Declaration of Rights

We the Dene of the Dehcho have lived on our homeland according to our own laws and system of government since time immemorial.

Our homeland is comprised of the ancestral territories and waters of the Dehcho Dene. We were put here by the Creator as keepers of our waters and lands.

The Peace Treaties of 1899 and 1921 with the non-Dene recognize the inherent political rights and powers of the Dehcho First Nation. Only sovereign peoples can make treaties with each other. Therefore our aboriginal rights and titles and oral treaties cannot be extinguished by any Euro-Canadian government.

Our laws from the Creator do not allow us to cede, release, surrender or extinguish our inherent rights. The leadership of the Dehcho upholds the teachings of the Elders as the guiding principles of Dene government now and in the future.

Today we reaffirm, assert and exercise our inherent rights and powers to govern ourselves as a nation.

We the Dene of the Dehcho stand firm behind our First Nation government.