The mission of the Cultural Heritage and Language department is to proactively reclaim and repatriate our stories, cultural beliefs, traditions and language to sustain Tsaa Dane culture.

Core Community Services

Core Function:

To support endeavors with language translation as well as locate and curate existing information through archival work.


  • Revitalize Dane-zaa Záágéʔ by documenting and integrating language in all facets of community life, administrative operations and with external parties by:
    • Working with Dane-zaa Záágéʔ language team to preserve and enhance the language
    • Fulfilling internal and external translation and knowledge requests
    • Growing fluency of the language by providing learning opportunities and tools to community members
  • Coordinate requests for community representation at internal and external events, e.g., Drummers, translators and Elders (Territorial welcome and knowledge sharing)
  • Manage cultural heritage and historical data through specialized archival systems and quality research
  • Reclaim and rebuild Tsááʔ Ché Ne Dane identity by bringing cohesion and connection to our Tsááʔ Ché Ne Dane knowledge systems as reflected in our stories, Dreamers’ songs, language, traditions and values
  • Connect Elders and youth to encourage and foster transmission of knowledge and traditional skills
  • Promote public awareness and increases visibility of Tsááʔ Ché Ne Dane culture, history and language
  • Develop policies to ensure effective data governance and sovereignty
  • Manage the DRFN Fur Program by collecting furs from community trappers
  • Manage the DRFN Craft Program by purchasing and selling crafts and artwork produced in the community

Latest from CH&L Department

DRFN Community Engagement Session on the Ridington Archive Collection

Are you interested in DRFN history? This is an opportunity to get a look at up to 1000’s of photos taken by Robin Ridington and contribute the conversation about how DRFN will manage them. Please join us to add information to the database about what, who and the locations you see in the photos, order some copies for yourself and contribute to the questionnaire about how they will be managed by our band. And, get yourself registered for the yummy, free lunch! Hope you see you there! 🙂

Amy & Madeline complete Indigenous Educator Training Certificates!

Congratulations to both Amy and Madeline, of the Cultural and Heritage Resources and Language Department for completing their certificates in Indigenous Educator Training! Please take some time to watch their presentations which are available here. You will be very impressed with both their presentation skills and the subject matter they cover.

Amy’s presentation is on employee engagement. She talks about how employees act when they aren’t engaged and what they and their team members can do to get them feeling better appreciated and involved.

Madeline’s presentation is on building communication with your team. She focuses on how to ground yourself as an Indigenous person and provides some great video footage of wildlife as examples. She then explains that you can participate better as a team member if you take the time to ground yourself first.

These are GREAT presentations and I’m sure that everyone who watches them will learn a few things. Good job ladies!! 🙂


Thomas Whitton

Cultural Heritage and Language Manager

Cultural Heritage and Language Department Staff

Madeline Oker

Language Specialist

Amy Acko

Culture & Language Program Coordinator

Trail Acko

Cultural Assistant

Detailed contact information for our staff and departments can be found on our Contact page.