Land of the People 

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.

Our objective is to support the Dene Territories and Dene Communities in upholding the rights and interests of the Dene, including rights and interests arising from Dene use and occupation of lands (hereinafter referred to as “Denendeh”) and Dene rights and interests arising from Treaties.

About Us

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.


Chiefs List

The Dene Nation’s leadership team is composed of Chiefs and representatives from across the Denendeh; including Gwich’in; Sahtu; Deh Cho; Tlicho; Akaitcho and Independent Members.



The Dene Nation had multiple demands to help promote education and advocacy in areas important to the Denendeh. We have Administration, Health, Environment and a Resource Centre for all members


From Our People

Beaver pelts being traditionally stretched from spring harvest

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”.

Beaver pelts being traditionally stretched from spring harvest
Beaver pelts being traditionally stretched from spring harvest

5120 – 49th 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