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Our People

Where the Salmon Return

We are the 'people who live where the salmon return'.  We have lived on our lands since time immemorial.  The Nadleh Whut'en are part of the larger Yinka Dene (Carrier) Nation, which accounts for over 5,000 people.  Our current population is 500, with a little under half of which live on the Reserve. 


The Clans of the Nadleh Whut'en are:

  • Lhtseh'yoo (frog)

  • Duntem'yoo (bear)

  • Luksilyoo (caribou)

  • Lhtsumus'yoo (owl, grouse)

  • Tsayoo (beaver)


The Nadleh Whut'en still practice the Bahlats (potlatch) system of traditional governance. Over the last 100 years our people have been subjected to forced relocation, racist and assimilation policies that sought to 'kill the Indian in the child'.  We, like other indigenous peoples have persevered and continue to remember and retell the stories of our ancestors.  This website contains some general information about our people.


The Nadleh Whut'en is part of the Dakelh (Carrier) people. Carrier is a translation of the Sekani name for Dakelh people, Aghele. This term is said to be derived from the fact that when a Dakelh man died and had been cremated, his widow would pack around his bones and ashes during the period of mourning. The reason that the English term comes from the Sekani name is that the first Europeans to enter Dakelh territory, members of the Northwest Company party led by Alexander Mackenzie in 1793, passed through Sekani territory before they entered Dakelh territory and so learned about Dakelh people from the Sekani. Furthermore, Sekani people played an important role in the early period of contact between the fur traders and Dakelh people because some Sekani people could speak both Dakelh and Cree and served as interpreters between the fur traders and Dakelh people (Yinka Dene Language Institute).

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