Hotıì ts’eeda Congratulates Dr. Crystal Fraser, First Gwich’in Participant to Earn a PhD in History at the University of Alberta

Dr. Crystal Gail Fraser has become the first ever Gwichyà Gwich’in to earn a doctorate degree in history. She successfully defended her thesis on Friday, September 20, and will be graduating from the University Of Alberta (Faculty of Arts, Department of History & Classics) this semester.

Dr. Fraser is originally from Inuvik and Dachan Choo Gę̀hnjik, Northwest Territories. She is the granddaughter of Marka Andre and Richard Bullock. She currently lives on Treaty 6, homeland of the Métis Nation, and is learning Dinjii Zhuh Ginjik with her daughter, as part of the #speakgwichintome campaign. Hotıì ts’eeda has been pleased to work with Dr. Fraser over the past few years on the Healthy Family Program research project and host her and daughter Quinn at the annual Ełèts’ehdèe Gathering.

Dr. Fraser’s dissertation is titled T’aih k’ìighe’ tth’aih zhit dìidìch’ùh (By Strength, We Are Still Here): Indigenous Northerners Confronting Hierarchies of Power at Day and Residential Schools in Nanhkak Thak (the Inuvik Region, Northwest Territories), 1959 to 1982.

“Dr. Fraser has undertaken important research and analysis of residential schooling and its impacts for Indigenous individuals in the Northwest Territories. Her work constitutes a substantial contribution to her scholarly field, and to ongoing national civil society and policy conversations about reconciliation, resurgence, and restoration of Indigenous governance authorities. Dr. Fraser is part of a growing cohort of Indigenous northerners with advanced academic degrees and a commitment to Indigenous resurgence, which will lead to Northern research truly reflecting values and priorities of Indigenous people and communities. On behalf of Hotıì ts’eeda, I offer her heartfelt congratulations and look forward to her significant contributions to the NWT research landscape.”

Dr. Stephanie Irlbacher-Fox, Scientific Director, Hotıì ts’eeda

Inquiries can be directed to Rachel MacNeill at