Fort Smith students were acknowledged for attending the formal proceedings of the Dene Leadership Meeting from October 24 to 27, 2011.


Let us know about any news story or community event that you think we should include on this page, contact us. Mahsi Cho.







September 12, 2012




Gwich'in Tribal Council President Robert Alexie Jr. signed the Devolution Agreement In Principle (AIP) with the Government of the Northwest Territories, saying that the litigation they proceeded with against the GNWT was a learning experience. The signing of the AIP puts the Gwich'in Tribal Council at the main negotiations table for devolution. Robert Alexie Jr. is scheduled for a radio interview on CKLB's "Denendeh Sunrise" on Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 7:00 a.m. to discuss the decision.





The Giant Mine hearings held in Yellowknife is being broadcast "live" on online webcast at


Following dates and times are scheduled for the webcast:


September 10TH: 9:00 AM-5:00 PM

September 11th: 9:00 AM-3:30 PM and 7:00 PM-9:30 PM (Community Hearing)

September 12th: 9:00 AM-3:30 PM and 7:00 PM-9:30 PM (Community Hearing-evening session held at Chief Drygeese Conference Centre, Dettah, NT)

September 13th: 9:00 AM-5:00 PM

September 14th: 9:00 AM-5:00 PM










Impact Of NWT Wildlife Act on Treaty 8 & 11 Conference



Katlodeechi First Nation in Hay River, Denendeh will hold a conference on “Impact of NWT Wildlife Act on Treaty 8 and 11” from September 18 to 20, 2012. The conference will be held at Chief Lamalise Complex.


The goal of this conference will be to allow participants to explore:


- Impacts of the NWT Wildlife Act has had on Treaty 8 and 11 Rights

- Impacts of the Revised NWT Wildlife Act on Treaty 8 and 11 Rights

- Ways of challenging the enactment of the Revised NWT Wildlife Act


- Ensure that Treaty 8 and 11 Rights are protected with the the Wildlife Act


There will be no conference fees if enough funding is raised to cover all the costs.




SSRB in Fort Good Hope


The Sahtu Renewable Resources Board (SRRB) and the Fort Good Hope Renewable Resources Council (RRC) are partnering in hosting meetings at the Community Hall in Fort Good Hope, Denendeh on September 18-19, 2012. Visitors are welcomed to join in the discussions and asked to bring dancing slippers for the fiddle dance that takes place on September 18th. Enjoy!!














For Immediate Release

June 15, 2012

Yellowknife, Denendeh


Dene National Chief Bill Erasmus Writes Premier Redford Concerning Oil Spills in Alberta


Dene National Chief Bill Erasmus has written Alberta’s Premier, Alison Redford, to express the Dene Nation’s concern about recent pipeline failures and oil spills in the province.


“Dene have international Treaties that pre-date the creation of Alberta, and your government has a legal and constitutional responsibility to work with our communities and governments on issues that impact Denendeh,” said Erasmus in the letter.


Chief Erasmus also took issue with the lack of communication and consultation between Alberta’s government and the Dene Nation when spills do occur. “We are concerned that Dene communities have not been notified of some spills, nor have Dene communities been consulted or updated on spill remediation. Dene communities are impacted by these spills, and there must be communication between the Dene Nation, Dene communities, and Alberta’s government when spills occur,” Erasmus said.




For more information please contact: Daniel T’seleie, at the Dene National Office (867) 873-4081.






June 8, 2012

Yellowknife, Denendeh


National Day of Healing and Reconciliation


June 11, 2012 marks the anniversary of the Federal Governments apology to Indian Residential School Survivors. This long awaited apology was met with happiness, fear, disbelief and tears of joy and sorrow by Aboriginal Peoples across Canada. An excerpt from Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Speech reads:


The residential school system, he said, was “based on the assumption aboriginal cultures and spiritual beliefs were inferior and unequal. Indeed, some sought, as it was infamously said, ‘to kill the Indian in the child’.  Today, we recognize that this policy of assimilation was wrong, [and] has caused great harm”.


Dene National Chief Bill Erasmus invites, “everyone to attend the event organized by the Dene Nation to commemorate this historical day”.

The event will be held from 11:30 AM – 2:30 PM at the Somba Ke Civic Plaza (beside City Hall). A BBQ lunch will be served and speakers will include Dene National Chief Bill Erasmus among others. There will be performers at the Amphitheatre singing and entertaining the crowd. Come out and enjoy yourselves, visit with friends and support each other.


Dene National Chief Bill Erasmus welcomes all People to come and honour the Indian Residential School survivors and their families.  We ask everyone to come out and begin our healing and reconciliation together.


