Tuesday, September 23, 2014
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'It's important to know who you are': Tron'dek Hwech'in celebrate

First Nation welcomes guests to Moosehide Village every two years

CBC News

This year's Moosehide gathering included a special recognition for six students who, in the 90s, reintroduced their people to traditional songs.


The Tron'dek Hwech'in First Nation welcomes guests to Moosehide Village every two years. It's a short boat ride from Dawson City. The First Nation shares songs, stories, food, the land and crafts with their guests.

This year's gathering was one of the busiest yet. First Nations from Saskatchewan, Vancouver, Alaska, and Yukon attended. The event wrapped up on the weekend.

"All First Nations cultures, we had to take our traditions and our cultures underground, for a while. But now they're coming back out, it's beautiful, it's fulfilling to see," says Don Trudeau, a craftsman from Pelly Crossing.

The gathering originated after Tron'dek Hwech'in took their songs to Alaska when Dawson City was flooded with people during the Gold Rush. They taught their songs to people there to preserve them.

At a language conference in Whitehorse in the early 90s, people decided to bring the songs back to Moosehide Village. Six students went to Alaska to learn the songs, and to reteach them to their First Nation.

"It's important to know who you are and where you came from," says Daisy Northway, a niece of the Alaskan elder who taught the students the songs.

She says sharing songs, dance and language among First Nations people helps them remember who they are.

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