The Book

Irlbacher-FoxJust as dahshaa — a rare type of dried, rotted spruce wood — is essential to the Dene moosehide-tanning process, self-determination and the alleviation of social suffering are necessary to Indigenous survival in the Northwest Territories. Finding Dahshaa shows where self-government negotiations between Canada and the Dehcho, Délįnę, Inuvialuit, and Gwich’in peoples have gone wrong and offers an alternative model for negotiations through descriptions of tanning practices that embody the principles and values of self-determination.

In 2010, Finding Dahshaa was short listed for the Canadian Political Science Association’s Donald Smiley Prize, and by the Canadian Historical Association for its Aboriginal Book Prize.


  • List of Illustrations
  • Foreword by Bill Erasmus, Dene National Chief
  • Preface and Acknowledgments
  • Pronunciation Guide
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Context and Concepts
  • Chapter 2: Tanning Moose Hide
  • Chapter 3: Dehcho Resource Revenue Sharing
  • Chapter 4: Délįnę Child and Family Services
  • Chapter 5: Inuvialuit and Gwich’in Culture and Language
  • Conclusion
  • Notes
  • Bibliography

June 2009, 224 pages, 6 x 9″
978-0-7748-1624-3 hc $85.00
Paperback, January 2010


Page 163, Line 3: “bed” should instead be replaced with “be”
Acknowledgements Page xiv, Line 22: “mashi” should instead be replaced with “mahsi”