Spirituality Gains Prominence at Dene Gathering

Monday, August 23, 2004 at 15:16



A northern Saskatchewan chief feels spirituality was the issue that got the most attention at last week’s Dene gathering in Dillon.


Buffalo River Dene Nation chief Elmer Campbell says while there was also a heavy emphasis placed on the importance of land, he says a lot of the participants seemed most inclined to talk about the conflict many feel between traditional spirituality and Christianity.


Campbell says too many Dene youth are being told what to believe instead of exploring their spiritual side on their own.


As a result, he says many youth lack a spiritual dimension and engage in substance abuse and other unhealthy activities.


The governance structure of a new national Dene organization was also discussed at length last week, but Campbell says it will be next summer before anything is decided.


He also says there likely won’t be a national leader in the early going.


The selection process for the Denesuline National Council will take place next June at a meeting in Chard, Alberta.