Preservation and Revitalization Initiatives


Dene Reserve Initiatives

Dens¶øiné is a living language, also known to linguists as “Chipewyan”. Many northern Saskatchewan communities continue to speak the Dene language. The language is classified an Athabascan language. A written version in Standard Roman orthography did not appear until late 1900s, however, the syllabic version was introduced for a religious purpose by Catholic and Methodist ministers throughout the north of Canada since the late 19th century. Today, daily language instructional programming and language material development in the schools and the communities are helping to keep the language alive.

Black Lake Denes¶øiné First Nation

  • Teaching Denes¶øiné in the school
  • A traditional cabin was built in the community in 2002 for language and culture initiatives
  • Hunting trips with elders, language and cultural instructor and children. (Once in a school year)
  • Teaching Denes¶øiné crafts, moccasins, snowshoes etc.
  • Drum classes with Dene cultural instructor
  • Dene language resource materials locally developed
  • Two Elders in residence, assisting the Denes¶øiné teacher
  • Two members from the school staff representing the community
    with the Dene Language Retention Committee.
  • (SICC) Dene dictionary project

Buffalo River Denes¶øiné Nation school

  • Teaching Denes¶øiné language in the school
  • Networking with the Navajo language immersion program
  • Elders in residence to assist language teachers
  • Cultural crafts, environment and protocol, language classes
    are taught by the Elders in residence
  • Archaeology/excavation camps in the surrounding area
  • Survival classes/traditional leave for students
  • Buffalo River will be hosting the next Dene gathering in August, 2004
  • Denes¶øiné dictionary participation

Birch Narrows Denes¶øiné Nations

  • Teaching Dene Language in the classrooms from K - 12
  • Elders in residence assisting with the language program
  • Cultural camp separate from the school surrounding
  • Crafts, protocol, environmental issues, survival skills classes
  • Elders in residence
  • Dene Language Retention Committee representative at the school
  • Locally developed language materials
  • Dene Dictionary project with Dene Language Retention Committee

Clearwater Denes¶øiné Nation

  • Teaching Dene language in the classroom, core language K - 9
  • Locally developed language materials has been put on hold
  • Cultural and protocol endeavours are being provided
  • Website address for more information

English River Denes¶øiné Nation

  • Teaching Dene Language in the classroom
  • Cultural program
  • Elders in residence to assist the language and cultural teachers.
  • K-12 full time Denes¶øiné language program
  • Locally developed language materials
  • A representative from the community who is active in the Dene Language Retention Committee
  • Denes¶øiné dictionary project for the years 2003,2004,2005

Fond Du Lac Denes¶øiné Nation

  • Teaching Dene Language in the classroom K - 9
  • Cultural camps and teaching traditional Dene protocol and survival skills
  • Dene Language Retention Committee representative in the school
    and community
  • Elders in residence

Hatchet Lake Denes¶øiné Nation

  • Denes¶øiné language classes
  • Culture camps once a year/teaching Dene protocol, survival skills/language
  • Dene language Retention committee representative
  • Elders in residence
  • Denes¶øiné K - 9 language curriculum guide/Sask. Learning

Saskatchewan Indian Cultural Centre