In 1997, the Gwich'in Social and Cultural Institute in partnership with the Aurora Research Institute (ARI) began work with Gwich’in elders on an ethnobotany project. The results of this research are available in a joint publication called “Gwich’in Ethnobotany: Plants Used by the Gwich’in for Food, Medicine, Shelter and Tools” by Alestine Andre and Alan Fehr (2002). Information from this book and a Master’s thesis by Alestine Andre (2006) called, Nan t’aihnakwits'inahtsìh (The Land Gives Us Strength) have been used to create our Gwich’in ethnobotany database.
Also included are photos of these plants, and a short video of Gwich'in Elder Hyacinthe Andre (aged 92) telling an oldtime story about spruce gum in Gwich'in with English sub-titles.
Please note that the plant information provided in this website is NOT a medical guide and must not be used for medical advice or self-medication. DO NOT USE any parts of a plant if you are not certain about the plant’s identity or its medicinal use. Please seek the advice of a local medicine plant specialist for plant information.
This publication presents information recorded from Gwich'in elders on the use of 32 plants and 3 types of rocks and minerals.
Important message from our Gwich’in Elders teachings