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The story of Moosehide Gathering

In the late 1800s, as tens of thousands of gold seekers arrived in the Klondike Valley, Chief Isaac of the Han people recognized that his community’s traditions and way of life were threatened. He took the songs and dances of its people across the border to the old Tanacross village at Lake Mansfield, Alaska, entrusting his relatives to preserve them until the time was right. At this time, the Han people moved from Tr’ochek, their fish camp at the mouth of the Klondike and Yukon rivers, to Moosehide Village where we celebrate the gathering today.

The Tanacross community and extended family members held Chief Isaac’s songs for our people for many decades until we were ready to reclaim them. The 1991 Yukon Aboriginal Languages Conference provided inspiration for the renewal of Tr’ondek Hwech’in culture. Our main objective was to revitalize Han history, songs, dances, and traditional dress. That same year, we held a weekend camp to bring our people together and enjoy each other’s company.

In 1992, a group of Tr’ ondek Hwech’in people travelled to Tanacross to observe and learn how to host a large traditional gathering. It was then that they began learning long-forgotten Han songs and dances.

Committed to revitalizing our ancestors’ celebrations, the Tr’ondek Hwech’in hosted the first Moosehide Gathering in 1993. Moosehide Gathering is a celebration of our culture and honoring of our heritage, our ancestors, and our future. We invite everyone to join us at Moosehide to share our stories, songs, and dances, enjoy local and guest performers, and the tasty feasts prepared by our cooks. We are honored to have you visit us. 

Stay tuned for more information on Moosehide Gathering July 25 – 28 2024!

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