Dene Nation publishes on-the-land medicine booklet

The cover of the booklet. (Image courtesy of Dene Nation.)

The Dene Medicine booklet includes Dene laws, medicines, safety checklists and information for preparing to be out on the land, according to a news release

Dene National Chief Norman Yakeleya says the knowledge included in the booklet comes from Elders across Denendeh.

“Colonialism has meant that so much of our traditional knowledge has been lost,” he says. “It’s imperative that we do everything in our power to revitalize our nationhood, and to do this, we must begin by listening to our Elders’ teachings, practicing our traditions, and following our protocols”.

Chief Yakeleya encouraged families to go out in the bush as a way to isolate during the COVID-19 pandemic. With school over, he says he hopes the booklet will “further encourage on-the-land healing.”

“By providing Dene Medicine,” he said, “we hope that those who may have been hesitant to begin their journey towards our old ways of knowing are supported with the knowledge of our laws, medicines, and protocols through this resource. Eventually, we hope those that who use it will pass on their teachings to the next seven generations and will contribute to one of the many iterations we hope our guidebook has.”

About the Author

Francis Tessier-Burns
Francis has been a general news reporter with CKLB since January 2019. Originally from rural Ontario, he first came to the NWT in 2016 as an intern with Up Here magazine and fell in love with the North. In his time with CKLB, he's had the immense pleasure and honour of learning about northern Indigenous cultures. Otherwise, you can find him hanging around the Legislative Assembly. If you have a story or want to chat, reach out to