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The Future of The Gwich'in

Written by Cynthia Pavlovich

Translated with Eleanor Mitchell-Firth

Chan nan gwats’àt khanakhaandaii niidadhanh

We want to make a living from the land again

Nin kat eenjit mahsi’ hediidinjaa ts’àt nikhwits’at egidlii geenjit chan mahsi’ hediidinjah

We will be thankful for all the animals and we will be thankful for them singing to us

Chuu kak ch’ahndit zù’ gwichidhoh’eh

Cherish (value) the sparkle on the water

Nan kak tthak, chuu k’iighè’ gwindaih

Everything on the land lives because of water

Nan gwits’ee tohjah, gwatat gohdaii ts’àt jidii nan kak goo’aii t’adohch’uh

Return to the land, live on the land and make use of what is on the land

Datthak geenjit nan gwiinzii k’anohtih

Look after the land good for all

Tr’iinin kat yeendoo guugwiheelyaa guuveenjit

For the children who will be born in the future

Vadzaih zhùu nagitaa’oo shìk guk’iinjohshit

Always believe that the caribou will walk freely

nikhwidrii guuzhit gwindaii geenjit

for our hearts live inside them

ts’àt guudrii nikhwizhit chan gwindaih

and their hearts live inside us

vadzaih hàh ihłee iidilih

we are one with the caribou

Gwich’in Gwidinjii kat

Gwich’in people

Gwich’in Gwit’aii

Strength of the Gwich’in

Yeenoo dài’ nits’oo tr’igwiindai’ gwinjik gohdaih

Live the way the people lived long ago (speaking to more than one)

Nan ejùk nagwithilit gwinjik gohdaih

Live following the changes of the land

Gwich’in kat jidìi gichil’ee gwinjik gohdaih

Live following what is valued by the Gwich’in people


Have respect


Honor/ Have respect



Zhuu ghadidich’uh

S/he is loving (kindness)






Teaching others


Our stories

Atr’aadzoo ts’àt elik

Dancing and songs



Nihtat tr’indaii ts’àt nihk’atr’inahtih

Sharing and taking care of each other

Ch’igwijuu’ee ts’àt tthak nihk’it guk’atr’inahtih

Straight forward and looking after each other equally

Yeenoo nikhwichih gugwiindai’ kat guuk’it nan kak khehtak hàatsah

We will travel on the land the same way as the ones who lived before us

Gwiinzii gwitr’it gwàatsii guuzhik dlok nidhaa’aih

We are smiling while we do good work

K’agwaadhat ts’àt yeenoo nikhwichih gugwiindai’ nikhwiginee’aa gwinjik gwiidandaih

We live under the leadership of Creator/God and those who lived before us

Nihkwehdoo gugwiheendaii kat, gwiinzii gugwiheendaii geenjit

For those who will live after us, they will live a good life

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