Dene Nation makes effort to unify in order to advance regional land claims and self government initiatives

Dene National Chief Norman Yakeleya. (File photo/CKLB).

The Dene Nation has made some structural moves in order to embark on a new path for the future of the organization.

At the recent Dene National Assembly held in Midway Lake, Gwich’in Region (Denendeh), the leaders identified the issue of Dene unity and restructuring as a priority by the 2019 Dene National Assembly.

Delegates passed a resolution calling for changes to the organizations’ constitution that reflect todays realities with respect to regional land claims and self-government agreements, according to a news release from the Yellowknife-based Dene Nation.

“This is a positive step forward in improving relations among the Dene Nations of Denendeh,” said National Chief Norman Yakeleya.

The resolution commits the Dene Nation, under the direction of the National Chief to establishing a Working Group comprised of regional representatives, to examine the role of the Dene Nation in addition to supporting and implementing the Dene unity and strengthening initiative.

The National Chief will report to the 50th Dene National Assembly in Fort Good Hope in 2020, about the progress of the Working Group.

“The Dene are stronger together, this has been reaffirmed by this Assembly. This resolution will help strengthen the Dene and our organization as the voice of Dene people,” Yakeleya states. “Once these steps are taken, as directed by the resolutions, the Dene can look forward to being politically stronger, better able to build strong regions and communities, being able to revitalize and preserve for future generations, the languages, cultures and traditions of our nations.”

Yakeleya adds that these resolutions will provide direction and give the Dene Nation a mandate that will take it into the 50th Dene National Assembly next year in a position of strength.

About the Author

John McFadden
John has been in the broadcast journalism industry since the 1980s. He has been a reporter in Yellowknife since 2012 and joined CKLB in January of 2018. John covers the crime and court beat as well as reporting on other areas including politics, business, entertainment and sports. He won seven national community newspaper awards while he was a journalist with Northern News Services Limited (NNSL). John worked in Ontario before coming North including stints as a TV sportscaster in Peterborough and senior news writer for CBC and CTV in downtown Toronto.