All people are invited and welcomed. Let's heal together as people of the north and work together toward reconciliaiton for our future generations.


For more information contact Barrett Lenoir, Executive Assistant at 867-873-4081




May 31st, 2012
Yellowknife, NT


Pipeline Spill In Muskeg Near Alberta-NWT Border a Concern For Denendeh


The spill of 22,000 barrels of emulsion, a fifty-fifty mix of water and oil, from a Pace Oil & Gas pipeline in northern Alberta has the Dene Nation concerned about potential ecosystem and health impacts to downstream communities in the Northwest Territories and beyond.


“This spill is less than 200 kilometers from the Alberta-Northwest Territories border, which means that it’s in the watershed that flows north to Great Slave Lake and on to the Arctic Ocean via the Mackenzie River,” said Dene National Chief Bill Erasmus. “As with any source of upstream pollution there is a huge concern for northern communities as people still drink the water from rivers and lakes, and harvest food from the land. This includes non-Dene who live in our homeland.”


This spill also highlights the need for more effective and timely communication about upstream oil spills. “This spill occurred on May 19th, and only today did the Dene National Office become aware of it, and only because it was reported in national media,” Erasmus said. “Everyone, including industry, is responsible as stewards of the land. We therefore question, why are First Nation governments and other authorities not made aware of such a large spill?”


The spill covers an area of approximately 4 hectares of muskeg (swamp and bog land) and is located near Rainbow Lake in Northwestern Alberta. Pace Oil & Gas is one of many companies involved in Alberta’s development of fossil fuels.


For more information please contact: Daniel T’seleie, at the Dene National Office (867) 873-4081.


May 1, 2012
Yellowknife, NT




Like others, the Dene Nation is concerned that Prime Minister Harper and his Cabinet are preventing scientists employed by the federal government from speaking about important research projects conducted by their departments.


Federal scientists attending the International Polar Year (IPY) conference in Montreal last week were kept on a tight leash, being tailed by government media monitors. Many Dene were present at the conference, including Dene Nation staff.


“The federal government’s muzzling of scientists is reminiscent of U.S. McCarthyism in the cold-war era,” said Dene National Chief Bill Erasmus. “This government fears scientific facts and research. It’s almost like they are trying to turn discussions of environmental science into a political war to be fought on an ideological battleground. They are extreme in their views and need to work with us based on our Treaties which are focused on co-existence.”


Dene and other people around the world have a right to hear about environmental research conducted by federal scientists in a timely fashion, and without the bias of a political filter.


“Our communities in Denendeh are facing threats from upstream pollution and other long-range contaminants like persistent organic pollutants which are transmitted by wind, water and rain. Our environment is warming two to three times more rapidly than the rest of the globe, and the impacts of climate change are becoming more and more prevalent. We have a right to hear from scientists about research that is being conducted on our land and in the Arctic.” Erasmus said. “If we don’t fight for our right to information and representation we will stay on the course to living in a police state.”



For more information please contact: Daniel T’seleie, at Dene National Office (867) 873-4081.









Celebration cakes were enjoyed by all the attendees in each of the four Gwich'in communities.


Gwich'in Tribal Council organizers L-R: Wanda McDonald, Mary Ann Ross and Brenda McDonald.


Former Indian and Northern Affairs Minister, Tom Siddon wearing the original beaded jacket he was presented with 20 years ago at the signing of the Gwich'in Comprehenisive Land Claim Agreement. As a gesture of repatriation, Mr. Siddon returned the jacket to the Gwich'in Tribal Council which is to be displayed with honour within the Gwich'in Social and Cultural Institute.





The Gwich'in Tribal Council celebrated 20 years since the signing of the Gwich'in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement with the theme of "Honouring Our Values, Traditions and Culture". The celebration took place from April 19 to 22, 2012 with opening ceremonies in Aklavik on Thursday afternoon with special dignitaries' guests, elders and youth in attendance.


The communities of Aklavik, Fort McPherson and Tsiigehtchik held traditional games, feasts and entertainment provided by the Good Time Band. Many elders and various individuals took to an open microphone to reflect on their own experiences with respect to the last 20 years. The closing ceremony was held at Sir Alexander Mackenzie School in Inuvik where Richard Nerysoo, President of the Gwich'in Tribal Council, gave welcome and opening remarks to all in attendance.


