Sahtu

From Academic Kids

The Sahtu are a Dene people living in the vicinity of Great Bear Lake (Sahtu, the source of their name), Northwest Territories, Canada. Other Sahtu communities include Deline, Northwest Territories.

Like the rest of the Dene, they speak Athabaskan languages, including Slavey.

The Deline community of the Sahtu Dene experienced great loss during Canada's participation in the Manhattan Project. The need for radioactive materials, (such as radium), to create atomic weapons was met with the deposits found near the Great Bear Lake. The Sahtu Dene were hired to transport the ore containing radium from the Northwest Territories to be processed in Ontario or the United States. Since much of the uranium that existed in Europe was under Nazi control, the radium deposits in Canada were vital to the creation of the first atomic bombs. Unaware of the radiation's effects, the Sahtu Dene used "cloth sacks" to transport the ore. [1] (http://www.deline.ca/community/uranium.html)

Ultimately, the devastating effects of radiation poisoning impacted the Deline community severely. A 1999 documentary by Peter Blow entitled Village of Widows detailed the experiences of the Sahtu Dene.

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