Teetl’it Gwich’in Band Council

Our community and members have traditional lands surrounding Fort McPherson, Northwest Territories

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Our people proudly support the traditional values and lifestyle which promote the success of Tetlit Gwich’in. Our story, our community and our members come together to live our values within our treaty and inherent rights in our traditional lands surrounding Fort McPherson, NT.

According to the 2017 census, the population of Fort McPherson is 796. More than 80 per cent of the population is of Gwich’in descent. The two principle languages spoken are Gwich’in and English. The Gwich’in people of Fort McPherson are very welcoming of visitors and go out of their way to make everyone feel welcome. The Tetlit Gwich’in people are dependent on the Porcupine Caribou and the fish and fresh water from the Peel River.

“People of the headwaters” is the English translation of the Tetlit Gwich’in, who today live in Fort McPherson, Northwest Territories. It is located on the east bank of the Peel River. Explorer John Bell for the Hudson Bay Company, established a trading post in 1849 along the Peel River, four miles up from where the community of Fort McPherson is now situated. After experiencing numerous floods the post was moved to higher ground, this post was called Peel River House but was later named Fort McPherson after Murdoch McPherson.

Highway access to the community is closed twice a year when the Peel River Ferry shuts down in the fall, after which an ice crossing is constructed on the Peel River, and in the spring, when the spring break up of ice occurs.

There are seasonal flights to Inuvik Airport on Aklak Air when the road across the Peel and Mackenzie is closed.