Slavey, North


A language of Canada

Alternate Names
Dene, Dené, Mackenzian, “Slave” (pej.), “Slavi” (pej.)
Satúotine Yatí

230 (2011 census). Ethnic population: 1,950 (Golla 2007). Bearlake dialect: 1,070. Hare dialect: 710. Mountain dialect: 170 (Golla 2007).


Northwest Territories: Mackenzie district, middle Mackenzie River from Fort Norman north, around Great Bear Lake; Colville Lake, Deline, Fort Good Hope, Norman Wells, and Tulita in Mackenzie Mountains; Yellowknife.

Language Maps
Language Status

7 (Shifting). Statutory language of provincial identity in NWT (1988, NWT Official Languages Act, Chapter 56 (Supplemented), Section 4).


Hare, Bearlake, Mountain Slavey. North and South Slavey [xsl] form a chain of related varieties. A member of macrolanguage Slave [den].

Language Use

Deline still has strong language use including young people. Decreasing use in other communities. Over half actively use it in the home. Speakers 60 and older.

Language Development
Dictionary. Grammar.

Latin script [Latn]. Unified Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics script [Cans], no longer in use.

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