Vuntut Gwitchin Government

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Vuntut Gwitchin First NationWebsite:

Head of Government/Organization: Chief Dana Tizya-Tramm 

Description: The Vuntut Gwitchin is the name of our people, which in our language means “people of the lakes.” We, the Vuntut Gwitchin, are one of 19 communities spread out across the US State of Alaska, and the Canadian territories of the Yukon and western Northwest Territory. These 19 villages and cities are inhabited by over 7500 people, which together form a nation of people: the Gwitchin Nation.

Strategically placed by Gwitchin elders to overlap with the seasonal migration routes of the 150,000 to 180,000 strong Porcupine Caribou Herd (so-called because of the herd’s crossing of the Porcupine River during its fall and spring migrations) the Gwitchin villages still depend on this magnificent herd for food, clothing, and various crafts. The Porcupine caribou are the centre of Gwitchin culture.

The Vuntut Gwitchin of Old Crow make up a community of approximately 300 people. A community with no road access to the rest of the world, one can only reach this village by boat in the summer, snow machine in the winter, or plane year-round. This isolation is a blessing for our people, for it enables us to preserve our language, traditional pursuits such as fishing, trapping, snow shoeing and hunting — particularly hunting the Porcupine Caribou Herd.

With boundless pride in our ancient cultural heritage and ancestral homelands we exercise our inherent right to self government, to take the responsibility for the general welfare of our citizens, and to provide for the good government of our communities, lands and resources.

Treaty/Land Claim Agreement: Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation Final & Self-Government Agreements

Signatories to the Agreement: Government of Canada, Yukon Government, Vuntut Gwitchin Government
Key Dates: May 29, 1993 – signing of the VGFN Final Agreement.

Brief description of the region covered by claim: We live in the northernmost community of Old Crow located 128 km (80 miles) north of the Arctic Circle at the confluence of the Crow and Porcupine Rivers in Canada’s Yukon Territory.

Total Land Area: VGFN traditional territory is 55,000 square km, and settlement land is 7744.06 square km

# of Beneficiaries: Approximately 800 (250 of which are in Old Crow)

First Nations within the Land Claims Area: Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation

Aboriginal Languages Spoken: Gwich’in

Head Office Address:
P.O. Box 94
Old Crow, Yukon
Canada, Y0B 1N0

Telephone: (867) 966-3261

Media contact:
Rebecca Shrubb
(867) 966-3261 ext. 258

LCAC Representative:
Kris Statnyk