The Yellowknife Indians are an Athabaskan
tribe of northern Canada. The Yellowknives are relatives of the
Chipewyan (Dene) tribe and speakers of
a Dene dialect. Although the Yellowknife language itself is a Chipewyan dialect,
the Yellowknives First Nation also includes many Dogrib
families, and both languages are still spoken on the reserve today.
Thanks for your interest in Native American languages!
Names: The Yellowknives' name for themselves in Dene is T'satsąot'ınę, which means "copper people." This name is
spelled many different ways including Tsatsaotine, T'atsaot'ine, Tatsaotine, T'altsan Ottine, Tantsa-ut'dinne, T'attsan-otine, and so on.
In English they have also been known as the Copper Indians, Yellow Knives, or Red Knives. In French they
were known as Gens de Cuivres (which also means "copper people.")
Yellowknife Language Tree:
Theories about Yellowknife language relationships compiled by Linguist List.
Our resources about the Chipewyan language, including Yellowknife.
Our resources about the Dogrib language.
NWT Language Maps:
Map showing aboriginal language use in the city of Yellowknife and the surrounding Northwest Territories.