MARY JANE KUNNIZZI
Archivist and Gwich'in Specialist
Mary Jane Kunnizzi, the daughter of Andrew and Elizabeth Kunnizzi, was born and raised in Fort McPherson NWT. She attended a "day school" in Fort McPherson but her parents always took their children out of school in the winter to go trapping and hunting and in the spring for the spring hunt.In the late 1950's Mary Jane attended vocational school in Yellowknife for a couple of years. She worked for many years as a cook for construction companies and the local hostel. Mary Jane attended the Key-wee-tin Bible College in Lac La Biche, Alberta from 1990-93. She moved to the Yukon in 1993 and joined the Yukon Native Language Centre on September 17, 1994. In June 2002 she completed the Native Language Instructor Certificate Course.
Mary Jane is Gwich'in translator and tape archivist. She works on the Centre's extensive collection of tapes in Gwich'in, translating the legends and stories into English, duplicating tapes and sending copies to the Territorial Archives. Mary Jane also summarizes weekly recordings of the program, People Speak Gwich'in from CBC in Inuvik, NWT, and regularly carries out Gwich'in dictionary work. In 1998 Mary Jane completed a booklet and tape of Three Traditional Collects from the Takudh Book of Common Prayer. In 2002 she recorded the Gwich'in On Line Language Lessons.
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