Book cover image for: Remembering Our Relations

Remembering Our Relations: Dënesųłıné Oral Histories of Wood Buffalo National Park

Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation with Sabina Trimble and Peter Fortna

$64.99 HC / $34.99 PB (S)

352 pages, 24 illustraitons

6 x 9 inches

978-1-77385-412-0 (Hardback)

978-1-77385-411-3 (Paperback)

978-1-77385-414-4 (Institutional PDF)

978-1-77385-415-1 (ePub)

December 2023

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About the Book

Elders and leaders remind us that telling and amplifying histories is key for healing. Remembering Our Relations is an ambitious collaborative oral history project that shares the story of Wood Buffalo National Park and the Dënesųłıné peoples it displaced.

Wood Buffalo National Park is located in the heart of Dënesųłıné homelands, where Dene people have lived from time immemorial. Central to the creation, expansion, and management of this park, Canada’s largest at nearly 45, 000 square kilometers, was the eviction of Dënesųłıné people from their home, the forced separation of Dene families, and restriction of their Treaty rights.

Remembering Our Relations tells the history of Wood Buffalo National Park from a Dene perspective and within the context of Treaty 8. Oral history and testimony from Dene Elders, knowledge-holders, leaders, and community members place Dënesųłıné voices first. With supporting archival research, this book demonstrates how the founding, expansion, and management of Wood Buffalo National Park fits into a wider pattern of promises broken by settler colonial governments managing land use throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

By prioritizing Dënesųłıné histories Remembering Our Relations deliberately challenges how Dene experiences have been erased, and how this erasure has been used to justify violence against Dënesųłıné homelands and people. Amplifying the voices and lives of the past, present, and future, Remembering Our Relations is a crucial step in the journey for healing and justice Dënesųłıné peoples have been pursuing for over a century.

About the Authors

ACFN is a Dene community. They are the K’ai Tailé Dënesųłıné. They have occupied this region for thousands of years, continuing their traditions today just as their ancestors did before them. As stewards of the region, they have a deep understanding of their land and are committed to creating a better world for the next generation.

Peter Fortna is a co-owner and principal at Willow Springs Strategic Solutions, a social sciences and humanities research consultancy based in Treaty 7 and Treaty 8 Territories. He has worked with a number of Indigenous communities across capacities, including historical and community-based research, heritage resource planning, and regulatory and strategic advice.

Sabina Trimble is a research director at Willow Springs Strategic Solutions. She has worked with Xwélmexw communities in S’ólh Téméw to build digital storymaps of traditional and reserve territories for public education and community planning. Her academic research explores the complex roles that settler philanthropy has played in the landscape of colonial relations in Canada both past and present.