A language of Canada


2,080 (2011 census). 250 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 3,220.


Northwest Territories, between Great Slave lake and Great Bear lake. 6 communities: Bechoko, Whati (formerly Lac la Martre), Gameti, Wekweti, Detah, and Ndilo (a subcommunity of Yellowknife). Rae is center. Detah and Ndilo host the Weledeh dialect.

Language Maps
Language Status

5 (Developing). Statutory language of provincial identity in NWT (1988, NWT Official Languages Act, Chapter 56 (Supplemented), Section 4), restricted offical use.


Central Dogrib, Weledeh. Detah-Ndilo dialect developed from intermarriage between Yellowknife Subdivision of the Dëne [chp] and Dogrib. Lexical similarity: 84% with Southern Slavey [xsl], 82% with Northern Slavey [scs].



Language Use

Adults prefer to use Dogrib in most contexts. All ages. 16% speak a little English [eng]; 37% speak both Dogrib and English, but speak Dogrib better; 14% speak both languages equally; 9% speak both, but speak English better; 7% speak English and a little Dogrib; 3% are monolingual in English (children).

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 1%–5%. Literacy rate in L2: 25%–50%. Taught in primary schools. Dictionary. NT: 2005–2008.

Latin script [Latn].