Government of Yukon

June 1, 2012

Symposium explores secrets from the ice

WHITEHORSE—International researchers are gathering in Whitehorse to share expertise and knowledge at the third and largest Frozen Pasts International Glacial Archaeology Symposium.

“Since the first Yukon ice patch discovery in 1997, Yukon researchers have made an important contribution to this exciting area of archaeology,” Tourism and Culture Minister Mike Nixon said. “We are pleased to co-host the symposium with Kwanlin Dün First Nation, and to welcome international researchers who are here to explore what the ice reveals about ancient cultures and the changing environment.”

The symposium is being held June 3 to 8 at the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre and includes presenters from over 10 countries discussing discoveries in Europe, Central and South America, the United States and northern Canada. It will also feature Secrets of the Ice, an exhibition of artifacts retrieved from Yukon ice patch sites.

Yukon has been at the forefront of glacial archeology research and some of the oldest and best preserved organic artefacts in North America have been found in the receding ice patches of the Southern Lakes region. The Yukon Ice Patch Project monitors and studies the ice patches and is a collaboration between the Government of Yukon and the six Yukon First Nations in whose traditional territory the ice patches are found: Carcross/Tagish First Nation, Champagne and Aishihik First Nations, Kluane First Nation, Kwanlin Dün First Nation, Ta’an Kwäch’än Council and Teslin Tlingit Council.

"Our people have always been connected to the land, water and animals and these ice patches help us discover an ancient story that extends across time and geography, linking the elders and youth of today to our ancestors,” Kwanlin Dün First Nation Chief Rick O’Brien said. “These archaeological sites allow us to collaborate with other First Nations and the Yukon government as together we reveal a frozen past and discover in it a living future."

Two symposium participants will present public lectures through the Yukon Science Institute at the Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre. Constanza Ceruti, whose high altitude research in the Andes has earned her the title of Emerging Explorer from National Geographic, will present the first lecture on June 1. Albert Zink, an expert on the famous Tyrolean Iceman, Ötzi, will deliver the second lecture on June 2. Both lectures begin at 7:30 p.m.

There will also be a limited number of day passes available for members of the public interested in attending the conference.

For information about the symposium visit the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Center website. For information on the public lectures visit the Yukon Science Institute website



Elaine Schiman
Cabinet Communications
Heather LeDuc
Communications, Tourism and Culture
Lael Lund
Communications, Kwanlin Dün First Nation



News Release #12-106