Gwich’in language champion wins Gzowski Award at literacy fundraiser

Yellowknife -  Congratulations to Jacey Firth Hagen, the winner of the Gzowski Award at the NWT Literacy Council’s PGI Bowl-a-Thon for Literacy on the weekend.

The Gzowski Award is named for long-time CBC broadcaster and literacy champion, Peter Gzowski. PGI fundraisers for literacy are held across Canada. This is the first time the fundraiser in the NWT has taken the form of a bowl-a-thon. It is a scaled down version from previous PGIs that featured golfing on snow and celebrity entertainers.

Jacey was recognized for her sustained Indigenous language advocacy through her Gwich’in social media campaign.

“The Gwich'in Language Revival Campaign #SpeakGwich'inToMe language movement stemmed from a place of passion and frustration. By learning and teaching Gwich'in, I believe that I both empower the younger generation and honour the generations that have passed on,” wrote Jacey in a 2016 story for the Council’s newsletter, Literacy Matters. Her story can be found at

“The Literacy Council is impressed that more than three years on, Jacey is still passionate about sharing her learning journey and working to continue learning her language,” said the Council’s Executive Director, Kathryn Barry Paddock.

Previous Gzowski award winners include Mabel English, of Inuvik and Mary Rose Sundberg, of Dettah, and Brad Mapes, of Hay River.

The PGI Bowl-a-Thon for Literacy raised more than $8,000 to support the Literacy Council’s Bison Bus, a mobile family literacy centre that will start traveling to road-accessible communities this summer.

For information contact:

Kathryn Barry Paddock


Gwich’in language champion wins Gzowski Award at literacy fundraiser