Etheneldeli Tribe

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Etheneldeli Indians, Etheneldeli Nation (‘caribou-eaters’). An Athapascan tribe living east of Lake Caribou and Lake Athabasca, in the barren grounds which extend to Hudson Bay1 Franklin2 placed them between Athabasca and Great Slave lakes and Churchill river, whence they resorted to Ft Chipewyan. Ross3 makes them apart of the eastern Tinne, their habitat being to the north and east of the head of Lake Athabasca, extending to the end of Great Slave Lake. Rocky river separates them from the Tatsanottine. In the east are the barren grounds to which they resort every year to hunt the caribou, which supplies practically all their needs. They were a part of the migrating Chipewyan who descended from the Rocky mountains and advanced eastward from Peace river to dispute the Hudson bay region with the Maskegon and Cree. One of their women who was held in captivity by the Maskegon was astonished at the weapons, utensils, and clothing of European manufacture that she saw among her captors, who told her that they made these articles themselves. Finding at last that they got them in barter for furs at Ft. Prince of Wales, she made her escape to the English and told them of her own people on Peace river who held the choicest furs cheap. The British traders, eager to extend their trade, sent her with a safe conduct to her people, whom she persuaded to migrate to the barren grounds near Hudson bay, where caribou were abundant. They settled around Reindeer, Big, and North Indian lakes, and were called the Northern Indians by the English and the Mangeurs de Cariboux by the Canadian French, while the neighboring tribes called them by the same name that they had given to the English, Men of the Stone House. Hearne saw them in 1769 and Petitot found them there still a century later, numbering 900. About 300 traded at Ft Fond du Lac at the head of Lake Athabasca.  There were 248 enumerated at Fond du Lac in 1902 and 368 in 1904.


  1. Petitot, Dict. Dene-Dindjié, XX, 1876. 

  2. Journ. Polar Seas, II, 241, 1824 

  3. MS., B. A. E. 

MLA Source Citation:

Hodge, Frederick Webb, Compiler. The Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Bureau of American Ethnology, Government Printing Office. 1906. Web. 16 December 2014. - Last updated on Aug 6th, 2014

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