Danoja Zho Cultural Centre, Dawson City

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The Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in: The People of the River

For countless generations the Hän speaking people of the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in lived and traveled in a vast territory extending from the Yukon valley into the mountains to the north and south. The heart of this homeland was Tr’ochëk, a fishing camp at the confluence of the Klondike and Yukon Rivers.

Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in made their living on the land. People traveled between the rivers, creeks and the mountains, according to the season, harvesting fish, game and berries. They devised ingenious tools and devices from wood, skin and stone to trap, hunt, net and store their food. Resources from the land also provided clothing, transportation and shelter.

The Hän maintained a complex network of trade and exchange with their neighbors. People walked hundreds of miles over an extensive system of trails to trade and to visit.

The discovery of gold had an immediate impact on the life of the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in. Tr’ochëk fish camp, across the river from boom town Dawson, became flooded with prospectors. The leader of the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in, Chief Isaac, was left little choice but to move his people away from their traditional home to the relatively isolated hunting camp of Moosehide.

The Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in has seen many changes over the past century, but the relationship and connection to the river and to the land remain.

To learn more about the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in visit the Dänojà Zho Cultural Centre 1131 Front Street, Dawson City on the bank of the Yukon River across from the Dawson Visitor Centre.
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Danoja Zho Cultural Centre Reviews
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  • What a fantastic afternoon we spent at the Danoja Zho heritage centre! The exhibits are outstanding; very moving insights to the experiences of the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in and Han, indeed all indigenous peo...  more »
  • Well worth the ticket to experience the centre, the staff are proud Tr'ondek Hwech'in people who love to share their story with you. the gift shop has an excellent selection of local crafts.  more »
  • Very interesting museum, on the First Nation living at Dawson City before the Klondyke gold rush. It helps understand how the First Nations have been pushted away from their Land every times the white...  more »

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