Dene K’e

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Language Family: Dene (Athabaskan)

Language known as: Dene, Dene Tha’, Acha'otinne, Dene Tha (ᑌ ᒐ)
Key Phrases
Sa Na NeedlehA - Long time no see
For more key phrases see the First Voices Archive

Dene K’e is spoken in the far Northeast corner of British Columbia, the southeast corner of the Yukon, the Northwest Territories and northern Alberta. The language is called Dene Tha’ where it is spoken in northern Alberta and has been known by the English name "Slave". In spite of its originally pejorative sense, the term "Slave" is in often used by Dene K’e people when speaking English and is a translation of Cree "awahka:n" meaning "captive/slave"1.

The people of the Fort Nelson First Nation are the only Dene K’e speaking community in British Columbia2.

State of the Language


First Nation Population Fluent Speakers Understand or Speak Somewhat Learning Speakers
Fort Nelson First Nation388458128154
Total88458128154