Dene Suɬiné


  • belongs to the Athabaskan or Dene language family
  • spoken by about 10,000 people in Northern Canada (Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the Northwest Territories) in a variety of dialects
  • it is the second-largest language in the Athabaskan family after Navaho
  • the fourth-largest Indigenous language in Canada, after Cree, Ojibwe, and Inuktitut
  • in many comunities children are not acquiring the language, so Dene Sųłiné’s continued survival is threatened
  • the name of the language is made up of the word Dene meaning ‘person’ or ‘people’ and Sųłiné meaning ‘authentic’ or ‘original’


Cold Lake First Nation