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Dene Nahjo is a Dene collective, composed of predominantly Dene people, based out of Somba K’e, Denendeh. We came together in 2012 during the winter of Idle No More. When the rallies and round dances started to slow down, we continued to meet, and we eventually decided to focus our energies on connecting to land, and (re)learning Dene and Indigenous skills, values and knowledge as a foundation for action. We believe that by connecting to land, language, culture and community, we become stronger, more compassionate, and more capable of building free Dene and Indigenous futures. We’ve talked and worked with many people over the years, and together we are all working towards similar visions in our own ways.
Dene Nahjo is a concept for which you’ll hear a different definition based on who you ask. When we ask our Elders what Dene Nahjo means, they often tell us a story about a person who is good, capable, kind, and intelligent. We tend to say that Dene Nahjo means “the way of the people,” of “the Dene way.”
Innovation is a Dene tradition, and we frame our work within the context of Indigenous innovation.