Watch: Fallen Dene sacred tree is moved to new resting place

The Dene sacred tree is lowered into place at the Wiilideh site
The Dene sacred tree is lowered into place at the Wiilideh site. Ollie Williams/Cabin Radio

The Dene sacred tree, which fell in high winds last month, has completed its move to the nearby Wiilideh site.

A crane and flatbed truck were used to transport the tree the short distance from the place where it fell, on one side of the Yellowknife River, to one corner of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation’s Wiilideh ceremonial area.

A community workshop will now be held, at a date to be determined, to decide on the tree’s long-term future.

“There are all kinds of options that have been suggested. At the end of the day, the Elders of the community will decide,” said Fred Sangris, representing the Yellowknives Dene First Nation, as the tree was gently lowered into its latest resting place at the ceremonial site.



“One option is that the tree remains where it is and people take the branches home. Another is people can use the branches for making drum handles. Or you can take the acorn and plant it behind your house, or keep it in your house.

“The tree has gone down but the spirit is still alive.”

The tree, which stood to the left of the Ingraham Trail on the Yellowknife side of the bridge crossing the river, came down in winds gusting to 70 km/h on August 12.

“We are going to carry him across to his resting place and keep him there for people to touch and to hold. It will remain with us,” Sangris told Cabin Radio at the time.