Relocation to Moosehide
Tr’ochëk, the fish camp at the mouth of the Klondike River, was at the heart of our traditional territory. Our name, Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in, refers to our ancient connection to this site. When the new townsite of Dawson City filled up and overflowed across the river, Tr’ochëk was overrun by the new community informally known as Lousetown, later renamed Klondike City.
After negotiating with the police and Anglican Church representatives, our leader Chief Isaac arranged for us to move to another traditional site at Moosehide, five km downriver from Dawson. He foresaw that our people needed some distance from the influence of the intrusive newcomers. One of our famous stories tells of how Chief Isaac anticipated the difficulty of retaining our culture. He decided to “cache” some of our songs and dances with Alaskan people along with the gӓnhӓk, an important cultural symbol. Decades later, the Alaskans returned these traditional songs and dances, teaching them to the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in.
To learn more about Chief Isaac, see the story Chief Isaac (PDF) from the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Interpretive Manual.
An early view of Moosehide Village.
Yukon Archives, Anglican Church of Canada, Diocese of Yukon fonds, 89/41 #1342
Moosehide choir, ca. 1930s. Back row, L-R: Jimmy Wood, Richard Martin, Bertha Harper (Russell), Mason McLeod, Lucy Wood. Front row, L-R: Angela Isaac (Lopaschuck), Martha Simon (Warville), Susan Simon (Joseph). Yukon Archives, Anglican Church of Canada/General Synod Archives, 78/67 #134