Gwich’in

Gwich’in Moccasins

Gwich’in Moccasins

In 1995, the Yukon Arts Centre began acquiring works of art by Indigenous and northern artists—art significant to First Nations…

Learning from the land

The Porcupine Caribou Herd is one of the largest barren-ground caribou herds in North America. It numbered approximately 220,000 when it was last counted in 2017, a record-breaking high. Despite this, the herd faces challenges.

Running is rocket science

I have to know about gravitational torque I have to know about stride frequency I have to know about running tangents I have to know about dynamic stretching I have to know about static stretching I have to know about drafting I have to know about carbo loading I have to know about cadence I …

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Mosquito Report

Let’s surprise Kelly, But not Martha. Let’s outnumber Peter, But not Stephen. Let’s pick on Tracy, But not on Bertha. Let’s hunt for Michael, But not for Joel. Let’s tickle Sherry, But not Rosie. Let’s bother Robert, But not Joseph. Let’s intimidate Barbara, But not Rosalie. Let’s tease Ronald, But not Freddy. Let’s chase Deanna, …

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A play on words

In January 2019, the United Nations (UN) declared 2019 to be the International Year of Indigenous Languages. This was meant to increase awareness and spur actions to promote and protect Indigenous languages around the world. According to the UN, an estimated 6,700 (or 40 per cent) of the world’s languages are in danger of disappearing. …

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Didee & Didoo: Politics

They just like to play games They call each other names. Some of them look glad An’ some of them look mad. Their talk is so sweet But they don’t like defeat. Sometimes they do sin So that they will win. They don’t like to lose They wait for good news. The other party is …

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Didee and Didoo – Gwichin Warrior

There’s a peaceful little townOn the banks of the river.Where the wolf an’ the caribou roamThat’s where he calls his home.In summer there’s no nightsDays are shorter in the winter time.Under the northern lightsHe dances his blues away. CHORUS:He’s a Gwichin warriorOld Crow Yukon is his home.Graceful like an eagleThe apple of his Mommie’s eye.He’s …

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Let’s Learn Gwich’in: My working tools

Shigwitrit gwidal My Working Tools Ai shi’ii I have snowshoesDii k’ee shi’ii I have a gunSrii shi’ii I have a knifeVah troo tr’it’ii shi’ii I have a sawGwik’ih shi’ii I have a fileVah Gwīitthàt shi’ii I have a hammerVah Gijiitīi shi’ii I have a drillDachan ch’anttgwàh I have a planeTr’ih shi’ii I have a canoeKhał shi’ii I have a sledDachàavàł shi’ii I have a tobogganTaa’aih shi’ii I …

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Shandaa (In my Lifetime) – Chih Ahaa

William Ch’itzee (Fort McPherson), ganaldaii (I remembered) Belle Herbert (Chalkyitsik), ganalydaii. Rev. James and Sarah Simon (Fort McPherson), ganaldaii. Special Constable Thomas Njootli (Aklavik), ganaldaii. Persis Kendi (Women’s Auxilliary, Mayo), ganaldaii. Rev. James Gilbert (Arctic Village), ganaldaii. George Robert (Fort McPherson), ganaldaii. Eunice Carney (Fort Yukon), ganaldaii. Rev. Jim Edwards (Aklavik), ganaldaii. Chief Simon Francis …

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Let’s learn Gwich’in: Wildlife Alphabet

Arctic Fox – ch’ich’yāa Bear – shoh Caribou – vadzaih Ducks – dats’an Eagle – ch’izhìn Fish – tuk Grouse – daih Hawk – chinìitrān Inconnu – tuk Dagāii Jackfish – altin King Salmon – tuk choo Loon – ts’atvit Moose – dinjik sNipe – duh Otter – trūh Porcupine – ts’it sQuirrel – dlak …

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Let’s learn Gwich’in: Dagoo Gwich’in Ginjik

Jesus Christ shat’in iindhan—Jesus loves me. Nichih gwanat’in—looking forward Nohjuu Ts’an—looking back Ohtsii Kwaa—Don’t waste. Ch’iitsii gwadal—hardware Taih kak zheh gwichoo—mansion on the hill Diiti’ Drin—Father’s Day Diihanh Drin—Mother’s Day Nagaadadal—patrol Aadrii K’anahtil—electrical Nijin gwitr’it t’agwaa’in—office Van Tat Gwich’in Teechik—Rat Indian Creek K’eech’igilik—dance caller K’oonitail Ch’adzaa—Hankerchief Dance Nihk’iidoo—eight couples Varandii—brandy Tr’igwaanduu vich’ilik—devil’s dream Geh Ch’adzaa—Rabbit …

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Didee & Didoo: Let’s Learn Gwich’in, Colours – Vah Ch’itr’idi’ee – Chih Ahaa

CARTOON: Allan Benjamin Colours – Vah Ch’itr’idi’ee – Chih Ahaa Jidii Zraii – Black Jidii Dagaii – White Jidii Ditsik – Red Jidii Vee – Grey Jidii Ch’ahtl’òo – Green Jidii Datl’òo – Blue Jidii Tthoo – Brown Jidii Tsoo – Yellow Jidii Dich’ik – Pink Ch’ihtak – One Neekaii – Two Tik – Three …

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Let’s All Learn Gwich’in

Let’s All Learn Gwich’in With Allan Benjamin from Old Crow Gwich’in Expressions: Gwich’in Ginjik Native Language Dinjii zhuh ginjik jihtth’ak I understand Native language Lée nizhigwiłts’īk? Are you hungry? Jidìi Niindhan? What do you want? Jidìi nid i’ii? What do you have? Jidìi Kàgwanah’in? What are you looking for? Ch’ivēedzyāa at’iinihthān kwaa I don’t like …

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Let’s All Learn Gwich’in

Gwich’in Expressions: Gwich’in Ginjik Native Language Dinjii zhuh ginjik jihtth’ak I understand Native language DZHii.  BIRDS Jidìi nah’ìn? What do you see? Jii viiʻidzèe tʼiinchʻuu. This is an Owl. Jii dachan chyāa tʼiinchʼuu. This is a Woodpecker. Jii augèh zhūu tʼiinchʼuu. This is a Snowbird. Jii chʼidzigyek tʼiinchʼuu. This is a Chickadee. Jii srūh tʼiinchʼuu. …

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Let’s All Learn Gwich’in

Vadzaih… CARIBOU Jidìi Kàgwanah’in?… What are you looking for? Vadzaih eenjit nahālzrīi… I’m hunting for caribou Ddhah kak vadzaih Tr’anah’in… We see caribou on the mountain Dinjik daang nał’in… I see four moose Chiitaii Drijahtsai’ !… It’s storming outside! Ch’itsii khał jihtth’ak… I hear a ski-doo Jii zhehgwidhòh t’iinch’ūu!… This is a tent! Lée nizhigwiłts’īk?… …

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Let’s All Learn Gwich’in

Our long time “Didee and Didoo” cartoonist and poet Allan Benjamin from Old Crow is excited to introduce his new Shoo’ii and Sheek’aii cartoons and poems. These new characters will appear in Gwich’in and English. Whenever you see Shoo’ii and Sheek’aii you can always be treated to a Gwich’in poem or Allan will simply have …

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Stream of Consciousness

Visit the Academic and Skills Development office in the A-wing of Yukon College, and you’ll be greeted with words of empowerment on the backs of a stream of 16 cedar salmon in a work of art created by local artist Cheryl Teya. On each salmon plaque is a core value, such as kindness, respect, goals. …

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Take the Gwich’in Language Challenge

Take the Gwich’in language challenge. It’s a challenge from Norman Snowshoe, the former Gwich’in Tribal Council vice president. He said, “If you learn one Gwich’in word a day, at the end of the year you’ve learned 365 Gwich’in words.” Jacey Firth-Hagen, 23, jumped to the challenge. She started a social media based movement, called Speak …

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Berry Picking in Old Crow

In the past two years the herd of Porcupine Caribou in Old Crow herd has gradually changed its natural migration route.

Muskrat Trapping

The sun is back and the days are warmer, except in the late evenings. People of Old Crow used to be excited about going to Crow Flat. People used to leave after Easter Monday. Preparations were done, with essentials packed to trap muskrats and shelter equipment. Only essential groceries were bought. People mostly travelled by dog …

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Didee & Didoo: Poem: “Nomadic Life”

Didee & Didoo: Nomadic Life They followed the caribou herds an’ they hunted migratory birds. Gwichins moved all over the place or hunger they would face. Everyone followed the caribou tracks but they stayed away from wolf packs. Hunters made tools from bone an’ they made axe from stone. Clothes were made from caribou leather …

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Fish on Porcupine River

Sitting at a fish hole in the dark on the Porcupine River, in the Yukon at Old Crow in the fall, is not unusual. Excitement stirs when the ice begins to freeze on the Porcupine River. My friends and I begin to prepare ice augers, fishing lines, favourite fish hooks, and all-time baits. We do …

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My Son, Edward

My son Edward Kyikavichick is handicapped. Since birth, he lived in Whitehorse in a foster home for many years. This allowed us, his parents, to live and practice their traditional lifestyle in Old Crow. Since the elderly couple Lynn and Roy Smith, well respected, passed on, he now lives at home.  Edward goes out on …

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Telling the Stories of the North

Whitehorse resident Dennis Allen has crafted a successful career out of telling stories close to his heart: stories of life and culture of the people of the North. Allen, who is of Inupiat Eskimo and Gwich’in decent, is the co-director, along with David Finch, of Watchers of the North, a new documentary series that portrays …

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Didee & Didoo – Poem “GWICH’IN GATHERING”

GWICH’IN GATHERING  I’M PROUD TO BE A GWITCHIN FROM OLD CROW, YUKON A PLACE WHERE YOU WILL LAUGH WITH DICK NUKON. YOU’LL LISTEN TO FUNNY STORIES FROM STEPHEN FROST AND JOKE AROUND WITH SHITSII ROSS. YOU WILL HEAR FIDDLE MUSIC BY HAROLD AND SQUARE DANCE WITH CAROL. YOU CAN DANCE THE JIG WITH FAMOUS EDITH JOSIE …

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Finding the Fiddle in the Yukon

Strains of lively, lilting fiddle melodies filter through classrooms up and down the Klondike Highway, played by children of all ages. This music has a long history in the territory: the jigs and reels of the fiddle have been documented in the North since 1847. In Old Crow, fiddles have been popular since Archie Linklater, …

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Two Worlds, One Film Night

Thanks to the Yukon Film Society, Whitehorse has its own de facto repertory cinema, in the form of the once-monthly Fire Hall Films series, shown at The Old Fire Hall at the foot of Main Street. This month’s offering is an entertaining double bill on Thursday, July 8, showcasing a unique look at a northern …

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Didee & Didoo – Poem “Two Old Ladies” Part Two

Slowly their strength grew An’ the winter they  made it through. The two old ladies survived  the cold weather By working together  and sleeping together. Because they knew  how to survive they kept each other alive. With the warm  weather of spring more food it would bring. All summer they dried  lots of fish and …

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Going Slightly Batty

My wariness of bats – I won’t say abject terror, that’s far too strong – dates back to the Eisenhower era. I can even trace it to a particular evening in 1952 (the year of the green Pontiac Pathfinder), when a bat suddenly swooped through the living room of our rented cottage in Quebec. I …

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