Tr’ochëk: Life at Moosehide
Yukon Archives, Anglican Church, 89/41, 1342.
Caches at Moosehide.
Dawson City Museum, # 9184.108.40.206
Grave fences in the Moosehide cemetery ca. 1898. Many First Nations people died during the Klondike gold rush from unfamiliar diseases carried by the newcomers.
Yukon Archives, Tappan Adney, 81/9, 31.
Moosehide choir, ca. 1930s. Back row, L-R: Jimmy Wood, Rev. Richard Martin, Bertha Harper (Russell), Mason McLeod, Lucy Wood. Front row, L-R: Angela Isaac (Lopaschuk), Martha Simon (Warville), Susan Simon (Joseph).
Yukon Archives, Anglican Church of Canada/General Synod Archives, 78/67, #134.
Moosehide, located five km downriver from Dawson, is an excellent place for a settlement. It is on a high bench well above flood level. There are good views up and downriver, ideal for spotting game. Nearby Moosehide Creek provides fresh water. This site was our main home for over 50 years.
In the spring of 1897, our grandparents and great grandparents began building cabins at Moosehide as well as a church and mission house for resident Anglican missionaries. While the settlement was their base, they also travelled on the land, spending time at fish camps, trap lines, hunting camps and favourite berry patches.
Men took seasonal jobs with the sternwheelers, on the Dawson dock and at wood camps. Women had no trouble selling beadwork and hide clothing to Dawson residents. Children attended the day school but many were sent to the residential school at Carcross. The settlement became a lively place during festival times such as Christmas and Easter when other First Nation people came to visit. The Gwich’in, Tanana, Northern Tutchone and other Hän stayed at Moosehide while they traded at Dawson.
The sternwheeler era ended, the school closed and in the 1950s people gradually moved to Dawson to be closer to jobs and schools. Moosehide remains a special place to our people.