The Gwich’in Social and Cultural Institute

The Gwich’in Social and Cultural Institute

Fort McPherson, Yellowknife, Tsiigehtchic – Northwest Territories

Tuesday, 4 October 2011, 11:32 PM

by the Gwich’in Social and Cultural Institute and First Mile contributors

The Gwich’in Social and Cultural Institute (GSCI) is putting digital technologies and infrastructure to work for the preservation of language, culture, and traditional Gwich’in knowledge in the Northwest Territories. Indeed, GSCI is using a variety of new digital media to its advantage.

Talking Map
Interactive Talking Map
(Click to view map)

Established in 1993, the GSCI works with the communities of Aklavik, Fort McPherson, Inuvik, and Tsiigehtchic in an effort to ensure Gwich’in culture and the traditional Dinjii Zhuh Ginjik (the Gwich’in language) do not vanish. With four offices in three communities, they rely heavily on the internet for communication,research, and file sharing to carry out their mandate, “To document, preserve,and promote Gwich’in language, culture, traditional knowledge, and values.”

For example, the GSCI’s website ( hosts an interactive talking map, where users can hear recordings of the traditional Gwich’in place names in the region. The website also features an extensive plant database with traditional knowledge and use of plants for food, medicine, and shelter.

Plans to develop a media-rich cybercartographic atlas and an online material culture exhibit are also in the works, the latter in conjunction with the Canadian Museum of Civilization.


Photo gallery Plant database
Screenshot of GSCI’s Photo Gallery
(Click to view)
Screenshot of GSCI’s Plant Database
(Click to view)


Find out more

Click here to find Fort McPherson on Google Maps.
Click here to find Yellowknife on Google Maps.
Click here to find Tsiigehtchic on Google Maps.