In Łı́ı́dlı̨ı̨ Kų́ę́, the language we speak is “Dene Zhatıe” or “South Slavey”. The name Łı́ı́dlı̨ı̨ Kų́ę́ means “where the two rivers meet”. Slavey comes from the description of a group of Dene living in the boreal forest region of the western Canadian Subarctic. There is no term for this group in Dene languages, but “Slavey” has been adopted by many Dene as a collective term of self-designation when speaking English.
Fun fact: Did you know there are five Dene languages in the Northwest Territories? Learn more about these different languages and where region they come from.
Listen to the Language
To watch the Nahanni River of Forgiveness film, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for a link to watch it online!
Check out the South Slavey dictionary! It shows many Dene Zhatie words and if you click on it, it will read it out loud for you!
Practice the Language
There are five tribal groups of Dene that have evolved into what is now referred to as “Denendeh” which means “the Creator’s Spirit flows through this Land”. These five tribes have evolved their own language and customs and are the:
- Gwich’in in the Mackenzie Delta Region,
- North Slavey in the Sathu Region,
- South Slavey in the Dehcho Region,
- Chipewyan in the South Slave Region, and the
- Dogrib in the North Slave Region.