Gwich'in (Kutchin) is the Athabaskan language spoken in the northeastern Alaska villages of Arctic Village, Venetie, Fort Yukon, Chalkyitsik, Circle, and Birch Creek, as well as in a wide adjacent area of the Northwest Territories and the Yukon Territory. The Gwich'in population of Alaska is about 1,100, and of that number about 300 are speakers of the language. Gwich'in has had a written literature since the 1870s, when Episcopalian missionaries began extensive work on the language. A modern writing system was designed in the 1960s by Richard Mueller, and many books, including story collections and linguistic material, have been published by Katherine Peter, Jeff Leer, Lillian Garnett, Kathy Sikorski, and others.

Source: The narrative on this page is courtesy of Gary Holton, Assistant Professor at Alaska Native Language Center. where this text can be seen in the context of other Alaskan languages.

Fonts: - the Gwich'in Social & Cultural Institute (GSCI) the cultural and heritage arm of the Gwich'in Tribal Council. - Languagegeek provides fonts and keyboard layouts which try to cover all of the glyphs (alphabetical letters/Syllabics) necessary for writing the Native languages on the continent.

Gwich'in Social & Cultural Institute (GSCI) - "Over 40 research projects, many of them multi-year, have been carried out since 1993. Research has revolved around the study of place names and traditional land use, ethno-botany, ethno-archaeology, elder's biographies, genealogy, a Gwich'in language dictionary, the replication of 19th century caribou skin clothing, and the identification of National Historic Sites in the Gwich'in Settlement Region."

This page updated - May 16, 2008 by Jim Kerr

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