Nichìitsìi Diniinlee OR Chìitsìi Diniinlee

10. Nichìitsìi Diniinlee OR Chìitsìi Diniinlee

Nichìitsìi Diniinlee
Official Name: 
This place name refers to three massive rocks in the East Channel of the Mackenzie River in the Campbell Lake area
Literal translation: 
Ni = ts’ii dęįį word; chìi= rock, tsìi= iron, Diniinlee = lined up

This place was one of the main summer gathering places and fish camps for the Gwichya Gwich'in in the Mackenzie Delta in historic times. People came in early June after the ratting (muskrat) season, and stayed until August in order to fish. In the early 1900's, several families also stayed here year round because it was a good place for hunting in the spring, fishing in the summer, and trapping in the winter. Old Fabien Coyen, Paul Niditchie and John Tsal each had cabins here. Other people who stayed here included: Pascal Baptiste, Pierre Tazzie, and Fred Cardinal. In the late 1920s, Old (Adolphus) Norris and his wife Christine established a small trading post about nine miles downriver, and people from Big Rock used to travel there by dog team to trade their furs for supplies. Annie Norbert recalls hearing the Norris’s dogs when they were being fed at night. Today, Tommy Wright of Inuvik and his family are the only people who stay at Big Rock. In the early 1990s, he bought and repaired Fabien Coyen’s cabin and is using it now for a warehouse. Tommy also built a new cabin in 1996/97. Bobby Hurst has a cabin on the west side of the East Channel about a quarter of a mile up stream.