Gwich’in Place Names

Since 1992, the Gwich’in Social and Cultural Institute (GSCI) has been working with Gwich’in elders to build an inventory of heritage sites within the Gwich’in Settlement Region (GSR) through a traditional land use study using oral history and ethno-archaeological research. The oral history research has documented this knowledge and use of the land, by recording place names and associated stories, trails, traditional camp sites, graves, historic sites, harvesting locales, and sacred or legendary places.

To date, GSCI has recorded approximately 1,000 named places for the Gwich’in Settlement Region. The accompanying “talking place name map” features information about 30 of the named places from our research. By following the major rivers in the Gwich’in Settlement Region, long used as travel routes, you can learn more about the history and culture of the Gwich’in.

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