Tsiigehtchic Graveyard Project: Phase II, Old Graveyard 2008-2009.
Report on file at Gwich'in Social and Cultural Institute, 2014.
In 2005, the Tsiigehtchic Community Action Plan Project (TCAPP) identified an urgent need to record and commence upkeep activities at the two graveyards in Tsiigehtchic, NT. The New Graveyard, on Church Hill, was recorded during the summer and fall of 2005, and the Old Graveyard, in the centre of the community, was mapped in the summer of 2008. Graves were mapped, identified from the grave markers or by residents of Tsiigehtchic, photographed and numbered. A summary of the New Graveyard and a map were presented in a 2005 report to TCAPP.
The Old Graveyard was recorded in 2008, when a grave eroding from the area of the New Graveyard was brought to the attention of the Gwich’in Social and Cultural Institute (GSCI) by the Tsiigehtchic Church Working Group, a volunteer committee dedicated to dealing with various aspects of the church (Holy Name of Mary Mission). As archaeologists working with the GSCI were in Tsiigehtchic for another project, they were able to excavate and record the skeletal remains and complete the mapping of the Old Graveyard. This report summarizes activities carried out in the summer of 2008 to map and record the Old Graveyard in Tsiigehtchic, and to excavate and record the skeletal and funerary remains eroding from the banks of the Arctic Red River under the New Graveyard prior to their reburial in a ceremony.