Champagne-Aishihik First Nations

Dance dance revolution

Get ready to cut a rug in Haines Junction You don’t have to be part of a dance group to be a dancer. According to Rose Kushniruk, acting chief of the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations, everyone has it in them and the Dákų̀ nän tsʼèddhyèt Dance Festival (Our House is Waking Up the Land) …

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The Junction and JAR (Junction Artist in Residence)

Landing in Whitehorse for the first time, Henry Navarro Delgado arrived in the Yukon knowing nothing about the place. Delgado wanted to remain as open-minded as possible when he settled into the coveted Junction Artist in Residence (JAR) Program in Haines Junction.

Team Yukon Arctic Winter Games PomPoms

Yukon Pomp

There’s a furry addition to Team Yukon’s uniforms as they march into the opening ceremony of the Arctic Winter Games in the Northwest Territories on March 18. Athletes will sport fur pom-poms made from wolf pelts harvested in the Haines Junction area and sewn onto their hats by members of the community.

‘Canadian Ice Man’ tells his story

Editor’s Note: This is part two of two highlighting Kwädąy Dän Ts’ìnchį: Teachings from Long Ago Person Found. It was introduced during the Haines Junction Mountain Festival, which took place December 8 to 10. Part 1 is available in the December 6 edition of What’s Up Yukon. Diane Strand, director of community wellness at the …

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‘Canadian Ice Man’ tells his story

Eighteen years ago three sheep hunters discovered the oldest natural mummified body unearthed to date in North America. he story of this mysterious “Canadian ice man” comes full-circle this year with a new book, Kwädąy Dän Ts’ìnchį: Teachings from Long Ago Person Found.

Augusto! Children’s Festival the First of its Kind in the Yukon

“We are proud and excited to be founding the Yukon’s only dedicated art and music festival for children,” says Darlene Sillery, one of the five main organizers of the Augusto! Children’s Festival in Haines Junction this weekend. “We have a great variety of workshops and an excellent group of presenters, including visual artists, performing artists …

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Music gets the campfire cooking

They decided it would be fun to spend the summer playing as many of the Yukon Parks cook shacks as possible. Music in the campground.

Three Days of Dance

World travel has its place, but Sharon Shorty says a lot of Yukoners need to get out and take a trip into their own territory. And, she says, if you want to start with Haines Junction, The Da Kų Nän Ts’etthet Dance Festival makes it easy. The bi-annual festival, now in its second year, takes …

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Recognizing Amazing Art

Our community will soon welcome an expected 100+ Indigenous curators, artists, and academics participating in the first northern gathering of the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective. The collective is a national service organization of Indigenous curators and artists from across this land now known as Canada. The collective was created in response to the dominating non-native curatorial …

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Continuing the Legacy of Alex VanBibber

The late Alex VanBibber had a favourite refrain: “An outdoor life is a healthy life.” This is according to his friend, Harvey Jessop. Jessop wrote some remarks about VanBibber’s life for the Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board, pertaining to a new scholarship it is offering in VanBibber’s legacy. The Alex VanBibber Sharing the Land …

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A natural way to look good (and feel good)

Standing in the hallway of the Horwood’s Mall, looking into Climate Clothing, you don’t immediately see the First Nation influence in the neat rows of clothing. You see earth tones, trending toward the dark due to the season, and little surprises here and there in a comfortable store. But First Nation teachings lives in the …

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Reminders of Time Past

A few years ago, my brother found an ancient tool that had migrated upward through the soil in the middle of his wheat field in Southern Alberta. It was a sure sign of human life on the prairies long before Europeans came to “settle” the land. The tool, it turned out, was a unique find. …

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Sharing the Past

Out on the old Alaska Highway, halfway to Haines Junction and only a few kilometres from Champagne, an observant traveller may spot Kwaday Dan Kenji, or Long Ago People’s Place. The privately-owned camp, the only one of its kind in the Yukon, represents two decades of Harold Johnson’s dedication to preserving and sharing Champagne and …

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Remembering Alex Van Bibber

Some people should live forever; I felt immense loss as I heard about Alex Van Bibber’s passing on November 26, 2014, at the age of 98. I first heard about Alex van Bibber when I came to Canada in 1985. I was living in Atlin and had not yet heard about all the amazing things …

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Champagne and Aishihik First Nations Look to Uncover Heritage and Culture Through Photographs

Klukshu village, or Klukshu Łu Ghą is an important part of who Sheila Joe is. The heritage resources officer for the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations (CAFN) spent a lot of time with her grandparents while growing up, and looks back on her time there fondly. She gets her sense of belonging from that community. …

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From his Basement to the Stage

If you’ve had your ear to the Yukon ground in the past year, you’ve probably felt a vibration shaking from 86Heaven – they’re an informal conglomerate of Yukon hip hop artists headed by Warren Strand a.k.a. Abstract Original. Strand is of Southern Tutchone decent, representing the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations and the majority of …

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It Takes a Village

As nine-year-old Alexis Crystal Jim focuses on picking up a brilliant blue bead with her sewing needle and fastening it to a piece of hide, the women several decades older than her chat and laugh and sew. And as the time flies by, the little girl soaks up traditional knowledge and the Southern Tutchone language …

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Volunteers Building Home on Champagne-Aishihik Land

Last winter Terry Rufiange-Holway took an extra week of vacation. When he got back on the job as Champagne-Aishihik housing director, an exciting new opportunity to provide housing came across his desk. Rufiange-Holway learned that a partnership had been reached between the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) and Habitat for Humanity Canada. The goal was …

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An Inspirational Elder: Alex Van Bibber

One could easily write a page-turning book about the life and accomplishments of outfitter, trapper, residential school survivor and honoured veteran Alex Van Bibber. I was lucky to have coffee with Van Bibber one morning in January when he was in Whitehorse. His list of errands included picking up his cowboy boots, which he had …

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Along the Jo-Jo Lake Trail

The history of the Jo-Jo Lake trail goes a long way back, as the people of the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations can tell you. “It’s been a horse trail for hunting forever, since way before my time,” 95-year-old Alex Van Bibber tells me. According to the highly-respected elder and outdoorsman, there is an outfitter …

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Nomination Hat Trick

Les Walker had a particular goal in mind when he teamed up with guitarist Clancy McInnis in 2009 to form the band, Common Knowledge. He wanted to perform at the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards (CAMA) and have an album in nomination. When the alt-rock group’s debut album, Colour Blind, came out this May, it brought …

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Pushing Their Limits

Fourteen lucky young Yukoners will get the opportunity to take part in an outdoor education camp this July for free. The Yukon Fish and Game Association’s 25th annual Outdoor Education Camp takes place July 2-9 and it should provide an amazing experience for the group of youth between 13 and 16 years old who get …

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