Leighann Chalykoff

Heritage Conversations columnist Leighann Chalykoff is a Yukon writer chronicling projects and people preserving Yukon’s history. This series is provided by the Government of Yukon Historic Sites to highlight the work of Yukoners and their connections to the territory’s heritage.

Finding Connections to Their Northern Roots

Yann Herry is drawn to true stories of daring. Ask him about his favourite characters in the Yukon’s Francophone history and he’ll tell you about the people who took chances, cut their own trails and lived their dreams. “It’s the French-Canadian spirit, going back to the voyageurs,” he said. “We’ve always been pulled toward big …

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Back to the land

On an evening in early November, Teri-Lee Isaac and her family butchered a caribou that was given to them by family in Fort McPherson. While the practice gives the family a freezer full of wild meat for the upcoming winter, it also connects them to the land, and to Northern Tutchone cultural practices that have been passed down through the generations.

In the footsteps of her great-grandfather

In 1898, Ione Christensen’s great-grandfather and his four sons hiked the Chilkoot Trail on their way to find fortune in the Klondike gold fields. Over her lifetime, Christensen, who recently turned 86, has spent a lot of time on the historic trail herself.

Paddling in the Peel

In the early 1900s, when she was a teenager, Bobbi Rose Koe’s great-great-grandmother and her friend paddled a moose skin boat through the dangerous stretch of fast-flowing high water at Peel Canyon. More than 100 years later, Koe joined a group of five youth from First Nations in the Yukon and the Northwest Territories on an 18-day canoe trip. Along the way they passed through the treacherous Peel Canyon.

Deep roots

Her name is Wolf Mother, Ghoóch Tlâ in Tlingit, and Colleen James in English. She grew up in Cowley, about halfway between Whitehorse and Carcross. Her mother was Tlingit and her father was English.

Sharing Northern Tutchone stories, culture and heritage—one bar at a time

Sometimes when Joella Hogan returns home after a long day, she’ll find a bag of fresh rose petals on her doorstep. And once in a while, neighbourhood kids will knock on her door with fists full of wild flowers and plants. “People always want to help me; they see this little business and they see …

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As Elsa moves towards an uncertain future, a former resident reflects on its past

The Hamlet of Elsa—a collection of homes and industrial buildings nestled into the Silver Trail at kilometre 97—transformed from a booming mining town in the 1960s to a ghost town in the 1990s. Today, it faces an uncertain future. But to Mike Mancini, it was the first home he knew as a child. It was …

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For more than 30 years Doug Davidge has helped solve Yukon’s historic mysteries, both hidden and exposed

Doug Davidge finds lost things.  Over the course of more than three decades in the Yukon, Davidge has been known to find things that people know are missing–such as the A.J. Goddard, a steamboat that vanished in Lake Laberge in 1901–and things that people might not even realize are lost. For example, a few years ago …

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Erin Dixon – Artist documents the vintage, the eclectic and the historical houses of Whitehorse and Dawson

Erin Dixon is interested in how other people live.  “I have been interested in other people’s houses, since I was a little kid,” she said. “Trick-or-treating was always my favourite because you got to go to other people’s houses and peek inside. Now, I love it when you drive down a dark street and everyone …

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