North Slavey is the language of the Sahtu region, which
includes the traditional communities of
Data on the North Slavey dialect has only recently been
gathered through the Canada Census. The most recent Census listed 255 mother
tongue speakers in the NWT. The results of the Census data from 1991 and 1996
are inconclusive with respect to language shift.
The most useful data was gathered
as a part of the Language Report (1992), based on interviews with 160 people in
, and Inuvik. According to this report:
- 63% of the respondents learned
North Slavey as a first language, and
- 54% indicated that North Slavey
was their most fluent language and 45% use it most frequently at
This report documents an obvious
and steady decline in language use over three generations grandparents
- Almost 100% of the 45 year and
over age group were fluent in the language.
- Approximately 50% of the 25 to
44 year old age group were fluent.
- Only 10% of the respondents
under the age of 25 were fluent.
A comprehensive language plan for
North Slavey will be developed in the near future.