Southern Tutchone Language
The Southern Tutchone people named by the late Catharine McClellan; are a group of Athabaskan speaking indigenous people of Southern Yukon, Canada. In other words, Southern Tutchone stands for "Dän'ke" referring to "our way" in the Athabaskan language. This territory stretches over the south-west Yukon, and is controversial in what is overlap with different indigenous groups of people in Yukon. The Tutchone language was separated into two groups by McClellan in which she called them Southern and Northern Tutchone. The languages themselves are close, but are different in subtle dialects.
The Southern Tutchone language even though it is considered endangered there has been revitalization efforts in place to help combat the dwindling numbers. This includes signage throughout the Yukon highlighting the language. Other revitalization efforts includes an adult immersion program focused on increasing the number of speakers in the Champagne and Aishihik traditional territory. In 2015 the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations launched the first Da Ku Nän Ts'tthèt (Our House is Waking Up the Land) dance festival which focused on Southern Tutchone language and culture. This was hosted at the cultural centre named Da Ku, meaning "our house" in Southern Tutchone.
In other places in the Southern Tutchone region there are four First Nations governments that have settled their land claims in the Southern Tutchone cultural area these include:
- McClellan, C. (2001) My Old People Say: an Ethnographic Survey of Southern Yukon Territory. Canadian Museum of Civilization.
- McClellan, C. (1987). Yukon Indian languages. Chapter 6. In Part of the land, part of the water: A history of the Yukon Indians. (pp. 105-115). Vancouver/Toronto: Douglas & McIntyre.
- https://www.ethnologue.com/language/tce. Missing or empty
- http://www.whitehorsestar.com/News/southern-tutchone-will-adorn-city-signs. Missing or empty
- http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/southern-tutchone-revitalization-yukon-1.4467314. Missing or empty
- "Yukon Umbrella Final Agreement" (PDF).
MacClellan, C. (1987). Part of the land, part of the water: a history of the Yukon Indians.
Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre.
McClellan, C. (2001) My Old People Say: an Ethnographic Survey of Southern Yukon Territory. Canadian Museum of Civilization.
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The Southern Tutchone are a First Nations people of the Athabaskan-speaking ethnolinguistic group living mainly in the southern Yukon in Canada. The Southern Tutchone language, traditionally spoken by the Southern Tutchone people, is a variety of the Tutchone language, part of the Athabaskan language family. Some linguists suggest that Northern and Southern Tutchone are distinct and separate languages.
Southern Tutchone First Nations governments and communities include:
- Champagne and Aishihik First Nations (Haines Junction, Champagne, and Aishihik in Yukon) Many Champagne and Aishihik members also live in Whitehorse.
- Ta'an Kwach'an Council (Whitehorse, Yukon and Lake Laberge) (Ta’an Kwäch’än - ″People of Lake Laberge″, because they called it Tàa'an Män)
- Kluane First Nation (Burwash Landing, Yukon) (Lù’àn Män Ku Dän or Lù’àn Mun Ku Dän - ″Kluane Lake People″, referring to their territory around Kluane Lake).
Many citizens of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation in Whitehorse are of Southern Tutchone origin (formerly White Horse Indian Band; their name refers to a section of the Yukon River from Miles Canyon Basalts to the White Horse Rapids which their ancestors called Kwanlin meaning "running water through canyon” and together with the Southern Tutchone word Dän or Dün for ″people″, they referred to this location for naming the KDFN)
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