North·Photos

A look at the historic Dene reunification in Calgary

The three-day event brought Dene from all over the world together to reunite, find commonalities and tell stories.

3-day event brought Dene from all over the world together to reunite, find commonalities

The grand opening of the Dene reunification event. Hundreds of Dene and Indeh from around the world attended an historic reunification near Calgary this week. (Lawrence Nayally/CBC)

Dene and Indeh from all over the world gathered near Calgary this past week for a historic reunification. 

More than 750,000 people have Dene heritage, according to Lee Crowchild of the Tsuut'ina Nation, which hosted the event.

The three-day reunification, which ran from Oct. 14 to 16 at the Tsuut'ina 7 Chiefs Sportsplex, was meant to bring Dene together to reunite, tell stories and find commonalities. It included speakers in the languages, like Denesuline and Yavapai, a gala dinner, drum and dance performances.

Here are some photos from the event.

Dene drummers singing Sayisi Dene drum dance song. Sayisi Dene means people of the east because they are the most easterly group of Dene, located in northern Manitoba. It was explained that when you dance to their songs, you shuffle your feet as close to the ground as possible, to make a close connection to the land you walk and live on. (Lawrence Nayally/CBC)
Steven Crowchild and Cherokee Eagletail during the evening Dene Gala. Tsuutʼina Nation youth from Alberta dressed in traditional fashion. They say when the Tsuutʼina made their way south long ago, they adapted quickly to the style and teachings of the plains people, but one thing stayed the same, the Dene/Diné/Indeh language. (Lawrence Nayally/CBC)
Dene National Chief Norman Yakeleya speaks at the event in Calgary. (Jared Monkman/CBC)
Lawrence Nayally, the host of CBC's The Trails End, took part in the drum circle. The drum circle was made up of Dene from all over North America. (Jared Monkman/CBC)
Former N.W.T. premier Stephen Kakfwi was one of the speakers at the reunification. (Jared Monkman/CBC)
Dene drummers at the event. (Jared Monkman/CBC)
Bruce Starlight helped organized the gathering. Here he is addressing the crowd as they prepared for the grand opening. He said he did not expect so many Dene and Indeh to come, but was very thankful. (Lawrence Nayally/CBC)
Langdon Crowchild, 40, is a Tsuutʼina Nation Dene who attended the event. (Lawrence Nayally/CBC)
Cecilia Boyd, right, the host of Tide Godi in the Tlicho language on CBC, interviews Celine Voksun on the second day of the gathering in Calgary. Boyd broadcast live from the event. (Jared Monkman/CBC)

Take a look at the drum circle:

With files from Lawrence Nayally and Jared Monkman