Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in Heritage Sites

Welcome to Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in Heritage Sites, an online resource dedicated to exploring our history and culture.

Dänojà Zho: Description

View of Dänojà Zho from Front Street.

View of Dänojà Zho from Front Street.

View of Dänojà Zho from the river side on a frosty October day.

View of Dänojà Zho from the river side on a frosty October day.

Spring break-up of the Yukon River ice has flung large ice blocks along the shore below Dänojà Zho, 4 May 2004. The Dawson City landmark, Moosehide Slide, is in the background.

Spring break-up of the Yukon River ice has flung large ice blocks along the shore below Dänojà Zho, 4 May 2004. The Dawson City landmark, Moosehide Slide, is in the background.

Dänojà Zho interpreters share their culture with visitors. Interpretive staff in 2008, L-R: Allison Anderson, Charmaine Christiansen, Kylie Van Every and Carmen Roberts.

Dänojà Zho interpreters share their culture with visitors. Interpretive staff in 2008, L-R: Allison Anderson, Charmaine Christiansen, Kylie Van Every and Carmen Roberts.

The Cultural Centre is a symbol of our history, our perseverance, pride and hope. It rose from the desire to make a strong presence in the traditional territory of the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in that would speak to and for us and would not be bound to the "gold rush" era. The Centre would show that we are a strong people.

Jackie Olson, 2009

In keeping with its gold rush beginnings, Dawson City has a bylaw requiring that the exteriors of all new buildings resemble Klondike-era structures. There is one major exception to this rule. Dänojà Zho or “Long Ago House” draws on the much older traditions of the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in. Elements of the building remind us of salmon drying racks and winter shelters but the overall look is very contemporary.

The building was designed by the Yukon firm, Maurer, Kobayashi Architects and officially opened in July 1998. Located on the Dawson waterfront, the Centre has dramatic vistas of the Yukon River and a clear view of our home community of Moosehide Village. In 1999, the Architectural Institute of British Columbia formally recognized the building’s excellence with the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia’s Medal in Architecture.