Northern Tutchone

Northern Tutchone is spoken in the Yukon communities of Mayo, Pelly Crossing, Stewart Crossing, Carmacks, and Beaver Creek. The traditional harvesting areas of the Northern Tutchone people included the McQuesten and Stewart Rivers in the north, the White river in the east, the Big Salmon drainage in the south and the Selwyn Mountains to the east. Groups of Northern Tutchone lived at Fort Selkirk and Big Salmon when the river boats were still in operation on the Yukon River. After the river boats stopped running, most of the Selkirk people moved to Pelly and many of the Big Salmon people relocated to Carmacks or Whitehorse.

Research and Documentation

Early documentation of the Northern Tutchone language was carried out in the 1890's by Archdeacon Thomas Canham, a Church of England missionary who was based for several years at Fort Selkirk. Canham published a short Wood Indian Dictionary in 1898, but the bulk of his translations and linguistic notes remain in manuscript form. Preliminary noun dictionaries for the Mayo and Selkirk dialects appeared in the early 1970's. The Northern Tutchone practical orthography was developed by John Ritter of the Yukon Native Language Centre. Literacy Workshops for Northern Tutchone have been held since 1984. More than twenty publications in and on Northern Tutchone are currently available from the Yukon Native Language Centre. These include Language Lesson Booklets and Tapes, multimedia Computer Books and corresponding Print Story Books, and Literacy Workshop reports. Of particular note are two books in Northern Tutchone written by Gertie Tom.

School Programs

There have been Northern Tutchone school programs in Mayo, Pelly Crossing and Carmacks for more than a dozen years. The Beaver Creek school program began in 1998. There is also a preschool program in Carmacks.

Audio Storybooks

Agnes Winzer and Jessie Barrett — At Home (under construction)

Agnes Winzer, Jessie Barrett, Stan Peters, Angela Demit — Camping (under construction)

Catherine Germaine — At Home

Catherine Germaine — Moose Hunt (under construction)

Lizzie Hall — Camping (under construction)

Lizzie Hall — Fish Camp (under construction)

Rachel Tom Tom — Moose Hunt (under construction)

Learning Resources

About These Resources

This page provides links to digital copies of language lessons, literacy session booklets, and story books that have been prepared over the past thirty years by the Yukon Native Language Centre and Elders and community members from the Northern Tutchone Nations of Little Salmon Carmacks First Nation, Selkirk First Nation, First Nation of Na-Cho Nyak Dun, and White River First Nation. The work of all contributors to these materials is gratefully acknowledged here.

Recognizing the importance for Yukon First Nations governments, Elders, advocates, learners, and teachers of Northern Tutchone to have access to language resources, the Council of Yukon First Nations' Yukon Native Language Centre and Yukon Education's First Nations Programs and Partnerships Unit have worked together to provide the language materials below with assistance from Christopher Cox. While these digital resources are still in early draft form, and are being made available here for non-commercial, information purposes only, it is hoped that they will provide additional support for all those interested in studying, learning, and teaching the Northern Tutchone language. To order printed copies of any of these resources from YNLC, please consult the current catalogue of publications.

For detailed instructions on how to search, view, download, and print these materials, please see the language learning resources guide.

Search all print resources

Northern Tutchone Language Lessons

  1. Billy, Eva, Grace Wheeler, and Yukon Native Language Centre. 1997. Northern Tutchone Language Lessons: Carmacks Dialect. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre. Download Printed Materials Download Audio
  2. Blair, Mary and Yukon Native Language Centre. 1995. Northern Tutchone Language Lessons: White River Dialect. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre. Download Printed Materials
  3. Germaine, Catherine and Yukon Native Language Centre. 1994. Northern Tutchone Language Lessons: Mayo Dialect (Nacho Nyǟk) Stewart River. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre. Download Printed Materials Download Audio
  4. Tom, Gertie and Yukon Native Language Centre. 1998. Northern Tutchone Language Lessons: Big Salmon Dialect. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre. Download Printed Materials
  5. Tom Tom, Rachel and Yukon Native Language Centre. 1995. Northern Tutchone Language Lessons: Pelly Crossing – Ft. Selkirk Dialect. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre. Download Printed Materials Download Audio

