Caption: Yukon archaeologist Ruth Gotthardt, Minister Elaine Taylor, Councillor Sean Smith, Kwanlin Dün Elder Barb Fred and cultural programs coordinator Krista Reid.
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WHITEHORSE—A new exhibition called Looking for the Past highlighting archaeological discoveries on Kwanlin Dün Traditional Territory and the contributions of the students and Elders who participated in the projects opened last Friday at the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre (KDCC). The exhibition is a partnership between the Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN), KDCC and the Yukon government.
The exhibit features three projects: the Fish Lake Archaeology Project (1993); the Canyon City Archaeology Project (1994–1997); and the McIntyre Creek Archaeology Project (2010). The archaeological projects employed local students, many of whom are Kwanlin Dün First Nation members. KDFN Elders provided memories and stories that contributed to the understanding of the area’s history.
“For three decades, Yukon government archaeologists have worked with Kwanlin Dün First Nation’s citizens and Elders to learn more about the history and way of life of their ancestors,” Minister of Tourism and Culture Elaine Taylor said. “The Looking for the Past exhibit documents this positive and productive partnership and provides a fascinating window into the past.”
In recent years, the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and Yukon government have worked together on archaeological inventory of the M’Clintock River basin and research on alpine ice patches in the KDFN Traditional Territory, which have resulted in exhibits and publications as well. In 2012, Kwanlin Dün First Nation and the Yukon government jointly hosted Frozen Pasts: The Third International Glacial Archaeology Symposium, which took place at the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre.
“This exhibit tells us about the history that lives in the land,” Kwanlin Dün First Nation Councillor Sean Smith said. “Kwanlin Dün First Nation values the positive relationship we have had with the Yukon government’s Archaeology Program over the years and the work we have done together to educate and create awareness of First Nation history and heritage in our shared Traditional Territory for future generations.”
“Kwanlin Dün First Nation’s partnership with the Yukon government on these projects, and the archaeological evidence that has been found, reinforces the oral histories and stories of land-use of the cultural programs,“ Kwanlin Dün coordinator Krista Reid said.
The exhibition can be viewed at the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre until September 30. Two of the KDFN archaeological projects were published in the Yukon Government Archaeology program booklet series, From Trail to Tramway: the Archaeology of Canyon City and Lu Zil Män - Fish Lake Uncovering the Past.
Yukon archaeology publications
Kwanlin Dün First Nation
Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre
Communications, Tourism and Culture
Cultural Programs Coordinator, Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre
867-456-5322, extension 105