Behchokǫ̀ pup learns Tłı̨chǫ

Nova has been learning Tłı̨chǫ for about a month. (Photo courtesy of Pamela Adzin)

Meet Nova, a young German Shepherd from Behchokǫ̀ whose been learning commands in her official language.

Nova hasn’t even reached her first birthday and in just under a month she’s learned several commands such as “sit down”, “paw”, “come” and “go”.

She even knows which treat she’s about to get such as dry meat and dry fish.

Pamela Adzin is her owner and says with Nova learning Tłı̨chǫ, the whole family has started speaking to her in the language, and by extension learning some of the language as well, especially her children.

Adzin says although her parents speak fluent Tłı̨chǫ, over time she has lost her language but is taking this opportunity now through Nova to learn new words.

After posting a video of Nova over social media, she says the response has been positive as traditionally the dogs would have been spoken to in Tłı̨chǫ.

Adzin plans on teaching Nova new tricks and commands in the future and even hopes the dog can understand the language better than she does, she told CKLB with a laugh.

About the Author

Mariah Caruso
Mariah Caruso is a digital journalist, originally from Toronto, Canada. She graduated from the University of Toronto with a Hons. Bachelor of Arts and completed her Journalism post-grad at Sheridan College. She has an insatiable appetite for life, storytelling, connecting to the people, and getting to the heart of the issue. Mariah is excited to begin her journey and career in Yellowknife, NWT, and get involved with the community. If you have a story idea, feel free to send her an email at