Ross River

It’s a small world – Part 1

While tourists worry about bears in the Yukon, I worry about the excess of mosquitoes we’ve had this summer. I am prone to bad bug bites.

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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The Tintina Trench

There was a not-so-urban myth out there that you could see the Tintina Trench from the moon. That is not true, unless the person on the moon had a good telescope.

Gearing up to explore ideas and the written word

PHOTO: Dan Davidson   The Yukon Writers’ Festival takes place May 2 through 5, with events throughout the Yukon In 1990, a number of organizations joined together to meld the Young Authors’ Conference and the National Book Festival into a farther reaching Yukon Writers’ Festival to highlight the Canadian literary arts in the Yukon. The …

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Dena Zagi

In The People’s Voice

Ross River musician Dennis Shorty grew up in a musical family that spoke Kaska and performed at social events. Now he is sharing his love of the language through the musical duo he formed with his wife, Jennifer Froehling, is called Dena Zagi, meaning “people’s voice”. In August, they toured in Germany with their first …

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Slip-Sliding Away

Benkert is quick to underline this aspect of the project. “The Yukon Geological Survey has been really critical (to the project) all the way through,”  she says, and goes on to cite the important roles played by the Universities of Ottawa and Montreal as well as each of the seven communities that participated in the …

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Cello Lessons in the Communities

“They just don’t stop!” That’s the coordinator of the Yukon Cello Project, Nico Stephenson, describing the energy and enthusiasm his students bring to music class each day. “Whether that’s playing cellos, or playing outside, they just don’t stop.” While it means that some youngsters struggle to sit still, it also means there is a collective …

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A Northern Diary

I have been in the wilderness of the Mackenzie Mountains for six weeks, and have decided to begin a diary. It’s maybe not the right time to start one, but now that I’m not quite as busy and not nearly as tired at the end of the day, I’ll begin one anyway so that I …

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A Mothering Hen

When Kaska master carver Dennis Shorty talks about his art, the conversation is more likely to focus on his respect for the materials he uses than on his finished products. “When I pick up that piece of wood, that piece of wood came off a tree and it’s still alive. And now it’s laying on the ground and …

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What it Means to be Two-spirited

In some First Nations, two-spirited people are a common part of the history of their culture. Will Roscoe, for example, writes in the book The Zuni Man Woman (1991) that two-spirited people have been documented for centuries in over 130 North American tribes in every region of the continent. The term refers to homosexuality or …

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World of Words: Crime writing in a small town

Justine Davidson has been the Whitehorse Star court reporter for three years. Recently I moderated her presentation at the Yukon Mystery Lounge. Below are highlights of the lively discussion. Jessica Simon (JS): How did you get into court reporting? Justine Davidson (JD): It’s the beat that’s often given to the most junior reporter because most …

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Heritage New & Old

When Natasha Peter walks into the coffee shop, she’s grinning with excitement. “We were just down the street looking at rifles,” she says of her “trip to town” with her boyfriend. “I’m stoked to get my own .22.” A 21-year-old who knows how to skin a moose and has been hunting with her dad since …

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