadian Museum of Civilization. ISBN 0-660-18830-9.
- Marie, Suzan; Thompson, Judy (2004). Whadoo Tehmi Long-Ago People's Packsack: Dene babiche bags: Tradition and revival. Mercury series. Gatineau, Quebec: Canadian Museum of Civilization. ISBN 0-660-19248-9.
- Moore, Patrick; Wheelock, Angela (1990). Wolverine Myths and Visions: Dene traditions from northern Alberta. Studies in the anthropology of North American Indians. Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press. ISBN 0-8032-8161-7.
- Ryan, Joan (1995). Doing Things the Right Way: Dene traditional justice in Lac La Martre, N.W.T. Calgary, Alberta: University of Calgary Press. ISBN 1-895176-62-X.
- Sharp, Henry S. (2001). Loon: Memory, meaning, and reality in a Northern Dene community. Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press. ISBN 0-8032-4292-1.
- Watkins, Mel (1977). Dene Nation – the Colony Within. Toronto, Ontario: University of Toronto Press. ISBN 0-8020-2264-2.
- "Explore photographs, a comprehensive bibliography, and a brief history of Dene Crafts". Dene Crafts. Calgary, AB: University of Calgary. Archived from the original on 28 February 2009.
- Mackenzie, Alexander (1903) [August 1902]. Voyages from Montreal Through the Continent of North America to the Frozen and Pacific Oceans in 1789 and 1793. Vol. I. New York, NY: A.S. Barnes & Co. – via Gutenberg.org.
- Mackenzie, Alexander (1903) [August 1902]. Voyages from Montreal Through the Continent of North America to the Frozen and Pacific Oceans in 1789 and 1793. Vol. II. New York, NY: A.S. Barnes & Co. – via Gutenberg.org.
- "1970s The rise of Aboriginal political organizations". NWT Historical Timeline. Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre. Archived from the original on 14 March 2012.