Northern Tutchone Literacy Sessions

  1. Yukon Native Languages Project. 1984. Northern Tutchone Literacy Workshop, April 25–27, 1984. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Languages Project.
  2. Yukon Native Language Centre. 1993. Northern Tutchone Literacy Session, April 21–22–23, 1993. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  3. Yukon Native Language Centre. 1994. Northern Tutchone Literacy Session, February 22–23–24, 1994. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  4. Yukon Native Language Centre. 1995. Northern Tutchone Literacy Session, February 21–22–23, 1995. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  5. Yukon Native Language Centre. 1996. Northern Tutchone Literacy Session, April 16–18, 1996. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  6. Yukon Native Language Centre. 1998. Northern Tutchone Literacy Session, April 20–22, 1998. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  7. Yukon Native Language Centre. 1999. Northern Tutchone Literacy Session, April 29–30, 1999. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  8. Yukon Native Language Centre. 2000. Northern Tutchone Literacy In–Service, May 11–12, 2000. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  9. Yukon Native Language Centre. 2001. Northern Tutchone In–Service, February 21–22, 2000, May 9–11, 2001. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  10. Yukon Native Language Centre. 2002. Northern Tutchone Literacy Session, May 8–10, 2002. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  11. Yukon Native Language Centre. 2003. Northern Tutchone (White River First Nation) Literacy Session, March 12–13, 2003. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  12. Yukon Native Language Centre. 2003. Selkirk First Nation Literacy Session, February 24–27, 2003. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  13. Yukon Native Language Centre. 2004. Northern Tutchone Literacy Session, May 12–14, 2004. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  14. Yukon Native Language Centre. 2005. Northern Tutchone Literacy Session, April 20–22, 2005. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  15. Yukon Native Language Centre. 2006. Northern Tutchone Literacy Session, April 4–6, 2006. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  16. Yukon Native Language Centre. 2006. Northern Tutchone Literacy for Selkirk First Nation, May 10–12, 2006. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  17. Yukon Native Language Centre. 2007. Northern Tutchone Literacy Session, April 24–25, 2007. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  18. Yukon Native Language Centre. 2008. Introduction to Teaching Northern Tutchone for the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun, April 22–23, 2008. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  19. Yukon Native Language Centre. 2008. Northern Tutchone Literacy Session, May 21–22, 2008. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  20. Yukon Native Language Centre. 2008. Northern Tutchone Literacy Session. Organized by Yukon Native Language Centre for White River First Nation, January 10–11, 2008. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  21. Yukon Native Language Centre. 2009. Northern Tutchone In–Service for Little Salmon / Carmacks First Nation, April 21–22, 2009. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  22. Yukon Native Language Centre. 2010. Upper Tanana and Northern Tutchone Literacy Session for White River First Nation, February 15–18, 2010. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  23. Yukon Native Language Centre. 2011. U. Tanana and N. Tutchone Literacy Session for the White River First Nation, February 28 – March 2, 2011. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  24. Yukon Native Language Centre. 2010. Northern Tutchone Literacy Session, April 22–23, 2010. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  25. Yukon Native Language Centre. 2011. Northern Tutchone In–Service, May 9–11, 2011. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  26. Yukon Native Language Centre. 2012. Northern Tutchone Literacy Session, March 28–30, 2012. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  27. Yukon Native Language Centre. 2013. Northern Tutchone Certificate Training and Literacy Sessions, April 16–18, 2013, May 23–24, 2013. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  28. Yukon Native Language Centre. 2015. Northern Tutchone Literacy Session. Yukon Native Language Centre, Whitehorse, Yukon, April 21–22–23, 2015. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.

Northern Tutchone Story Books

  1. Billy, Eva and Yukon Native Language Centre. 1998. Łuk Tsʼègän Zhū. Drying Fish Place. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  2. Billy, Eva and Yukon Native Language Centre. 1998. Nótleté Yų̀nāy. Nótletéʼs Story. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  3. Billy, Eva and Yukon Native Language Centre. 1998. Tthêtʼawa Łádézhe. Tthêtʼawa Goes Hunting. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  4. Germaine, Catherine and Yukon Native Language Centre. 2001. Ihkún Zhä́t. In My House. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  5. Germaine, Catherine and Yukon Native Language Centre. 1996. Łyok Tsʼehgän. Drying Fish. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  6. Germaine, Catherine and Yukon Native Language Centre. 1996. Ǫ́ʼetʼina Łą́dézhe. Ǫ́ʼetʼina Goes Hunting. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  7. Hall, Lizzie and Yukon Native Language Centre. 2008. Denyä́k Ke Łádézhé. Hunting for Moose. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  8. Hall, Lizzie and Yukon Native Language Centre. 2001. Łyok Kų́. Fish Camp. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  9. Hall, Lizzie and Yukon Native Language Centre. 2001. Núuzhia Yunāy. Núuzhiaʼs Story. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  10. Hall, Lizzie and Yukon Native Language Centre. 2003. Tom Tsʼáw Te Tsʼín Nechí Dok Dézhe. Tom Goes Out into the Bush to Camp. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  11. Tom Tom, Rachel and Yukon Native Language Centre. 2008. Dekʼą́ Denyä́k Ke Łádézhé. The Moose Hunt. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.

Other Northern Tutchone Resources

  1. Ranigler, Anne and Yukon Native Language Centre. 2007. Northern Tutchone Listening Exercises. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.

Related Language Links

Under Construction