Lesson 4 – What are you doing?

Overview & Goals

The Gwich’in people live close to the land and many activities take place out of doors. Using what you’ve learned so far you’ll take a walk through the woods and learn about what might be said and done in this context.

At the end of the lesson,  you will bel able to add some activities to your conversation skills.

Lesson Videos

Resource Video

The following video is from a children’s book where the father points out the name of many things.


Basic verb conjugation

  • Neehihdik – I walk
  • Neeheedik – he/she walks
  • Neegeehiidal – they walk
  • Neehiindik – you walk


Taking a walk

  • Deegwii’in – What’s happening?
  • Deeni’in – what are you doing?
  • Nijuk hinkhaii? Where are you going?
  • Deeshi’ìn – What am I doing?
  • Dee’in? – What are you doing?
  • Deegwi’in? –  What are we doing?
  • Deekho’in? – What are you guys’ doing?
  • Dèegii’in? – What are they doing?


_______gwats’a’ hihshyaa – I am going to _____________

  • Ch’ookwat Zheh – store
  • Geech’oahtan Zheh – school
  • Tąįį – trail
  • Han – river
  • Łukdeek’it – fish camp
  • Shizheh – Home –
  • Shijyaa veezheh – The house of my friend –
  • Shiyeeghan nąįį goozheh – The house of my parents –
  • Kwaiik’it – Town –
  • Oo’ok – woods/wilderness –
  • Ddhah – Mountains  
  • Gwitr’iÅ‚ – work


  • Neehihdik – I walk
  • Neeheedik – he/she walks
  • Neegeehiidal – they walk
  • Neehiindik – you walk
  • Neehihvik – I swim
  • Shah che’eet’aa – I am flying (in a plane)
  • AÅ‚ tÅ‚aa – I am boating
  • Ch’ih’aa – I am eating
  • Gwal’iin – I see
  • Ch’iitthak – I hear
  • Ch’iiÅ‚ii – I sing
  • ________naÅ‚’in — I see _______.
  • ________nah’in? — Do you see _________?
  • Jidiinah’in?  – What do you see?



Video – Gwich’in Elders visit informally on the street and discuss fish wheels. They discuss how older fish wheels used to be made and installed.

Also view the following video: students practice speaking Gwich’in talking about hunting:

(from: https://dinjiizhuhkyaa.wordpress.com/2014/02/10/gwichin-conversation-3-language-around-hunting/)


Tools - Vaat'eet'aara'in


Assignment – Taking a walk

(100 points)

Create a new post:

Record a brief video of yourself pointing out different things in the environment and saying their names in Gwich’in, you don’t need to be in the video as long as we can see a hand pointing out the features.

Need help? See: How to make a post  and  How to add video to a post

Other Resources

Book:  Andre, A., Fehr, A. W., Gwich’in Social and Cultural Institute, & Aurora Research Institute. (2002). Gwich’in ethnobotany : Plants used by the Gwich’in for food, medicine, shelter and tools (2nd ed.). Tsiigehtchic, N.W.T: Gwich’in Social and Cultural Institute.

Plant Database:  GTC Department of Cultural Heritage  – This resource is for learning more about the plants that the Gwich’in people use. Although this site is based on Canadian Gwich’in, it is a great resource for learning more about the environment.