Jane remembers living out on the land. Her parents John Joseph and Sarah Stewart had nine children, Jane included. Jane was born in Aklavik but eventually moved to Fort McPherson with her family when she was still a toddler. Some of her fondest memories are those shared with her father when they would go out on the land together.
“I was born here, down at the Mouth of the Peel,” says Jane Charlie, on May 3rd, 1930. Her parents were Alfred and Annie Bonnetplume who together had ten children. Jane is the youngest of them. Today, she recalls having two other brothers younger than herself, but unfortunately they died at the tender age of one, their names being William and Paul. Between 1932-1933 Jane and her family lived around the Blackstone River.
Hyacinthe has spent most of his life on the land travelling extensively throughout the Gwichya Gwich'in area, living in such areas as Travaillant Lake,Tree River, the Delta and up the Arctic Red River. Some of Hyacinthe's earliest memories include living in a moss house, travelling down the Arctic Red River by moose skin boat and walking into the mountains with dogs, everyone laden down with packs.
Hannah Alexie was born in Trail Creek and raised by her parents Abraham and Bella Alexie. When Hannah was old enough to go to school, she and her family moved to Aklavik. Hannah went into school not knowing any English whatsoever but caught on very quickly thanks to her older sister.
Garnett was born at Pokiak River across from Aklavik on January 31, 1928. His parents were Donald and Sophie Greenland. His maternal grandfather’s name was Ben Kassi but he doesn’t know his grandmother. His paternal grandparents were George and Fanny Greenland. In 1937 he went to school at the Anglican Church for three years and he didn’t return to school because his brother passed on.
Freddy Greenland was born in Aklavik. Raised by his parents, Joe and Bella Greenland, Freddy was the youngest of eight children. When asked what were some of his fondest memories, an endearing term “the way things were”, can sum it up for Freddy. He remembers inspirational people in his life, such as Reverend James (Jim) Edwards and his
brother Lazarus Sittichinli.
Eunice was born on August 6, 1920 at Naghaii zhoo tshik (Nelson Fishery) on the Peel River. She was raised by her grandparents when she was younger but she moved back home to help her mother raise her brother and sister. She took over for her father after he passed away in the 1944 flu. When she was a child her family lived at Sruh niilii tshik.
“When I was a young child I remember people used to travel around the mountains during the winter. In the summer they fished in the rivers. Down the river, in the spring, they hunted for muskrat. When muskrat season was over, everybody headed for town and stayed for a while. Then everybody went out on the land to fish.”
Ellen was born in Fort McPherson on January 1, 1933. Her parents were Abraham and Sarah Francis (Sintenilhyin). Her maternal grandparents were William Sintenilhyin (Shint’eh Nil’in) and Annie Vaneltsi (Atl’oh Ts’aii) and her paternal grandparents were Francis Choo Sintlouchi (Shintl’aochih) and Julia Shaday (Shadee).
Elizabeth was born July 16, 1945 in Aklavik. Her parents were Lazarus and Catherine Sittichinli. Her maternal grandparents were Kenneth and Annie Stewart. Her paternal grandparents were Edward and Annie Sittichinli. Liz married Charlie Simpson from Fort Chipewyan, Alberta. They married in Aklavik in 1977. They were married by her cousin, Freddy Greenland, at her parents’ house so Freddy and his wife were the witnesses.