Definition of Chipewyan in US English:


nounPlural Chipewyans

  • 1A member of a Dene people of northwestern Canada.

    Do not confuse with Chippewa
    • ‘Social division among the Chipewyans was by local family groups, which included both nuclear and extended family.’
    • ‘Knight decided the Chipewyans would come to Hudson's Bay trading posts only if the Cree and Chipewyan were at peace.’
    • ‘However, between 1715 and 1769 the Chipewyans in their territory were on the edge of history only.’
    • ‘It became harder for the Canadiens to exert influence over the Cree and Chipewyans by trade goods alone.’
    • ‘I have yet to encounter a Chipewyan with any interest in the question’.’
    • ‘So when the guide decided to winter with the Chipewyans, Hearne had little choice but to agree.’
    • ‘To add to the confusion, the Chipewyans claim that they are the original people from whom the Beaver sprang.’
    • ‘Instead, small bands of Chipewyans set themselves up as middlemen or traders themselves, and acted as the means of exchanging European products for Chipewyan furs.’
    • ‘When Thanadelthur and Stewart returned in 1716 to York from their mission of peace with the Chipewyans, they had survived a harrowing trip.’
    • ‘Such distinctions are important elements in the present intense rivalry between the Chipewyans and the Dog Ribs over land claims and agreements on diamond mining.’
    • ‘It lies within the traditional hunting area of the Dogrib Tribe who re-occupied the land following the decline of the Yellowknife Chipewyans in the 1820's.’
  • 2The Athabaskan language of the Chipewyan.

    • ‘One goal of the project, called Daghida, a Chipewyan word meaning ‘we are alive,’ will be to help start an immersion program for Cold Lake children.’
    • ‘It was followed by Dene (Chipewyan), Inuktitut, Slavey, Dogrib and Ojibway translations.’
    • ‘Only a handful of people still speak Chipewyan fluently, he says, and those under 45 have only a sketchy knowledge of the language at best.’
    • ‘Chipewyan is spoken by around 4000 native people in Northern Canada today.’


  • Relating to the Chipewyan or their language.

    • ‘In 1715 an expedition under William Stewart of the HBC was made into Chipewyan territory.’
    • ‘Though many Chipewyan people are bilingual in Chippewa or Cree, it is actually not related to those languages at all.’
    • ‘Treeline is one of the few facilities that replaces the motors on its boats every year, and its registered Chipewyan and Cree guides are among the country's best.’


From Cree, literally ‘(wearing) pointed-skin (garments)’.