Our History

Timeline of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation

  • 1900 – Akaitcho entered into Treaty of July 25, 1900 in Fort Resolution.  Imeh (Emile) Old Man Drygeese was Chief at the time of Treaty.
  • 1914 – Susie (Joseph or Sizeh) Drygeese was the second Chief after the 1900 treaty.  Susie drew a map that outlined traditional hunting grounds that would later become the Yellowknife Game Preserve.  He gave his information to Chief Monfwi of Rae – who pursued Treaty 11 for his people.  Hence, “As long as the sun rises…”
  • 1921 – First recorded band councillors.
  • 1923 – Liza Crookedhand found gold at Giant Mine while collecting blueberries.
  • 1923 – Yellowknife Game Preserve established (70,000 square miles) set aside for exclusive for Dene to hunt and trap.
  • 1945 – Dettah, Ndilo and Enodah established a Community Boundary.
  • 1984 – Negotiations began for the Dene/Metis Comprehensive Land Claim.
  • 1991 – The four Tlicho Communities decided to pursue comprehensive land claim.  The Yellowknives Dene chose to continue with Treaty Implementation.
  • 1992 – On May 14, 1992 the Treaty 8 Treaty Entitlement process began.
  • 2000 – YKDFN signs Political Accord on June 13, 2000.
  • 2000 – 100th Anniversary of Treaty Signing in Fort Resolution.  Framework Agreement was signed on July 25, 2000.
  • 2001 – YKDFN sign an Interim Measures Agreement on June 28, 2001.
  • 2002 – Yellowknives Dene and Dogrib Treaty 11 settled Boundary Overlap on November 27, 2002.
  • 2006 – The Commissioner Land withdrawal was announced on November 2, 2006.
  • 2007 – The Five Year Interim Land Withdrawal was approved by Order in Council on November 1, 2007.
Caption: Yellowknife village. [Dettah] Aug. 1923.


(Dettah means “charcoal” or “burnt point”)

Dettah is located on the Northern shore of Great Slave Lake, just outside of Yellowknife.  It is a 6.5 km drive by ice road in winter and a 27 km drive on an all-season road. 

In 1959, there were about 15 houses in Dettah.  A fire burned out of control, reducing the entire point to ashes, and requiring the residents of Dettah to start anew.

The Dettah area has been used as a summer time gathering site for generations, eventually growing into one of the two Yellowknives Dene Communities.

Timeline of Dettah

  • 1965 – Government promised a paved road to Dettah.
  • 1965 – Michael Sikyea was charged for Duck Hunting out of season.
  • 1967 – Queen Elizabeth visits, which helps to get the road to Dettah built.
  • 1969 – School was put together using old trailers.
  • 1991 – New Band Office completed.
  • 2009 – Completion of Band Office Complex.


(Ndilo means “end of island”)

Is located on the north end of Latham Island, adjacent to the City of Yellowknife.  Despite being located in close proximity to Yellowknife, Ndilo remains an independent and distinct community.  The area has always been an important fishing and berry picking spot, with access to prime hunting areas.  Ndilo became a permanent settlement in the early 1940s.

Timeline of Ndilo

  • 1945 – Bridge to Latham Island is built.
  • 1958 – Houses are painted different colors.  People call it Rainbow Valley.
  • 1966 – Federal Government built more homes.
  • 1968 – Ndilo gets power.
  • 1970 – Antoine (Adii) Liske becomes the first Chief of Ndilo.
  • 1974 – Street lights were installed.
  • 1990 – Vital Able Boarding Home was built in Ndilo.
  • 1992 – Chief and Council change name from Rainbow Valley to Ndilo.
  • 1993 – Ndilo name becomes official.
  • 2009 – New Kalemi Dene School construction complete.