Délįne

Délįne

“Flowing water”

Population: 514

This culturally vibrant community is home to the only residents of vast Great Bear Lake, legendary for big fish and pure waters. The town also claims fame as the birthplace of ice hockey: the first documented game was said to have been played by Sir John Franklin's men when they overwintered here in the 1820s. Today, local guides will take you fishing and teach you about the area’s rich traditions and environment. Access is by air and, in winter, by ice road.

Location: 65°11′ N, 123°25′ W
Elevation: 214 metres
Population: 561
Name means: “Place of flowing water”
Name pronounced: "Day-li-neh"
Former name: Fort Franklin (changed in 1993)
Setting: On the shore of Great Bear Lake just north of the headwaters of the Bear River
Record high / low: 32.0°C / -49.1°C
Languages: North Slavey (Sahtúgot’ı̨nęk’ə gokǝdǝ́), English
Ethnicities: Dene (Sahtúgot’ı̨nę)
Getting here: By air from Yellowknife or Norman Wells, or by winter road from Wrigley by way of Tulita
Founded in: This is the ancestral territory of the Sahtu Dene. Fur-traders established posts in the area as early as 1799. Explorer Sir John Franklin wintered here in 1825-27. In 1949-50 a mission and school were opened, prompting Dene families to settle permanently
Famous for: Being the birthplace of hockey. While wintering here, Franklin’s men played a hockey-like sport – one of the earliest documented instances of the game
Best daytrip: Fishing on Great Bear, source of the largest lake trout on Earth
Best expedition: To Saoyú-ʔehdacho, Canada’s largest National Historic Site, occupying two peninsulas in Great Bear Lake that are of great cultural and spiritual significance to the Sahtúgot’ı̨nę people
 

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Two peninsulas on Great Bear, covering 5,565 square kilometers, were designated as a national historic site in 2009. At that time, Parks Canada and the community of Délįne signed a first-of-its-kind deal where the sites – called Saoyú (...