Vihtr’ii Tshik

17.  Vihtr’ii Tshik

Official Name: 
Thunder River
This place name refers to the mouth of a river that flows into the Mackenzie River near the boundary of the Gwich’in and Sahtu land claim areas.
Literal translation: 
Vihtr’ii =flint, Tshik= at the mouth of

Before the fur trade brought steel axes and fire arms to the area, the Gwich’in depended for their survival on tools made from stone, wood and bone. It was here at the mouth of the Thunder River that people came to quarry stone to make such tools and weapons as scrapers, knives and arrowheads. It was one of many places that were critical to people’s survival on the land. According to Gwich’in oral history and archaeological research, the Gwich’in, Slavey and Siglit (now known as Inuvialuit), all came here to quarry stone for tools for hundreds, and perhaps thousands of years. This place was highly respected and Gwichya Gwich’in elder Gabe Andre mentioned that people showed their respect and gratitude by leaving a small item as a token of thanks in place of the stone that was removed.