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  1. Jan 2019
  2. Mar 2017
    1. Dene

      The Dene people are a part of a tribe located on the western subarctic region of Canada, where they experience harsh winters and short summers in the tundra-dominated territory. They are a part of a larger family of Aboriginal cultures known as the Athapaskan people, including the Chipewyan, Dogrib, Hare, Kutchin, Tutchone, Tahltan, Beaver, Carrier and Slavey. The word Dene in Athapaskan translates to “the people."

      They rely heavily on caribou; it provides food, clothing, tools, and housing. They also hunted moose, musk-ox, rabbit, and fished to maintain their economy. However, it was not uncommon for tribe members to succumb to starvation and cold, as there was not much food in the southern region. For tribes located further west, the forests and rivers provided more opportunities for food, such as salmon.

      The typical housing situation for the Dene varies, because most of the tribe members lead nomadic lives which requires materials that are easily transportable using toboggans. Housing ranged from skin-covered, dome-shaped tipis to cabins built with poles to dugout pit houses. The Dene are socially organized in small groups of families who travel together, though groups of up to 600 is known to happen. The family dynamic is traditional, where the men are the dominant figure. Though as individuals they were granted great amounts of freedom, menstruating women and girls entering puberty were forced in isolation in fear of upsetting the hunting spirits. Dene Chiefs did not reign indefinitely and were chosen based on merit and for temporary situations.

      "Canada A Country by Consent: Native Peoples: Dene." Canada A Country by Consent: Native Peoples: Dene. Accessed March 06, 2017. http://www.canadahistoryproject.ca/1500/1500-11-dene.html.