Government of Yukon

Government of Yukon THFN City of Dawson

FOR RELEASE     #10-204
November 10, 2010

Discovery of human remains leads to united response

WHITEHORSE – The human remains of three unidentified individuals were unearthed over a 72-hour period in Dawson City beginning Thursday, November 4. The initial discovery was made by an excavation crew removing earth as part of the foundation work on the Dawson City Wastewater Treatment Plant, slated for completion in 2011.

Work at the site was immediately stopped and local law enforcement notified. Yukon government Senior Projects Archaeologist Greg Hare travelled to Dawson City where he met with officials from Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in and the community.

The Yukon government, in partnership with Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in, municipal officials and community volunteers, removed the human remains and three wooden coffins by Saturday evening. All recovered remains are being temporarily held in a safe storage facility in Dawson City.

Yukon, Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in and City of Dawson governments will continue to work together with area residents to identify the three individuals and make plans for re-interment. If re-interment is unavoidably delayed, alternate safe storage will be found.

While there has been much speculation about the identity of the individuals and the circumstances surrounding their burial, no conclusions can be made before a thorough scientific investigation and review of the historical record is completed.

While work on the Dawson City Wastewater Treatment Facility project was halted during the removal of the discovery, the impact on the project schedule is considered to be minor. Construction is back underway and the project is scheduled for completion by December 31, 2011. Questions regarding the construction of the Dawson City Wastewater Treatment Plant project should be directed to Yukon’s Highways and Public Works.

Questions regarding the discovery should be directed to Yukon’s Department of Tourism and Culture and the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in. Questions regarding the community’s involvement during the recovery process can be directed to the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in and the City of Dawson.



Roxanne Vallevand
Cabinet Communications


Karen Keeley
Communications, Tourism & Culture


Wayne Potoroka
Communications, Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in


Doris Wurfbaum
Communications, Highways & Public Works


Jeff Renaud
Dawson City CAO