Definition of Chipewyan in US English:



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

    Do not confuse with Chippewa
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘To add to the confusion, the Chipewyans claim that they are the original people from whom the Beaver sprang.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Knight decided the Chipewyans would come to Hudson's Bay trading posts only if the Cree and Chipewyan were at peace.’
    • ‘When Thanadelthur and Stewart returned in 1716 to York from their mission of peace with the Chipewyans, they had survived a harrowing trip.’
    • ‘Social division among the Chipewyans was by local family groups, which included both nuclear and extended family.’
    • ‘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.’
  • 2The Athabaskan language of the Chipewyan.

    • ‘It was followed by Dene (Chipewyan), Inuktitut, Slavey, Dogrib and Ojibway translations.’
    • ‘Chipewyan is spoken by around 4000 native people in Northern Canada today.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’


  • Relating to the Chipewyan or their language.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Though many Chipewyan people are bilingual in Chippewa or Cree, it is actually not related to those languages at all.’
    • ‘In 1715 an expedition under William Stewart of the HBC was made into Chipewyan territory.’


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