The Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in was a matrilineal society, with descent being traced through the mother’s line. As with most Yukon First Nations, people also belonged to one of two moieties or “clans”, Wolf or Crow. Very simply, this means their society was divided into two groups, with everyone belonging to one or the other. This system governed most relationships. Marriages were between people from opposite sides. If a Wolf person died, people from the Crow side helped relatives with all the tasks during a funeral. A year later, the Wolf people would host a thank you feast and ceremony for the Crows. Although many aspects of this kinship system fell into disuse over the years, most Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in people still refer to themselves as being Wolf or Crow.
Tending the Sacred Fire at Moosehide Gathering, 2002.