Documenting the Dene Diaspora

An interdisciplinary and community-engaged research project aiming to develop a living digital archive documenting the scientific story of Dene peoples and the traditional and historical knowledge of the Dene.

Dene (or Athapaskan) peoples constitute the largest and most geographically widespread Indigenous group in North America. For both scholars and Dene people, however, there may be uneven knowledge of the magnitude of the greater Dene Nation, both geographically and historically. This project seeks to amalgamate linguistic, ethnographic, and material culture knowledge as preparation for the development of a single, searchable, and expandable on-line database documenting the scientific story of Dene peoples as well as the traditional and historical knowledge of the Dene themselves. This living archive will be housed at the University of Alberta and could well serve as a model repository that is accessible to both community members and diverse scholars, especially since the need is great for documenting the languages and lifeways of other First Peoples in Canada.