Contact: Emmie Fairclough, Senior Manager
Dánän Kwänje—Our Land Speaks Website
We invite you to visit Dánän Kwänje - Our Land Speaks, our new website featuring Southern Tutchone place names and the stories and histories of those places. We have been researching Southern Tutchone place names for over 15 years—research that continues today. The Elders wanted this information to be available to all Ta'an Kwäch'än citizens—especially the youth—and asked the Heritage Branch to share this priceless knowledge on a website developed for this purpose. The website features an interactive map, sound files of Elders speaking place names, photos of the places, and background histories and stories about the places.
The website is easy to update and improve. If you have any ideas or information to share, call us. We hope to add videos, in the near future, of Elders telling stories and histories.
Dánän Kwänje—Our Land Speaks Board Game
Based on the success of our place names website, we decided to develop a board game based on the site. The Southern Tutchone Language lessons group came up with the design of the game and its features. Players travel along traditional Ta'an Kwach'an trails; as they arrive at different locations they must pronounce the Southern Tutchone name for the place. If they can do so without help, they collect two Danan Kwanje cards (only one card if they need some help). The first player to collect ten Danan Kwanje cards and return to Lake Laberge wins! Copies of the game are available for Ta'an Kwäch'än families through the Ta'an Kwäch'än Council heritage branch.
Upper Laberge Stabilization and Management
Many of the buildings at the Upper Laberge village are near collapsing. Some already have. The Heritage Branch has been working in partnership with Mr. Glenn Grady (who was born at the village) and restoration expert Garth Stoughton to propose some technical options for stabilzing the buildings. In the fall of 2008, we braced the buildings that were in danger of collapsing over the winter. We plan to continue stabilization and restoration work over the next few years, and to develop interpretive signage for the site.
Ice Patch Archaeology and Community Research
The Ta'an Kwäch'än Council works in partnership with other First Nations and the Yukon Government on research projects related to mountain top ice patches. The patches of snow and ice, in the past, did not completely melt in the summer and attracted caribou trying to get away from insects. The caribou, in turn, attract hunters who would sometimes leave pieces of tools and clothing behind. These artefacts survived preserved in the ice and today can be found as the patches shrink due to the warming climate. The artefacts reveal that First Nations people have been hunting here for almost 9,000 years. The Ta'an Kwäch'än Council, participating in cooperative fieldwork at the ice patch sites, is currently conducting traditional knowledge research with its citizens about ice patch topics.
Ta'an Kwäch'än Genealogy
The Ta'an Kwäch'än Council has started hiring Ta'an Kwäch'än citizens on a casual basis to document their family's genealogy with a particular focus on old, traditional names. The information will be compiled into a computer program and stored in a database at the Ta'an Kwäch'än Council. If you are interested in this line of work, give us a call. Two families have completed this work so far, and we hope to hire people from the other families to do this work soon.
Historic Sites and People
The Ta'an Kwäch'än Council has successfully nominated Chief Jim Boss as a National Historic Person. Chief Jim Boss was commemorated with a bronze plaque in the summer of 2008. The Heritage Branch is also in the process of nominating Winter Crossing (T'äw Tà'är—"grayling run up") as a National Historic Site.
© 2008 Government of the Ta'an Kwäch'än Council