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Yukon River: Spreading the Word

Yukon storytelling tradition welcomes the world

More on the Yukon River:
Yukon River:
Route of the Gold Rush

North to Alaska:
War brings a highway to the Yukon

Bonanza - The quest for Klondike gold

Staking a Claim:
A First Nation's right to the land

Cold Rush:
Stampede up the frozen Chilkoot Trail

Scaling Fish:
Salmon spawners get over a dam

Heal and Purify:
A First Nation recovers from cultural suppression

Spreading the Word:
Yukon storytelling tradition welcomes the world

Losing Track:
The White Pass and Yukon Route

Yukon aboriginals have a rich, unwritten history. Archeologists believe the Yukon and Alaskan regions may be the oldest continuously-inhabited region of North America. But, until recently, history was passed from generation to generation only through the ancient art of storytelling.

Storytelling was an important part of life and many hours were spent telling the myths and histories of this part of the world. Stories were a way of teaching and entertaining; it was also a means of passing on traditions, values and attitudes about the nature of the universe.

The Yukon storytelling tradition is expressed each summer through an international storytelling festival in Whitehorse. Storytellers from Yukon First Nations join others from Russia, Europe, Japan, China and Australia to entertain and educate under tents set up on the banks of the Yukon River.

One tale by well-known First Nation storyteller, Angela Sidney, is called Skookum Jim's Frog Helper and describes how the Tagish prospector was guided to gold discovery that set off the Klondike Stampede a century ago.

Adobe PDF downloadYukon River (Adobe PDF document) Adobe PDF downloadRivers of Canada (All pages in a zipped file)


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