Vuntut Gwitchin, People of the Lakes, is the only group of the Gwich'in Nation that expands across the north in Alaska, U.S.A., Yukon and the Northwest Territories in Canada.
The name Vuntut Gwitchin derives from the annual muskrat-trapping season, where many in the community move 40 kilometers north from Old Crow for the months of April to June. The whole area of Crow Flats is covered by small and large lakes, thus giving their name.
Each family group in Old Crow has their own trapping area, referred by each family as "their" or "my country", an area that has been passed down from generation to generation.
The First language of the Vuntut Gwitchin is "Gwich'in", still spoken among community members, and taught in the local school.
The Vuntut Gwitchin main source of livelihood is trapping, hunting, and fishing. The Porcupine Caribou Herd has provided a main source of meat and hide for boots, moccasins, mitts, traditional outfits, and more, for generations.
The Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation signed land claim and self-government agreements in 1995. The First Nation provides the majority of government and municipal services in Old Crow and community members elect a Chief and four Councilors.
Departments within the government include Chief and Council, Human Resources, Finance, Health Social & Recreation, Government Services, Information Systems, Natural Resources, and Education.
More Information? Council of Yukon First Nations