Saturday, 21 July 2012

'Open your eyes and you will see blessings in disguise'

Dawson is located on the Yukon River and has been the home for millennia for the Tr'ondek Hwech'in people who settled their claims with the Canadain Government in 1998.

Gold miners came in 1898 and disrupted the life of the Tr'ondel Hwech'in people for ever. Their Chief Isaac had the forethought to pass on the tribal treasures - music, dance and stories to the Tanana people for safe keeping in the early 1900's. There has been a resurgence in tribal language and music and the knowledge has been retrieved.

When the gold boom was over miners went north to Alaska.

The Canadian National Parks and local people have created a fascinating destination for tourists. We have enjoyed our rest day here.

Dancing performance at the cultural centre, a wedding on Front street with guests in historic attire, and museums. Shops and houses are colourfully painted and flowers abound. Empty shop fronts have been cleverly dressed with artifacts and story boards.

The Yukon river has always been a transport artery

Float planes are commonly used throughout the Yukon and Alaska where there are plenty of rivers and lakes to 'land' on.

Traditional dolls with detailed beadwork and using tradtional materials that were created for the Winter Olympics were on display at the Tr'ondel Hwech'in cultural centre. I stayed to watch the solo dance performance based on the theme of a woman tending her trap lines. It was stunningly evocative.

In the evening we were lucky to be able to get tickets to the sold out Dawson music festival concert - dusky velvet vocalist Molly Sweeney followed by Canadian composer, song writer Ron Sexmith.
The lyrics in my head this morning are
"Open your eyes and you will see blessings in disguise"


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi guys we now in Whitehorse Cheers BBnJo