The Slave Language

Slave is spoken in the far Northeast corner of British Columbia. It is also spoken in the Southeast corner of the Yukon, in northern Alberta, and primarily, in the Northwest territories.

There is no true indigenous name for the Slave language or people. The term /dene/ is sometimes used, but this really means "people" in general. Some Slave speakers have in recent times adopted the term /deneða/ "true people" as a self-designation, but this is by no means universally used. The usualy English term Slave is a translation of Cree /awahka:n/ "captive, slave". In spite of its originally pejorative sense, it is in general use by Slave people when speaking English.

Slave is an Athabaskan language.


Yinka Déné Language Institute © 2006