The Dene (which means "people"), also known as the Athabascans
, were the first people to live in the Northwest Territories
after the retreat of the great ice sheet
s of the last ice age
. They lived in semi-nomad
ic groups, following established routes in their hunting territories. They used dogs as pack animal
s, but dogsled
s weren't used until after the coming of the Europeans
. There is evidence that the Dene could travel as far north as the Arctic
coast on snowshoe
Today, descendants of the Dene speak many different languages, all of which are members of the Athapaskan or Na Dene ("the language of the Dene") language group.
Some of the Dene tribes are:
and the Apache
are decendants of migrating Dene.