Dene Languages Conference 2013

Dàdànast’á-dà! Hóʔą! Welcome!


Invitation to submit a paper to the 2013 conference proceedings

Papers from the Dene Languages Conference of 2013 will be published by the Alaska Native Language Center. Any paper presented at this conference, or a new paper dealing with any aspect of Na-Dene (Athabasc/kan) linguistics or anthropology, is welcome. These are working papers and will receive only editorial reviewing. The deadline for submissions is March 31, 2014. For instructions how & where to submit, and a style guide, please consult the instructions for authors. Authors receive a complimentary copy of the proceedings.

Kút’a! We did it!

The 2013 Dene (Athabaskan) Languages Conference is now over. There were over 200 participants, from children to Elders. Thank you, masi chogh, to you all for coming, some of you from far away, and participating! We learned many new things from each other, we sang and prayed and drummed and danced, played handgames, visited, and engaged in much-needed dialogue between university and community. Once again, thank you! We hope to see you again at next year’s conference, at the latest!

Some announcements:

The 2014 Dene Languages Conference will take place June 18-20 in Prince George, BC.

Keep checking for more information as it becomes available. Early registration ends Feb. 28, 2014.

If you gave a presentation, please send us your slides or handout, and we will post them on this website.

Please email to:  deneconference2013  AT  gmail  DOT  com

The Dene Languages Conference has a permanent website:

There you can find up to date information on upcoming conferences (e.g., the one in Prince George in 2014), links to individual conference websites, an archive of previous conferences, and more. We recommend you take a look!


The 2013 Dene (Athabaskan) Languages Conference will take place June 12-14, 2013, in the Sarcee Seven Chiefs Sportsplex at Tsuu T’ina Nation just outside of Calgary, Canada. This is the only conference in North America that focuses specifically on Dene (Athabaskan, Na-Dene) languages and communities, with Dene community members from all over North America in attendance.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Dene Drum and Discourse”. It expresses the idea that language is intimately connected with its social and cultural setting. In many Dene communities, drumming represents one practice in which all of these related elements – language, culture, and social interaction – come together, and where the sharing of language and culture with younger generations has often been particularly successful. The conference will feature performances by Dene drum groups who span the entire Dene territory from north to south. These groups will also talk about their cultural and language work. The rest of the conference will consist of presentations on language maintenance and revitalization, language and linguistic studies, and more presentations on drums and drumming. Each day of the conference will focus on a different aspect of the conference theme:

  • June 12: “Language maintenance and revitalization” – Reports by community members, teachers, linguists, and language activists
  • June 13: ”Drum” – The drum and drumming in its different Dene manifestations, its connection to land and community, and its role in the maintenance and revitalization of language and culture
  • June 14: “Discourse” – Language and linguistic studies, from sounds to the transmission of meaning, with a focus on language in context and meaning in language

We invite you all to come – Elders, youth, other community members, teachers, speakers, learners, linguists, and other academics. Please see the call for papers for more information on giving a presentation at the conference.