Government of Yukon

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FOR RELEASE     #11-098
July 12, 2011

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Official plaque unveiling commemorates Fort Selkirk as a Yukon Historic Site

WHITEHORSE—The Yukon government and Selkirk First Nation unveiled a plaque today commemorating the designation of Fort Selkirk as a Yukon Historic Site under Yukon’s Historic Resources Act.

“The Yukon government is proud to have worked with the Selkirk First Nation since 1982 to protect, preserve and promote this special place,” Tourism and Culture Minister Elaine Taylor said. “By doing so, we share a unique cultural asset with Yukoners and visitors alike. As we continue to work together to promote Fort Selkirk today and into the future, we hope all who visit have ample opportunities to reflect, learn from, and remain connected to this important piece of Yukon history.”

“Since time immemorial, we the Northern Tutchone Nation have occupied our Traditional Territories protecting our land, resources, language and culture,” Chief of Selkirk First Nation Kevin McGinty said. “Fort Selkirk is our place of origination, where we congregated amongst ourselves and with other cultures. This site is very important to us; it is a deep reflection on where we are as Northern Tutchone people.”

Fort Selkirk is located near the mouth of the Pelly River in the heart of the Selkirk First Nation Traditional Territory. From the mid-1800s until the 1950s, the site was a thriving cross-cultural community featuring trading posts, Christian missions and a North West Mounted Police post. The Northern Tutchone people and first Europeans to settle on the site worked, played and prayed side by side until Fort Selkirk was abandoned in the 1950s, following the construction of modern roads, bringing an end to the sternwheeler era.

Today, Fort Selkirk is used by visitors for recreation and education, by members of the Selkirk First Nation for traditional summer pursuits and summer quarters, and by Yukon government as a teaching venue. As the seventh Yukon Historic Site to receive official designation status, Fort Selkirk carries with it a unique history as the ancestral home and traditional harvesting and gathering place for the citizens of the Selkirk First Nation.

“Fort Selkirk is a very important part of our history and heritage; we are honoured to partner with the Yukon government in protecting and preserving this historic site to share with those who visit our Traditional Territories and to teach our future generations,” McGinty added.

Annually, the Yukon government contributes $135,000 to the Fort Selkirk Restoration and Interpretation Project and the Selkirk First Nation contributes $50,000. For more information about Fort Selkirk and other Yukon Historic Sites, visit the Historic Sites Unit.

Fort Selkirk was officially declared a Yukon Historic Site in August 2010.

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Contact:

Brianne Young
Cabinet Communications
867-633-7949
brianne.young@gov.yk.ca
Alicia Debreceni
Communications, Tourism & Culture
867-667-5318
alicia.debreceni@gov.yk.ca 
Jessica Alfred
Selkirk First Nation
867-537-3331
alfredj@selkirkfn.com

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