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Welcome to the Official Website of the Dene Nation

Also known as the Athapaskan peoples, the Dene Nation is a political organization in Denendeh, meaning “The Land of the People”, located in Northwest Territories, Canada. The Dene Nation covers a large geographical area — from present day Alaska to the southern-most tip of North America.

The Dene Nation has existed for over 30,000 years, with one language and many dialects: Gwich’in; Sahtu; Deh Cho; Tlicho; and, Akaitcho. The Dene have always been sustained by the land and all that it has to offer.


Located In Yellowknife

Dene Nation
5125 – 50th Street
P.O. Box 2338
Yellowknife, NT
X1A 2P7
Phone: 1-867-873-4081
Toll Free: 1-866-511-4081
Fax: 1-867-920-2254



Assembly Documents

Get more information about the 45th Dene National Assembly in Deline, July 20-24, 2015

Beaver pelts being traditionally stretched from spring harvest


Gwich’in flute player William Greenland demonstrates the music of two flutes at the annual Dene Nation BBQ held in Samba’Ke (Yellowknife), Denendeh on June 17, 2011.


Elder Mary Wilson of Fort Good Hope, Denendeh, wrote the following excerpt on the nation of Dene:

“In the past, the Dene of the five tribes were scattered because they lived on the land to make their living and some still do. But as time changed so did the lifestyle of the people. They began to feel the pressures from developments surrounding them. So they decided to join and form an organization. That’s how the Dene Nation came to be.

In the year of 1969, the Indian Brotherhood was formed in the Northwest Territories. This is a political organization to represent the Treaty Indians of the five tribes: Dogrib, Chipewyan, Southern Slavey, Northern Slavey and the Loucheux. By researching Treaties #8 and #11 signed by the Federal Government on land claims and protection of Aboriginal rights.

In 1975, they declared themselves to a nation within Canada with the right to self-determination, changing their name from Indian Brotherhood of the Northwest Territories to Dene Nation, as it is called today, to represent all Dene and their descendants of the five tribes. At this time a more comprehensive land claims negotiations team was formed. Today we are still fighting for the rights to our land and resources, as negotiations goes on”.

**NOTE: Written Verbatim — (word-for-word from original source); date unknown.



George Mackenzie of Behchoko, Denendeh, explains the signs made with the hands during a round of Dene Handgames. The demonstration was given at the Aboriginal Pavilion in Vancouver, British Columbia during the 2010 Winter Olympics when the Dene Nation was asked to host “Dene Nation Day” as part of its 40th Year Celebration.