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The Sahtu Region is one of the most diverse in its landscape. Located west and north of Great Bear Lake, the Sahtu encompasses all the wonders of the NWT – the boreal forest, barrenlands and mountains, as well as the Mackenzie River and Great Bear Lake. Five communities cover this Sahtu Dene and Metis settled land area, where First Nations peoples still speak North Slavey and traditional ways of life are still practiced and preserved.
Like other Dene communities of the NWT, the Sahtu Dene display great artistic ability and traditionally create sewn items from tanned moose hides including moccasins, mukluks, mitts and baby belts. Artists carefully and beautifully decorate these pieces with beadwork and embroidery, and embellish with locally harvested fur. The distinctive colour palette of beautiful cut glass beads identifies beadwork from this region.
The awe-inspiring landscape, wildlife and stories of the region are also captured through paintings, drawings and woodcarvings as well.
Drumming and dancing is a strong part of the Dene culture. The Tulita Dene Drummers are a vibrant and passionate group of Sahtu Dene drummers, who perform regularly around the territory at National Assemblies, and cultural celebrations and festivals. In 2008, they recorded an album that highlighted the songs of one Shutaogotine Chief Yahts'ule, who received 52 spiritual songs to pass along to the people.
Use our online tool to learn Where to Buy NWT Art in the Sahtu Region.
Or download printable, translated documents (PDFs):