Tsiigehtchic, Northwest Territories Canada

Discover Tsiigehtchic, Northwest Territories: A Gwich'in Community with Rich History

Tsiigehtchic, Northwest Territories, is a unique Gwich'in community nestled at the confluence of the Mackenzie and Arctic Red Rivers. Officially known as the Charter Community of Tsiigehtchic, this Canadian gem is located in the Inuvik Region of the Northwest Territories. The community was formerly known as Arctic Red River until its name change on April 1, 1994. Today, it is home to the Gwichya Gwich'in First Nation.

Tsiigehtchic, Northwest Territories: A Snapshot of Demographics

According to the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Tsiigehtchic, Northwest Territories, had a population of 138 living in 59 of its 73 total private dwellings. This represented a -19.8% change from its 2016 population of 172. With a land area of 47.89 km2 (18.49 sq mi), the community had a population density of 2.9/km2 (7.5/sq mi) in 2021. In 2016, 130 people identified as First Nations and 10 as Inuit. Interestingly, only 5 people reported that an Indigenous language (Gwich’in) was their mother tongue.

Transportation in Tsiigehtchic, Northwest Territories

Tsiigehtchic, Northwest Territories, is crossed by the Dempster Highway, NWT Highway 8. This highway crosses the Mackenzie River at Tsiigehtchic. During winter, vehicle traffic is over the ice, while for the rest of the year, traffic is carried by the ferry MV Louis Cardinal. The ferry stops at Tsiigehtchic, on the eastern bank of the Arctic Red River, and on the southwestern and northeastern banks of the Mackenzie River, connecting the two legs of the Dempster Highway. Notably, Tsiigehtchic is one of the few communities in the NWT not served by a permanent airport.

Tsiigehtchic, Northwest Territories: The Discovery of a Steppe Bison Carcass

In early September 2007, a local resident of Tsiigehtchic, Northwest Territories, Shane Van Loon, made a remarkable discovery. He found a carcass of a steppe bison, which was radiocarbon dated to c. 13,650 cal BP. This carcass appears to represent the first Pleistocene mummified soft tissue remains from the glaciated regions of northern Canada (Zazula et al. 2009). This discovery adds a fascinating layer to the rich history of Tsiigehtchic.