Old Crow

Didee didoo

Didee Didoo

You will see Dumbo the elephant You will hear Porky the pig You will touch Bambi You will see Woody the Woodpecker You will hear Kermit the Frog You will touch Snoopy You will see Mickey Mouse You will hear Curious George You will touch Garfield the cat You will see Skipper the penguin You …

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didee didoo

Didee Didoo: Underground

Allan Benjamin is a poet, a cartoonist, a fiddle player and a snowshoe racer from Old Crow, Yukon.

ADHD & The Great Outdoors

The move a southeastern Ontario city to small & isolated Old Crow, Yukon had an unexpected positive change on my ADHD and mental health.

A play on words

In January 2019, the United Nations (UN) declared 2019 to be the International Year of Indigenous Languages. This was meant to increase awareness and spur actions to promote and protect Indigenous languages around the world. According to the UN, an estimated 6,700 (or 40 per cent) of the world’s languages are in danger of disappearing. …

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Moosehide – shining a light across the North

The 2018 Moosehide Gathering in Dawson City was, once again, a smashing success. The local Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in relocated to Moosehide, two miles north of Dawson City on the Yukon River, during the gold rush of 1898, to escape the insanity of thirty-thousand lousy, drunken gold-hungry stampeders. It is a refuge for Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in, and the …

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Can wisdom save the world?

The post-apocalyptic, not-so-distant-future world of The Unplugging, an award-winning play by Canadian playwright Yvette Nolan, is the latest production on offer from the Yukon-based Gwaandak Theatre.

Celebrate First Nations Culture

Take some time off work – that’s the only way you’ll be able to enjoy all the programming offered by the Adäka Cultural Festival this month. That’s the suggestion from Lynn Feasey, director of arts for Yukon First Nations Culture and Tourism Association, which hosts the festival each year. Feasey is joking, but, looking at …

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Predator and Prey 14,000 Years Ago

Zhoh, the Clan of the Wolf: Fiction of the first humans to inhabit The Yukon. I knew Bob Hayes novel would be physically accurate.

Winter Solstice

Winter solstice is the shortest day and, officially, the start of winter. But it also triggers the sun’s journey back, bringing us spring. This year, for us in the northern hemisphere, winter solstice occurred on Dec. 21. That was when the sun was directly over the Tropic of Capricorn, a line of latitude that encircles Earth …

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Books for Armchair Mushers

Mushing season has begun. While waiting for the Yukon Quest or the Iditarod, here are some suggestions for armchair mushers. Racing Toward Recovery by Mike Williams and Lew Freedman This book is a set of four true stories from the North. The main story, “Dog Team to Dawson,” is about the author’s sled dog trip …

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Berry Picking in Old Crow

In the past two years the herd of Porcupine Caribou in Old Crow herd has gradually changed its natural migration route.

Old Crow Haloween

An Old Crow Halloween

I looked out our window in Old Crow Halloween Day, 2014. It was -10ºC outside. Trees were shaking as the wind howled making it much colder.

Muskrat Trapping

The sun is back and the days are warmer, except in the late evenings. People of Old Crow used to be excited about going to Crow Flat. People used to leave after Easter Monday. Preparations were done, with essentials packed to trap muskrats and shelter equipment. Only essential groceries were bought. People mostly travelled by dog …

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Gearing up for Cannibal

Am I excited. In April I’ll be acting in the Guild Society’s newest play, Cannibal the Musical written by Trey Parker of South Park fame. The show is based on the true story of American prospector, Alferd Packer and his ill-fated expedition into the Colorado mountains in 1873. I recommend it to anyone who wants …

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Claus for the Cause

Sometimes you experience things that you never would have expected.  I never thought I would be living above the Arctic Circle in Old Crow dressed as Santa while sitting in a sleigh with mush dogs towing me down the street.  Indeed, it wasn’t some bizarre dream; this year I was Saint Nick at the Parents …

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Fish on Porcupine River

Sitting at a fish hole in the dark on the Porcupine River, in the Yukon at Old Crow in the fall, is not unusual. Excitement stirs when the ice begins to freeze on the Porcupine River. My friends and I begin to prepare ice augers, fishing lines, favourite fish hooks, and all-time baits. We do …

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Carli and Julie’s Yukon Adventure

On a cool Monday evening at the Old Crow Community Hall, up-and-coming country musicians Carli and Julie Kennedy played the last show of their first Yukon tour. The twin sisters were here courtesy of Home Routes, a Winnipeg-based company that arranges tours for folk-based musicians to venues and homes around Canada. Having spent nearly two …

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It’s All About the Candy

Our little apartment in Old Crow is in full Halloween mode; my mom mailed up decorations, and our crib is sporting the spooky colours, orange and black. It’s the first year that our daughter Emily is kind of grasping the concept of taking candy from strangers. The last two years, I basically made her my …

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Serendipity Happens?

