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  • The Dene people are an aboriginal group of First Nations who live in the northern boreal and Arctic regions of Canada. The Dené speak Northern Athabaskan languages. Dene is the common Athabaskan word for "people". The term "Dene" has two usages. More commonly, it is used narrowly to refer to the Athabaskan speakers of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut in Canada, especially including the Chipewyan, Tlicho, Yellowknives, Slavey, and Sahtu. But it is sometimes also used to refer to all Northern Athabaskan speakers, who are spread in a wide range all across Alaska and northern Canada. Note that Dene never includes the Pacific Coast Athabaskan or Southern Athabaskan speakers in the continental U.S., despite the fact that the term is used to denote the Athabaskan languages as a whole. The Southern Athabaskan speakers do, however, refer to themselves with similar words: Diné and Indé. Alexander Mackenzie described aspects of a number of northern Dene cultures in the late eighteenth century in his journal of his voyage down the Mackenzie River.

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