Staff

Sharon Snowshoe

a Teetł’it Gwich’in beneficiary from Fort McPherson, has been employed as the GSCI Executive Director since August 2005. Sharon is responsible for the overall administration and financial management of the GSCI. Prior to her work with the GSCI, Sharon worked as a Band Manager for the Teetł’it Gwich’in Council for five years. During this time she assisted GSCI on several projects including the nomination and designation of two National Historic Sites and two NWT Territorial Historic Sites in the Gwich’in Settlement Region on behalf of the Teetł’it Gwich’in Council. In 2003, Sharon, representing the Teetł’it Gwich’in, participated in the Wind River trip, a 10-day river trip co-sponsored by GSCI. Formerly, Sharon was the Gwich’in Enrolment Coordinator for the Gwich’in Enrolment Board for five years. She played a key role in genealogical research in Fort McPherson that resulted in the publication of Jijuu: Who are my grandparents? Where are they from? Sharon has a college certificate in Secretarial Arts from NAIT in Edmonton, Alberta and has a Business Administration certificate from Yukon College in Whitehorse, Yukon.

Ingrid Kritsch

was elected an honorary Gwich’in at the annual Gwich’in Assembly in Fort McPherson in August 2008. Ingrid was the founding Executive Director of GSCI in 1993, and since 1998 has been the Research Director. She is responsible for all research that GSCI undertakes in the area of heritage and culture. Although much of her work takes place behind a desk, her favorite part is working with elders, recording their stories and learning about Gwich’in culture and history while travelling in the Gwich’in Settlement Region. Ingrid has worked in the Canadian Subarctic as a cultural anthropologist and archaeologist since 1977. Her interest in archaeology and other cultures has also taken her outside of Canada to work on excavations in the Netherlands and the Middle East. In 2000, Ingrid was awarded a Wise Woman Award by the NWT Status of Women Council for her many years of heritage work and advocacy in the North. From 2005-2013, she served as the Northwest Territories representative on the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada. In 2012, Ingrid was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. Her education includes a B.A. (1978) in Anthropology and Geography from McGill University, an M.A. (1983) in Anthropology from McMaster University, and course work and preliminary research towards a Ph.D. from the University of Alberta (1987-1991).

Alestine Andre

a Gwichya Gwich'in beneficiary from Tsiigehtchic, has been with the GSCI since June 1994. Since that time Alestine has worked as a Cultural Director, Executive Director, and is currently the Heritage Researcher. Alestine has a college diploma (1987) in Public Administration from Camosun College, a Bachelor of Arts degree (1994) in Anthropology and Women's Studies from the University of Victoria, and a Master’s degree (2006) in Ethnobotany from the University of Victoria. Her master’s thesis was based on the traditional plant knowledge of Gwich’in plant specialist, Mrs. Ruth Welsh and her work with the GSCI and Aurora Research Institute (with Alan Fehr) which resulted in the book Gwich’in Ethnobotany: Plants Used by the Gwich’in for Food, Medicine, Shelter and Tools by Alestine Andre and Alan Fehr (2002). In 2005, Ms. Andre was awarded a Gwich’in Achievement Award by the Gwich’in Tribal Council in the career category of Gwich’in Culture. In March 2007, Ms. Andre was awarded a National Aboriginal Achievement Award in the categoryCulture, Heritage and Spirituality at a ceremony in Edmonton. In 2012, Alestine was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. In her lifetime Alestine has travelled to many countries around the world. Today Alestine returns every August to her family's fish camp at Diighe'tr'aajil along the Mackenzie River.

William George Firth

a Teetł’it Gwich’in beneficiary from Fort McPherson, is a Gwich’in language specialist who has worked in the Gwich’in language field for almost 25 years. He has been the Language Manager of the GSCI Gwich’in Language Office since 2000. As the Language Manager, William is responsible for carrying out language research and language revitalization projects in accordance with the GSCI Five Year Plan as well as the goals of the Gwich’in Language Centre which is under the wing of the GSCI. William George has a Native Language Instructor Diploma from Yukon College, Whitehorse, Yukon (2003) and an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Native Language Education from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 2007. Prior to working for GSCI, William worked as an interpreter/translator, and native language announcer/broadcaster. On his own initiative, William learned Gwich'in from his grandmother and has since worked tirelessly on projects to revitalize his language. He has learned most of what he knows from prominent elders within many of the Gwich’in communities along with his two grandmothers. William’s language interests include the documentation of the Gwich’in language resulting in three Gwich’in Language Dictionaries, teaching the Gwich’in language using the Gwich’in standardized writing system, developing Gwich’in language material for Gwich’in language teachers in the Gwich’in Settlement Area and translating the many Gwich’in stories stored at the Gwich’in Language Centre. William recently assisted with the development and piloting of a Second Language Curricula for the Gwich’in and Inuvialuit Language Instructors (2004-2008) in the Beaufort-Delta area.