The Wind Waits For No One: Nı̨hts’ı Dene Ası̨́ Henáoréhɂı̨́le Ǫt’e: Spirituality in a Sahtúgot’ı̨nę Perspective




Tatti, Fibbie

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The Sahtúgot’ı̨nę have lived in the Sahtú Region around Great Bear Lake since time immemorial. Our Elders believe that spirituality is the foundation for our language, culture and worldview and that it is essential for our language and culture to be taught in the context of spirituality. This thesis provides a description and a definition of spirituality from the perspective of the Sahtúgot’ı̨nę, distinguishing spirituality from concepts such as worldview, culture and medicine power. In keeping with our traditional ways of preserving and transmitting knowledge to future generations, the paper relies heavily on stories passed on to us from our Elders. The paper elaborates on key concepts of Sahtúgot’ı̨nę spirituality. First, like human beings, all animals on this earth have a living spirit or bets’ı̨nę́. Other entities on this earth - plants and trees, the water and the wind - are also living beings with their own yǝ́dı́ı. Specific geographic sites with a special significance to the Sahtúgot’ı̨nę are also said to be yǝ́dı́ı. The other key concept is the existence of three dimensions of existence and their inter-relationship which is crucial to the understanding of Sahtúgot’ı̨nę spirituality.



spirituality, Sahtúgot’ı̨nę, Dene language, Dene Elders, Dene worldview, Délı̨nę, Indigenous language revitalization