Lessons from the land
Fence Narrows
Idaa Trail
Fence Narrows
Blood Rock
Grave Site
Hook Place
Komoola Portage
Sliding Hill
Village beside Nidzii
Bea Lake
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Welcome to Fence Narrows

Kwiika , or Fence Narrows, was once bustling with activity, as Dogrib hunters herded large numbers of caribou along fences, often miles long. Built on lake ice in March and April during the northward migration of the Bathurst caribou herd, these fences were instrumental in harvesting enough caribou for the band to eat through the spring and summer.

Success in building and using a caribou fence required the cooperation of several families. Spruce trees were cut and placed in the ice approximately ten to fifteen metres apart, with sticks and ribbons in between, forming a line or fence that mimicked the lake shoreline. While the fence directed the caribou, the movement of ribbons blowing in the wind, and the sound of baying wolves, drove them, creating an efficient entrapment device. Snares were typically set in openings in the fence, or near the end of the line. An ambush location was situated near the end of the fence, where the awaiting hunters could harvest the greatest number of caribou.

Kwiika, or Fence Narrows (Tom Andrews/PWNHC)
Caribou being herded along a caribou fence (Wally Wolfe/PWNHC)
Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada