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Teetshik Goghaa (Old Arctic Red) Territorial Historic Site

Old Arctic Red, Territoires du Nord-Ouest, Canada

Reconnu formellement en: 2010/03/23

Teetshik Goghaa from the Mackenzie River.; I. Kritch, GSCI
Teetshik Goghaa from the Mackenzie River.
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Autre nom(s)

Old Arctic Red
Teetshik Goghaa (Old Arctic Red) Territorial Historic Site

Liens et documents

Date(s) de construction


Inscrit au répertoire canadien: 2013/10/29

Énoncé d'importance

Description du lieu patrimonial

Teetshik Goghaa, also known as Old Arctic Red, is located eleven kilometers downstream from modern day Tsiigehtchic on the east bank of the Mackenzie River and encompasses about three square kilometers. It is the site of one of the first Roman Catholic Missions in the vicinity. In pre-contact times it was a traditional summer fishing and gathering place for the Gwichya Gwich’in. The Gwich’in name Teetshik Goghaa, translates as “a bundle of creeks”, referring to the several creeks that come together here and flow into the river. The most visible human features of the area today are the remains of an old stone fire place and several wooden grave markers. It is a recorded archeological site and overlaps partially with Gwich’in Heritage Conservation Zone H09.

Valeur patrimoniale

The heritage value of Teetshik Goghaa is in its historical and cultural associations. Long before European contact this was a spot where people congregated. The fishing was good and there were lots of berries. “That’s where the old peoples were staying, hundred years ago... just live there and fish. ...Winter they go back in the lakes” (GSCI 2009). After a long winter people would gather here in the summer to fish and visit with friends and families that they had not seen for many months. There would be dances, games, and other festivities that would often go on for several days.

In the 1860’s catholic missionaries began annual visits to the Gwichya Gwich’in territory. In 1869 a mission was built at the mouth of the Arctic Red River. Over the next two decades, the mission building was plagued with wind and flooding problems. The decision was made to move the church downstream in the 1880’s to Teetshik Goghaa, a site already in use by the local people. The buildings were constructed on a high hill at the mouth of several creeks and the Gwich’in stayed in tents on the hills flanking the mission. The remains of the large stone fire place and the remnants of at least two other foundations attest to the intention of permanence; however this spot was abandoned before long. A mission building was later constructed around the turn of the century on the hill at the mouth of the Arctic Red River, where the current church now stands. The archaeological remains of the mission at Teetshik Goghaa present an intriguing snapshot in time of a missionary community in the Canadian subarctic.

Éléments caractéristiques

Character-defining elements of Teetshik Goghaa include:
- An important pre-contact summer fishing and gathering place.
- The site of an early catholic mission chosen because of its use by the Gwichya Gwich’in.
- Represents an era of spiritual change for the Gwich’in when missionaries of different faiths were promoting a new belief system and having a significant impact on the lives of indigenous people.
- Location of historic period graves, a large wooden cross, culturally modified trees, and a pre-contact archaeological site.
- A tangible link to Gwich’in oral tradition, place names and traditional practices that helps define the site and its associations.



Territoires du Nord-Ouest

Autorité de reconnaissance

Gouvernement des Territoires du Nord-Ouest

Loi habilitante

Historical Resources Act

Type de reconnaissance

Territorial Historic Site

Date de reconnaissance


Données sur l'histoire

Date(s) importantes


Thème - catégorie et type

Établir une vie sociale et communautaire
Les institutions religieuses

Catégorie de fonction / Type de fonction


Indéterminée (site archéologique)
Site à découvert


Approvisionnements en vivres
Site de pêcheries
Religion, rituel et funéraille

Architecte / Concepteur




Informations supplémentaires

Emplacement de la documentation

Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre

Réfère à une collection

Identificateur féd./prov./terr.




Inscriptions associées



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