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This is why the grand chief of the Gwich’in Tribal Council changed his name

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This is why the grand chief of the Gwich’in Tribal Council changed his name

Or no longer it has been his dream since he changed into once a younger adult to commerce his name to one which’s belonged to his family for generations, but changed into once obscured by early settlers. And now, its official — the grand chief of the Gwich’in Tribal Council will slither by the name Ken Kyikavichik.

Early Newspaper
Grand Chief Ken Kyikavichik holds a portrait of his uncle, Chief Johnny Kay, who also conception to be changing his name earlier than he died. (Submitted by Ken Kyikavichik )

Or no longer it has been his dream since he changed into once a younger adult to commerce his name to one which’s belonged to his family for generations but changed into once obscured by early settlers.

And now its official: The grand chief of the Gwich’in Tribal Council will slither by the name Ken Kyikavichik.

“I obvious after getting elected, that changed into once one thing that I’d finally put together thru on,” he acknowledged.

“The reason that it be vital changed into once the indisputable fact that the history of the name is that it changed into once changed by the early settlers into the home right here. They could well well well no longer direct ‘Kyikavichik.’ And so they ended up changing and shortening it to ‘Kay.'”

He introduced the commerce from Ken Smith at a recent Gwich’namely assembly in Inuvik, N.W.T.

The name approach “carry the arrow.”

Kyikavichik acknowledged one of his ancestors, who changed into once too younger to hunt as a boy, feeble to put together his father spherical the village asking if he could well well well carry the arrow.

Kyikavichik’s sizable-grandfather, Chief Johnny Kay Sr., 2nd from left. (Submitted by Ken Kyikavichik)

“After that, they began calling him Kyikavichik. And of direction, the name caught and his descendants were Kyikavichik,” he acknowledged.

“When the early settlers came, they most often took our names and made them our closing names, and then supplied the anglicized names for the first names. And so John, Mary, Robert … these are general names in our communities.”

Significance for language

His sizable-grandfather, Johnny Kyikavichik Sr., changed into once Head man (2nd in order) to Chief Julius Salu of the Tetlit Gwich’in, a signatory to Treaty 11.

Kyikavichik also had an uncle by the identical name, Chief Johnny Kyikavichik, who wished to commerce his closing name to boot, earlier than he handed away closing year.

Since this year marks the centennial anniversary for Treaty 11, the grand chief acknowledged it be namely vital to reclaim his ragged name.

“These are lawful some of the issues that I conception I needed to attain to no longer solely let folks know the do and who I’m from, but besides underpin the significance of our Gwich’in language, which is struggling,” he acknowledged.

“We’ve obtained a declining amount of fluent speakers of the Gwich’in language. And it be vital that we promote our language and accomplish what we can to pork up the level of fluency amongst our communities.”

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This is why the grand chief of the Gwich’in Tribal Council changed his name