Friday, October 24, 2014
The longest river in Alaska and Yukon, the Yukon River was a major transportation route during the Gold Rush. It is also an important territory for the Kwanlin Dun First Nation people. We visited the Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre where we learned lots about the displacement of the Tagish Kwan people and their petition to return to their traditional territory along the Yukon River.
Kwanlin means "running water through canyon" in Southern Tutchone. Miles Canyon and Whitehorse Rapids were major challenges for the prospectors traveling on the Yukon River during the Gold Rush. We enjoyed a good hike on a beautiful crisp day through Miles Canyon with its impressive 50-foot high basaltic walls.
The Old Log Church, built in 1900, is the one of the oldest building in Whitehorse. It was started by an Anglican missionary to minister to gold seekers and the First Nations.
Isaac O. Stringer, the second Bishop of Yukon, is widely known as the "bishop who ate his boots". He and his travelers were lost in the mountains one wintry October in 1909 and had resorted to eating their sealskin boots to survive!
"Thursday, Oct 21. Breakfast of sealskin boot, soles and tops boiled and toasted. Soles better than uppers. Soup of small scraps and bacon... the last we had; tired; hands sore; took a long time to pack up..."
Later that day, they stumbled upon human help. Two weeks later they resumed their 500-mile trek to Dawson.
Quote from the Old Log Church Museum