Tr’ochëk: Leaving Tr’ochëk
Yukon Archives, Emil Forrest fonds, 80/60, #47.
Miners’ tents lined the south bank of the Klondike River at the height of the Klondike gold rush, spring 1898.
Yukon Archives #2160, Vancouver Public Library Coll.
Within a month of the gold discovery at Bonanza Creek on August 16, 1896, the Hän were forced from Tr’ochëk by the great rush of stampeding miners. Over the next year, mining and other activity destroyed the fish traps and ended salmon fishing at the mouth of the Klondike River. The fish camp of Tr’ochëk was now buried under the tents, cabins and cribs of Lousetown.
At first the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in moved across the river to Dawson City to the new Mounted Police reserve. The Hän soon realized they needed another base, far from the intrusive newcomers. Over the winter of 1897-98, Chief Isaac, church and government officials agreed that the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in would move downriver to Moosehide. By spring, people were building cabins and a new community at the site of another of their traditional camps.