Dane-Zaa (ᑕᓀ ᖚ)
Language Family: Dene (Athabaskan)
Language known as: Beaver, Dunne-za, dʌnneza, Dane-zaa Záágéʔ
"We call our language Dane-zaa Záágéʔ, which translates as "people-regular language" in English. It is also known as the Beaver Language, because of the name the Europeans gave our people during the fur trade.
State of the Language
"English is now the first language of most Dane-zaa children, and of many adults in our communities. Dane-zaa Záágéʔ was our primary language until our grandparents and parents started to send our children to school in the 1950s. English only became dominant in the 1980s. Because our language is orally based, Dane-zaa Záágéʔ becomes increasingly endangered as our fluent speakers pass away."1
Footnotes / References
1. unknown (2005). Dane Wajich Dane-ẕaa Stories & Songs.
2. Language Data from Blueberry First Nations School (2014), Language Needs Assessment #3346
3. Language Data from Doig River First Nation (2014), Language Needs Assessment #2413
4. Language Data from Halfway River First Nation (2014), Language Needs Assessment #3464
5. Language Data from Tribal Council (2013), Language Needs Assessment #2965
6. Treaty 8 Tribal Association (n.d.). Treaty 8 Tribal Association.
7. Language Data from West Moberly First Nations (2014), Language Needs Assessment #3349