The remote village of Old Crow is Yukon's only community north of the Arctic Circle. The bluffs and banks along the Old Crow River are the richest source of ice age fossils in Canada. Scientific evidence from the Old Crow region provides many answers and even more questions, about the long vanished ice age world.
WHITEHORSE—The latest scientific publication called Ice Age Old Crow: Yukon’s ancient history from north of the Arctic Circle is now available to the public.
Minister of Tourism and Culture Mike Nixon made the announcement during an event held at the Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre.
The publication was produced with the support of the Vuntut Gwitchin Government.
“Old Crow has a fascinating ice age history that has captured the imagination of scientists, the Vuntut Gwitchin and the world for generations,” Nixon said. “Yukon government is proud to have worked with the Vuntut Gwitchin Government on the research related to the ice age history of Old Crow and to the development of this publication.”
Fossils collected from near Old Crow are at museums and research institutions around the world, including London, England and Washington, D.C. Researchers since the early days of the 20th century have worked closely with the Vuntut Gwitchin to preserve and study these exceptional ice age fossils.
Some of the greatest contributions to ice age palaeontology were made from work in the Old Crow region by Dr. Richard Harington, former curator of Quaternary Mammals at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa. Harington’s work to recover, preserve and safeguard Yukon’s fossil collection was instrumental in leading to today’s Yukon Palaeontology Program within the Heritage Resources unit.
The program was developed in 1996 to meet obligations under Yukon’s Historic Resources Act and in Yukon Land Claims agreements, and to provide the scientific basis for ice age interpretive programming in cultural centres and community museums including Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre.
All fossils collected on Vuntut Gwitchin Settlement Land since 1996 are now housed in the Arctic Research Facility in Old Crow.
The Ice Age Old Crow booklet was launched in Old Crow on September 16 at a well-attended community supper and presentation co-sponsored by the Yukon Science Institute and Vuntut Gwitchin Government. Co-authors Duane Froese and Grant Zazula gave a science talk about the ice age research in the area. The booklets were well received in the community, especially at the school where children enjoyed reading about their ancestors’ contributions to research about the former animals and climate of North Yukon.
“Yukon government is proud of the palaeontology program that continues to maintain good relationships with its partners to preserve, protect and interpret Yukon’s rich heritage resources to the benefit of all Yukoners,” Nixon said.
To get a hard copy of the booklet email HeritagePublications@gov.yk.ca or download an electronic version of the Ice Age Old Crow: Yukon's ancient history from north of the Arctic Circle [PDF, 3MB]. For more Archaeology & Palaeontology Booklets visit tc.gov.yk.ca.
Communications, Tourism and Culture