The other day I let my daughter Emily watch Tim Burtons’ The Nightmare Before Christmas for the first time. She has developed a keen interest in skeletons, and even though the movie may not be for children under three, I decided to play cool dad, and threw it on. As soon as the opening song, …

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My Son, Edward

My son Edward Kyikavichick is handicapped. Since birth, he lived in Whitehorse in a foster home for many years. This allowed us, his parents, to live and practice their traditional lifestyle in Old Crow. Since the elderly couple Lynn and Roy Smith, well respected, passed on, he now lives at home.  Edward goes out on …

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Jay vs. the Terrible Twos

Living in Old Crow is not for everybody, but it does have its advantages.  It’s a quiet town with good people where you can enjoy the scenery and live at a slower pace. The rest of the world is far away, and if you can get by without the allure of “urban treats”, then you’ll …

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The Big Gwich’in Gathering

From July 21 to July 25, Old Crow had the distinction of hosting The Biennial Gwich’in Gathering (BGG), an event that began in 1988 in Arctic Village, Alaska. The gathering serves as a meeting place for the Vun-Tut Gwich’in People to talk about the issues of the day, reflect on the past, discuss the future, …

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A Successful Spring

As an Elder, I learned from my past Elders; as a Gwitchin, I live along with the season. Porcupine Caribou is our main source of food. We fry caribou meat in the morning. We eat caribou steaks, along with fried eggs and hot bannock, and then we begin our day. For lunch we add caribou …

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Welcome to the John Tizya Centre

 For anyone who finds themselves in Old Crow with time on their hands, I suggest strolling to The John Tizya Centre. It’s “downtown”, just off the banks of the Porcupine River. This quaint heritage center opened in 2008 after many years of planning, searching, and acquiring Vuntut Gwitchin artefacts from museums around the world. The …

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Kramer of the North

Robert Postma knocks on our door, comes in, and asks me if I have any butter.  I say, “Careful with it, it’s like gold to me.” Postma replies, “Don’t worry, I‘ll replace it when I go to the store later.” I’m fine with that—if he doesn’t go I’ll get my butter rations back in other …

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Elder with childs beaded slippers

Caribou Boots & Banana Bread

Since moving to Old Crow more than four decades ago Elizabeth (Liz) Kaye has kept a busy and active lifestyle in the community,

The Trouble with Stop-and-Chats

There is an episode on HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm where Larry David is walking down the street with his manager, Jeff. They pass a man who recognizes Larry and slows down to speak to him. Without missing a beat Larry says, “Hey Ray,” and keeps walking. Jeff asks Larry if he knows Ray. Larry: He works at …

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Old Crow Welcome

Next Stop: Old Crow

At the Old Crow Airport Joseph said, “Let’s get on my ski-doo and get the cargo” My face said,“Sure,” my brain “Dude! It’s -40°C”

A loppet runs through it

INUVIK Contrary to what some wise guys in Whitehorse believe, there are trees in Inuvik, N.W.T. and its annual Top Of The World Ski Loppet will run through it April 9. “We are just at the edge of the treeline so we have little trees,” says Rita Kors-Olthof, president of the Inuvik Ski Club. “It’s …

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Where Do You Go After The Yukon? A pillar of Yukon’s art community finds green grass in the Arctic

Twelve months ago, Harreson Tanner thought he was leaving the Yukon for good. Like many seniors, Tanner wanted to be closer to his children and grandchildren. So he and his wife sold their Riverdale home and moved to Ontario. “We quickly learned that we saw more of our family when we lived in Yukon,” says …

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There’s a party goin’ on!

Here’s a taste of how Yukon communities, from B to W, will be celebrating Canada Day on July 1: Beaver Creek festivities will kick off with a parade, then volleyball, children’s games and a community barbecue at the RCMP. Carcross festivities will include a community barbecue, as well as a petting zoo and horseback rides …

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World of Words: The rugged history of Yukon libraries

Dawson’s first public library opened in a tent on Front Street in 1897, with 1,500 volumes donated by the Forty Mile Prospectors to “the mushing parson” S. Hall Young. By 1903, the venture evolved into the Standard Library Restaurant and Hotel, which offered “books, board, bed, bath and bar” and writing tables for miners to …

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Hunting for High School in Old Crow

Most teachers prepare for class with chalkboards, hour-by-hour lesson plans, and neatly aligned desks. Stan Njootli, Sr.’s preparation involves jerry cans, tarps and well-maintained boat motors. Njootli and his colleague Frances Ross are teachers at the new Chief Zzeh Gittlit High School in Old Crow. For many decades, students from Old Crow would fly to …

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Protective colouration

As a kid, I delivered the Windsor Star to Red Wings goalie Glenn Hall. As a cub reporter, I once photographed Toronto tough guy Eddie Shack. Playing baseball. In 1972, I scored a coup on As It Happens by walking beside Bobby Hull’s convertible and interviewing him en route to picking up his $1-million cheque …

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A Closely-Monitored Life

Dave Brekke had been married less than a year when he tried to increase his life insurance. He was refused, and told that his life expectancy was only 10 years. That was in 1961. Brekke is still very much alive—a fit and active 73-year-old with a passion for sports and a dream of overhauling the …

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In the Eyes of a Trapper

There’s a quiet old guy in the town I’m living in named Joel. Joel’s been a trapper all his life. From Joel, I’ve learned that most short in-between words in English are superfluous, given a bit of context. He can say three simple words and I’ll think I’ve never heard those sounds together before, but …

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Hate to say I told you so

In September of 2008, I was working construction in Edmonton when the bottom fell out of the economy. There were a few workers on my crew that were good enough to find work in a recession, but I wasn’t one. After spinning my wheels for a week or two, I bought a bus ticket and …

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Confusion and Betrayal

When siblings embark on a new life together in unfamiliar surroundings, it can often result in confusion, conflict, even betrayal. Especially if one is working hard to keep everything together and the other’s life is a mess. That’s the premise of Wake and Bake, a new play by Whitehorse playwright Dean Eyre, which is currently …

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