Arctic Red River


This is one of the most picturesque places on the Arctic Red River. There are gravel bar deposits where the two rivers meet, and high eroding black shale cliffs with splashes of red, orange, green, purple, and yellow formed by the Arctic Red River flowing down from the east and the Cranswick River from the west. People climbed up into the mountains from here through an old time trail between the two rivers packing many loads ahead before making the actual journey to the mountains to reach their winter hunting grounds.



This place refers to a burning hillside located downstream from the Forks. There is a strong sulfuric smell from the burning. According to the elders, people returning from the mountains early in the spring would stop either here or at two other places below the Forks - Weldon Creek or at Bernard Creek. They would bring many loads of drymeat (in bales) and make their moose skin boats at these locations in order to travel back to the Mackenzie River to trade at the trading post, to go spring ratting and then fishing.


Hehnjuu Deetł’yah Tshik

The Gwich’in name for this creek is so old, that the elders are no longer certain of it’s meaning. Up until the mid-1900s this was one of the main campsites for people travelling between the mountains and the Mackenzie River in the fall and spring. In the fall, people paddled and tracked their canoes from the Mackenzie River up the Arctic Red River to this river and then walked into the mountains with their dogs so they could hunt for sheep, moose and caribou during the winter.


Nèhtrùh Chì’

There are a number of places on the land that the elders talk about as being inhabited a long time ago by large and often dangerous creatures. Nehtruh tshì’ is such a place and was considered very dangerous as it was the home of a giant wolverine. According to Gwichya Gwich’in elders this wolverine was a wicked creature and greatly feared because it killed anyone that it encountered. The giant wolverine lived in a lake nearby but over time it became so disturbed by people and their noise, that it decided to move to a quieter place.


Deetrìn’ Ehchįį K’ìt

This name refers to three hollows located below the hill on which the Roman Catholic Church stands in Tsiigehtchic, near the confluence of the Arctic Red River and Mackenzie River. These hollows were part of Crow’s Camp long ago and refer to three of his beds created at a time when animals and humans could change form and communicate with each other. The "crow bed" below the church hill is referred to in the Crow Story, a story that brings much laughter when told as it highlights the sneaky nature of crow and how his beak became crooked.

Subscribe to RSS - Arctic Red River