Tsattine (Beaver Dene)
Tsattine are the original people who lived in northwestern Alberta (and adjacent areas) before the disruptions of the colonial era. There are several Tsattine clans, but social structures have been strongly affected by colonial policies and impacts. The Tsattine River People are the focus of this project; specifically, those Tsattine people whose traditional territory is centred on the Peace River of Northwestern Alberta, in and around Peace River, Hines Creek, Dunvegan, and Grande Prairie.
Tsattine people have been in northern Alberta since time immemorial. Archaeological evidence clearly documents the presence of people in this area for at least 13,000 years. This is much longer than Europeans have been practicing agriculture or living in sedentary villages, and pre-dates the pyramids of Egypt by thousands of years. There is evidence of bison hunting at Tse'K'wa (Charlie Lake Cave), in Beaver territory, by around 10,000 years ago. The simple timeline above graphically depicts the duration of Tsattine history compared to events in European history.
The map (below) shows colonially-important locations within Tsattine territory, including some current and former reserves, fur trade posts, residential schools, and missions. The timeline (further below) describes colonial impacts on Tsattine people. Here, we focus on Tsattine people in and around Peace River, Hines Creek, Dunvegan, and Grande Prairie. There are other Beaver and/or Dene reserves in northern Alberta, northeastern British Columbia, northern Saskatchewan, and the Calgary area, but they are not the focus of our project.