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Tulita Dene

The Tulita Dene First Nation is a member of the Sahtu Dene Council, with their community around Tulita, on the Mackenzie River.

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Tulita, which in Dene language means “where the rivers or waters meet,” is a Hamlet in the Sahtu Region of the Northwest Territories, Canada. It was formerly known as Fort Norman, until January 1st, 1996 when it reverted back to it’s traditional Dene name. Tulita is located at the junction of the Great Bear River and the Mackenzie River; the Bear River originating from the Keith Arm of Great Bear Lake, the location of another Sahtu Comunity; Deline.

Tulita is in an area know as the Boreal Forest and well south of the tree line. Permafrost underlays the area, in more or less continuous in distribution. The Franklin Mountain Range runs parallel to the east side of the Mackenzie River, northwest of Tulita. Tulita as a community faces the Mackenzie Mountains to the west, which is world renown for Dall sheep, woodland caribou and fast flowing mountain rivers.

Tulita sits across the Bear River from Bear Rock the southern prominence of the Franklin Mountains. This place is of great significance to all Dene Peoples around the north and features on the logo for the Dene Nation as well as the local Tulita Dene Band. This sacred place connects Tulita to Yamoria; the Great Law Giver. While visiting Tulita, call the Hamlet or Band Office to connect with local story tellers.

With an elevation of 101 meters, Tulita has a rough population of 478 people. Common languages spoken are North Slavey and English. Tulita’s population is composed of Dene, Metis and Non-indigenous peoples. The Dene traditionally met seasonally in Tulita and even today, family groups identify as Shuta Got’ine, or Mountain Dene, K’aalo Got’ine or Willow Lake Dene and Peoples who lived along the River.