Former federal Indian and Northern Affairs minister Tom Siddon was given the honour of special guest. He and his wife attended and participated in all four community events. Other speakers at the closing ceremony in Inuvik on Sunday, March 22, 2012 who made presentations were Trish Merrithew-Mercredi, (former) Regional Director General for the Northwest Territories and Honourable Robert C. McLeod, Minister for Municipal and Community Affairs; Youth; NWT Housing Corporation, was the representative of the Government of the Northwest Territories. Original negotiators and signatories to the Gwich'in Comprehensive Land Claims Agreement were Willard Hagen and Charlie Furlong. The Mayor of Inuvik Denny Rogers also attended the event. Dene National Chief Bill Erasmus participated and enjoyed square dancing and even came in second place in the one-kilometre Men's Snowshoe Race. NDP-MP for Western Arctic (Northwest Territories) Dennis Bevington decided to attend and participate in the feasts and dancing.


In each of the communities, Margaret Gordon of the Gwich'in Social and Cultural Institute provided a unique perspective of key milestone dates, people, events and archival images in a 20-minute Powerpoint presentation. This was followed up with another presentation provided by Sharon Snowshoe.


The Dene Nation and people in Denedeh give "Congratulations" to the Gwich'in Tribal Council for such a successful event!


A popular favourite for generations of children, students and visiting friends have fun with balloons handed out at the celebration in Aklavik.



Dene National Chief Bill Erasmus returns to the starting line in the Men's Snowshoe Race in Tsiigehtchik, Denendeh; received second-place prize.


There were many young people participating in all the events in the four Gwich'in communities and showed their talents in the square dancing and jigging contests. Above: Jessica and Kelsey Blake take some time out.











June 11, 2012 – National Day of Healing and Reconciliation (Somba Ke Park/City Hall - 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.)- Yellowknife, NT


June 11, 2012 – Liidlii Kue First Nation, Chief & Council Election - Fort Simpson, NT


June 21, 2012 – National Aboriginal Day - Canada


June 25-29, 2012 – Deh Cho First Nation Assembly – Fort Simpson, NT


July 2-6, 2012 – 42nd Dene National Assembly – Whati, NT

July 10-12, 2012 – Tlicho Assembly – Wekwee’ti, NT

July 16-20, 2012 – AFN Annual General Assembly – Toronto, ON


August 15-17, 2012 – Akaitcho Assembly


November 4, 2012 – Daylight Saving Time Ends






April 16-19, 2012 - Dene Leadership Meeting - Inuvik, NT

March 5-9, 2012 – Healing Conference: “Walk of Life” – Inuvik, NT

March 8, 2012 – AFN Executive Conference Call – 12:30 p.m. EST

March 5-7, 2012– Assembly of First Nations National Water Conference, Edmonton, AB (Marriott Hotel)

October 24-27, 2011 - Dene Leadership Meeting - Fort Smith, NT

March 17-18, 2011 - Dene Elders Gathering - Hay River Dene Reserve, NT

August 19-23, 2010 - Keepers of the Water Conference - Hatchet, SK

August 17-19, 2010 - Treaty Conference - Fort Simpson, NT

July 19-23, 2010 - Assembly of First Nations Annual Assembly - Winnipeg, MN

July 12-16, 2010 - 40th Dene National Assembly - Fort Good Hope, NT

August 23-27, 2010 - Sahtu – Deline, NT

August 9-13, 2010 - Gwich’in – Aklavik, NT

July 5-9, 2010 - Tli Cho – Gameti, NT

June 21-25, 2010 - Deh Cho – Hay River, NT

June 1-3, 2010 - Akaitcho – Fort Smith, NT

May 15-17, 2012 – 15th Tlicho Assembly Session – Gameti, NT

April 5-7, 2012 - Yellowknives Dene First Nation 2012 Annual Spring Carnival - Dettah, NT
March 30, 2012 – Balsillie Cup – Yellowknife, NT

March 23-25, 2012 – Long John Jamboree – Yellowknife, NT

March 20, 2012 - First Day of Spring

March 17, 2012 – St. Patrick’s Day

March 15-18, 2012 – Men’s Hangame Tournament – Behchoko, NT

March 11, 2012 – Daylight Saving Time Begins

March 4-10, 2012 – 2012 Arctic Winter Games – Whitehorse, YT

March 3-18, 2012 – YKD1 & YK Catholic School Spring Break – Yellowknife, NT

March 2-4, 2012 - 28th Annual K’amba Carnival - Hay River, NT

June 17, 2011 - Dene Nation BBQ - Samba Ke Park - Yellowknife, NT




Each summer, the Dene Nation hosts its Dene Nation Day in Yellowknife for public participation. Entertainment is provided as people from all walks of life join in the festivity and learn a bit about what the Dene Nation does for the people of Denendeh.



For more information on events contact us.




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