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Tr’ondëk-Klondike

Date of Submission: 01/10/2004
Criteria: (iv)(vi)
Category: Cultural
Submitted by:
Parks Canada Agency
State, Province or Region:
Yukon Territory
Coordinates: N64 W139
Ref.: 6255
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Description

Centred on the Yukon and Klondike rivers in northwestern Canada, Tr’ondëk–Klondike is an exceptional living cultural landscape that reflects the enduring coexistence of Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in and newcomer populations, which were brought and bound together by an iconic nineteenth-century gold rush. The Klondike Gold Rush took place between 1896 and 1898 and saw approximately 30 000 people from all over the world travel north to the Klondike in search of gold. Located in a rugged subarctic environment, the nominated property includes a wide variety of heritage attributes found along an 85-kilometre stretch of the Yukon River, in the historic Gold Rush-era town of Dawson City and in the Klondike goldfields. The attributes include Indigenous sites, camps, and settlements such as Tr’ochëk and Moosehide; the layout, streetscapes, and extensive vernacular building stock of Dawson City; and the landforms, infrastructure, machinery, and compounds associated with over a century of continuous placer gold mining in the goldfields.

The fundamentally different relationships with the land for the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in and newcomer populations continue to shape the cultural landscape today. Traditional Indigenous culture and values coexist with active placer mining in an area that has long been associated with a frontier meeting place of Indigenous peoples and newcomers in search of land and resources. This context and the enormous impact of the Gold Rush and its aftermath are legible in the material heritage of the landscape. They are also evocatively portrayed in a rich body of literature and photography as well as narrated in the stories of the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in. Ultimately, the site is a distinctive, intact, and comprehensive example of a nineteenth-century gold rush whose legacy has shaped the region and its inhabitants for the past 120 years.