Nation: Dunne-zaa (Beaver)
Today, our people are living in a hybrid world that integrates non-aboriginal culture and economy with our Dane-zaa traditional knowledge and hunting culture. We are engaged in a range of business ventures and cultural activities that are focused on strengthening our economic base, improving the health of our community, and maintaining Dane-zaa traditions and languag... Read More
Today, our people are living in a hybrid world that integrates non-aboriginal culture and economy with our Dane-zaa traditional knowledge and hunting culture. We are engaged in a range of business ventures and cultural activities that are focused on strengthening our economic base, improving the health of our community, and maintaining Dane-zaa traditions and language.
In July of 2003, we opened our new Cultural and Administrative Centre on our Doig River Reserve. Our beautiful facility includes a museum, a gym, our administrative and health care offices, community gathering spaces, and outdoor rodeo grounds. Our Cultural Centre is a place where we gather to socialize and to dance to our Dreamers’ songs.
Until the mid-1950s, we lived a semi-nomadic lifestyle. We travelled seasonally within our Peace River country from the Rocky Mountains to the plains of Alberta to hunt, gather, and socialize with other Dane-zaa kinship groups.
In 1794, Rocky Mountain Fort was established in our traditional territories, and we began to participate in the fur trade. As a result of the fur trade, European culture slowly started to impact our traditional way of living.
In 1900, we signed Treaty 8 in an effort to preserve our lands and natural resources from outside interests. By 1914, we were allotted reserve land at Dana zaq Nane (Montney), one of our traditional gathering places, but for several decades we continued to travel freely throughout our traditional land.
During World War II, the US Army Corps of Engineers constructed the Alaska Highway across our traditional territory. After the war, the highway allowed an influx of settlers and developers to come into our land, and our lifestyle changed dramatically. We were forced to settle on reserves and to send our children to government schools. The Department of Indian Affairs agreed to sell our first reserve at Dana zaq Nane (Montney), to the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, and we were forced to move further north, to the land Alaa?saatq (Peterson Crossing and on Hanás Saahgéʔ (the Doig River), where our community is centered today.
In 1998, we were compensated for the loss of our mineral rights at our old reserve at Gat Tah Kwą (the Montney Reserve) after persevering over a 20-year period to research and build our case. Receiving both the recognition of wrongdoing, and compensation for our lost mineral rights, has been very important for the renewal of our community.
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NOTE: Driving distances are measured using the road/ferry network starting with a key point in a community (e.g main office address).
5415 50 Ave N, Northern Rockies, BC, V0C
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