Diniizhoo Diniizhoo, a Gwich’in gathering place

The 4 gathering places

The 4 gathering places are Vihsraii Ddhaa, Vi’altl’ii, Geegoo and Diniizhoo.

Charlie Peter CharlieCharlie Peter Charlie described the 4 places Gwich’in gathered

“I’m going to say it in English: only 3 or 4 places, they got lots of caribou [and] killed so much and they stay there till summer, that’s how much meat. There’s lots of people in [the] gathering. There’s only 3 or 4 place around here: one of the place is Vihsraii Ddhaa [Cody Hill]. It means big mountain, high mountain, and this is one of the places where they have this gathering. And ...the people came to this gathering from places like Fort Yukon, Dagoo, Fort McPherson, Van Tat Gwich’in, even from Eagle sometime (but before that nobody heard of Eagle). So this is the main place where people athered. And another place is Vi’altl’ii and another place in Van Tat [Crow Flats] at the head of Chyahnjik [Crow River] and it is called Geegoo. It means so many people go over and back they make like this. So those kind of places, still today they know where [they are]. Even today, when we go to Van Tat the young people and even the kids, they want to see this place called Geegoo. This gathering place, they want to know about it and they always ask, “where is Geegoo?” So many people gathering. Not too far from there is this little mountain – it is shaped just like a potato so they call it that name. All those people, boys and girls especially, they all go there and play. White people call it Potato Hill but in my language, they call it Diniizhoo . It means big mountain and you tear some of the mountain off and put it somewhere. Aw, good one. Still they know that, they still hear about it. And whoever has heard about it, they ask us about it and we tell them.”

Charlie Peter Charlie, Old Crow, Yukon, Gwich’in, August 26, 1998