Tr’ondëk-Klondike inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List
This serial property comprised of eight distinct heritage locations is a living record of a period of profound change and upheaval for Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in with the onset of colonial expansion
September 18, 2023
During yesterday’s proceedings at the 45th session of the World Heritage Committee in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Tr’ondëk-Klondike, located in the homeland of Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in in northwestern Canada, was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Led by the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Government and the Tr’ondëk-Klondike World Heritage Site Advisory Committee, with support from the Government of Yukon, the City of Dawson, the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor), and Parks Canada, Tr’ondëk-Klondike tells the story of Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in’s experiences and responses to the startlingly rapid expansion of colonialism in their homeland between 1874 and 1908. Archaeological and historical evidence denotes timelines of both Indigenous and settler occupation of important sites throughout the region and together are a comprehensive record of the events that transformed the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in way of life.
Tr’ondëk-Klondike World Heritage site is a serial property comprised of eight distinct heritage locations: Fort Reliance; Ch’ëdähdëk (Forty Mile); Ch’ëdähdëk Tth’än K’et (Dënezhu Graveyard); Fort Cudahy and Fort Constantine; Tr’ochëk; Dawson City; Jëjik Dhä Dënezhu Kek’it (Moosehide Village); and Jëjik Dhä Tthe Zra’y Kek’it (Black City). These sites collectively total 334 hectares of land and encompass component sites along parts of the Yukon River and the Blackstone River.
The unique cultural makeup of the region is the product of the coexistence of Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in and settlers over the last century and a half. The Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in experience and adaptation to European settler colonialism marked the landscape with distinct cultural heritage attributes that remain to this day.
With this inscription, Tr’ondëk-Klondike joins the expanding list of World Heritage sites in Canada which includes awe-inspiring locations such as Nahanni National Park, Wood Buffalo National Park, Gros Morne National Park, the Historic District of Old Québec, and the Rideau Canal.