Dänojà Zho: Centre Highlights
Young citizens in the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in float during the Discovery Day Parade, August 2004.
Part of the Annie Henry exhibit, 14 June 2005.
Ceremony welcoming residential school survivors during the landmark exhibits on Residential Schools, May 2007.
David Neufeld photo
Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Elder Edward Roberts and Tahltan fiddler Gerald Edzerza from Watson Lake share old time music traditions at a fiddle music showcase, 2005.
Dancers Cherith Mark and Michelle Olson, 2005.
The Dänojà Zho Cultural Centre has hosted everything: original dance productions, internationally famous movie producers and authors, community celebrations and unique displays. Here is a small sampling of the special events that have created wonderful memories.
Dänojà Zho is a base for various community events.
During Discovery Day in August, we help celebrate the days of the Klondike Gold Rush. We share another part of the gold rush story, highlighting the first peoples and our continuing vibrant culture.
National Aboriginal Day
During National Aboriginal Day on June 21st, we invite all Dawson residents and visitors to share in our festivities. People come to enjoy musicians, see the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Singers and Dancers perform traditional songs, enjoy games and activities, and taste our delicious bannock.
On Remembrance Day, November 11, we honour our First Nations and Dawson City veterans.
Northern Tutchone artist, Eugene Alfred, from Pelly Crossing, shared his skills at a carving workshop in November 2005.
From Our Hands
This 2003 exhibit featured artwork created by Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in citizens.
Some of our most popular displays are those that honour our Elders. Often family members help us out by loaning special keepsakes for the displays.
Mary McLeod (ca. 1893-1987)
Mary McLeod was renowned for her storytelling and her skills in living on the land. In her later years, she passed on these gifts to generations of children. She and her family lived at Forty Mile, Eight Mile Creek and Moosehide. Mary McLeod Road in Dawson City is named after this respected leader and teacher.
Annie Henry (1904-2005)
Annie Henry was born in the Black City area and her original language was Takudh, a Gwich’in dialect. She married her husband Joe Henry at Moosehide in 1921. The pair had 13 children and were never happier than when spending time on the land at their cabin in Wolf Creek on the Dempster Highway. In 2000, she and Joe were recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s longest married couple. The pair had been wed over 80 years by the time Joe died in 2000.
Tr’ëhuhch’in Näwtr’udäh’a: Finding Our Way Home
In 2007, Dänojà Zho hosted three significant events.
Library and Archives Canada touring exhibit
The national touring exhibit, “Where are the Children: Healing the Legacy of Residential School” showed photographs from residential schools all across Canada.
Finding our Way Home
A companion community-based exhibit “Finding Our Way Home” was created to focus on the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in experience and give voice to community survivors.
The K’änächá Scrapbook Project
The K’änächá Scrapbook Project was compiled by a group of Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in residential school survivors as part of their own healing journey. The exhibit opening was a healing ceremony welcoming residential school survivors into the heart of their own community.
Raven Spirit Dance Company
Michelle Olson is a Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in citizen, dancer, a choreographer and the Artistic Director of Raven Spirit Dance Company. This contemporary dance company creates and performs works that inspired by Aboriginal traditions as well as the reality of aboriginal life today. Michelle created two works for performance in Dänojà Zho, Songs of Shär Cho (Songs of Big Bear) and Łuk Täga Näche (Salmon Girl Dreaming). Each piece explores themes of connection, transformation, resilience and renewal.
The Secret Life of Artifacts
In 2005, Dawson students visited the Dawson City Museum, Parks Canada and Dänojà Zho to examine and research a variety of artifacts. The event concluded with a presentation of their findings and stories.