Dettah is a Yellowknives Dene settlement of about 220 people located only a short drive from Yellowknife. This thriving First Nations community has been a summer gathering site for Yellowknives Dene for generations.
Here you'll find many examples of traditional Dene lifestyle, like whitefish drying on racks and moosehides being tanned in the sun. Visitors can learn about Dene history, culture, arts, and cuisine by getting out on the land with local experts.
With a prime location on the rolling shield-rock at the mouth of Yellowknife Bay, Dettah was traditionally a seasonal fish camp. It becamea permanent settlement in the 1930s. The name Dettah means “charcoal” or “burnt point.” It comes from a fire that raged out of control many years ago, burning down trees and reducing the small number of houses in the community to ash. But Dettah was rebuilt and, along with N’dilo, grew into one of the area’s two Yellowknives Dene First Nation communities.
You'll find Dettah just 27 kilometres up the Ingraham Trail from Yellowknife, but it's even closer when the Dettah ice road is open – a quick six-kilometre trip across the frozen Yellowknife Bay. The ice road is its own attraction; a sparkling, lively winter trail full of snowmobiles, fat bikes, joggers, kite-skiers and kick-sledders all making their way across the plowed ice highway. If you’re up for the challenge, strap on some skis and head to Dettah on foot. (You can always catch a cab back to town.)
Remember to always drive with caution on the ice roads and obey the posted signage when accessing them.