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Native Languages of the Americas:
Chipewyan Indian Legends, Myths, and Stories (Dene)

This is our collection of links to Chipewyan folktales and traditional stories that can be read online. We have indexed our Native American mythology section by tribe to make them easier to locate; however, variants on the same legend are often told by American Indians from different tribes, especially if those tribes are kinfolk or neighbors to each other. In particular, though these legends come from the Chipewyans, the traditional stories of related tribes like the Slavey and Carrier tribes are very similar.

Enjoy the stories! If you would like to recommend a Chipewyan legend for this page or think one of the ones on here should be removed, please let us know.

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Important Chipewyan Mythological Figures

Yedariyé (or Niottsi): This is the name of the great sky god of the Dene tribes. He is a benevolent creator spirit who will occasionally intervene to help people in distress. Yedariyé means "He who lives on high," and Niottsi means "Creator."

Yamoria: Also known as the Old Man, Transformer or Wanderer. In Dene stories, Yamoria frequently uses his cleverness rather than his strength to defeat his enemies, at which point he either kills them or transforms them into something harmless.

Chipewyan Indian Folklore

*Dene Creation Myth:
    Dene legend about the creation of the world.
*The Monster Bird:
    A Chipewyan story about a young man's adventures in the sky world.
    Dene legends about a magical caribou boy.
*Sa-Klu-Nazetti (The Sun Taken in a Snare):
    Chippewyan myth about the origin of the seasons.
Love and Support:
    Story of a Dene man adopted by a bear.
*Bear and Squirrel:
    Dene story about the origin of light and darkness.
*The Boy Who Became Strong:
    Chipewyan Indian story about a hero and his faithful wife.
Elder Speak:
     Collection of oral history narrated by Cree and Dene elders.

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Recommended Books on Chipewyan Mythology

Chipewyan Tales:
    Collection of Chipewyan legends and folktales.

Additional Resources

 Chipewyan religion and expressive traditions
 Books of American Indian folklore
 Indian religions
 Alberta First Nations
 The Subarctic
 Athabascan Indians
 Denesuline culture
 Native American cultures

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