How the Tlicho People Came to Be

A young woman who did not have a husband, lived with her two brothers. One day a handsome stranger came to their house. The brothers said to the sister, “This handsome man has come for you so you must marry him.” So the couple were wed.

On their wedding night the young woman awoke to the sound of a dog gnawing on a bone. The woman’s husband was also no longer at her side. She jumped up, lit the fire, and searched the tent but there was no dog in the tent. 

Illustration of the woman watching the puppies turn into children

The woman went back to bed and fell asleep. Once again she was awakened by the sound of a dog gnawing on a bone. The woman called out to one of her brothers who threw a hatchet in the direction of the noise. There was a loud cry and then silence. The woman and her brothers quickly lit the fire and found a large black dog lying dead. The woman’s husband did not return.

Eventually the woman gave birth to six puppies. The woman loved these puppies but she was also ashamed of them and concealed them in a sack. One day upon returning to the camp, the woman noticed the footprints 

of children around the camp. The next day instead of checking her snares as she usually did, she hid behind a bush close to the tent. After she had left, the six puppies crawled out of the sack and turned into three girls and three boys. The woman ran towards them but before she could reach them, two of the girls and one of the boys jumped back into the sack.

The remaining three children grew up strong and healthy and produced many children. We are descended from them and that is why we call ourselves the Tłįcho or Dogrib people.