Dänojä Zho Cultural Centre

Great to hear from you

Nëts’än wëdìhtth’äk łą̈̂ hǫzǫ.

Dänojà Zho Cultural Centre is the gateway to Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in heritage.

The Centre is a meeting place for cultural activities, performances and special events that celebrate our traditions and how we live today.

Dänojà Zho is open year-round with visitor programs and activities in the summer season from May to September. Each summer the Gathering Room hosts a new exhibition that reflects our vibrant and rich culture. Visitors can share in our pride by participating in our river walk tours, topical displays, art shows and a wide variety of film presentations.

The Dänojà Zho gift shop specializes in unique hand-made clothing, beaded footwear, and jewellery. We carry a large selection of music, art and books that reflect and celebrate First Nation culture.

The Cultural Centre is a symbol of our history, our perseverance, pride and hope. It rose from the desire to make a strong presence in the traditional territory of the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in that would speak to and for us and would not be bound to the "gold rush" era. The Centre would show that we are a strong people.

In keeping with its gold rush beginnings, Dawson City has a bylaw requiring that the exteriors of all new buildings resemble Klondike-era structures. There is one major exception to this rule. Dänojà Zho or “Long Ago House” draws on the much older traditions of the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in. Elements of the building remind us of salmon drying racks and winter shelters, but the overall look is very contemporary.

The building was designed by the Yukon firm, Maurer, Kobayashi Architects and officially opened in July 1998. Located on the Dawson waterfront, the Centre has dramatic vistas of the Yukon River and a clear view of our home community of Moosehide Village. In 1999, the Architectural Institute of British Columbia formally recognized the building’s excellence with the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia’s Medal in Architecture.

Meeting Services and Facilities

Dänojà Zho is a year-round, fully accessible, non-smoking, no alcohol facility. The facility is available for rentals for any type of function from September to April. Exceptions for summer use will be considered.
Dänojà Zho is an excellent location for hosting meetings, open house/information events, community functions, lecture and slide shows, fundraisers, concerts and performing arts presentations.

The Gathering Room is illuminated by floor to ceiling windows and an unobstructed view of the Yukon River. This room is suitable for seminars, meetings, small receptions, presentations, and concerts.

The 90-seat Theatre (with lap desks) provides a perfect location for both audio/visual presentations and live performances.

Services include sound and light systems, audio/ visual equipment, flip charts, kitchenette, outdoor decks, and terraced amphitheatre style landscaping. There is ample parking, and the Centre is an easy walking distance from all hotels, and visitor attractions.



I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to research and compile some of the ancient traditional stories and folklore of my ancestors and the ancestors of other First Nations in the North. It has been a journey of exploration and excitement, mixed with some sadness and loss. The Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Heritage Library and the Dawson City Community Library has a wide variety of materials available, though one can only imagine that much of our people’s songs, stories, and history have been lost due to colonization. Now, however, is a time for our stories to be reborn! To revitalize our stories and the cultural lessons our ancestors passed down to us through them, we have put together a collection from around Northern Canada to give to our Citizens. The stories come from various books, transcripts, and biographies from around the area.

Tsäk-ge-jëk Misses the Feast

They call him Tsäk-ge-jëk. He’s one of those nuisance guys, always messing around. One day he’s out hunting on an island. He kills some ducks. He cleans them and he roasts them by burying them under the hot sand. He leaves their feet sticking out of the sand so he can pull them out when he’s ready to eat. Tsäk-ge-jëk doesn’t like to eat alone.

He says, “I wonder who’s going to eat ducks with me.”

Nobody comes.

So, he walks down the beach, walks around. So here comes an old fox. The fox is coming up to Tsäk-ge-jëk really slowly. He’s limping along with his old bones. Tsäk-ge-jëk asks if Fox would like to share the roasted ducks. Fox licks his lips. He sure is hungry.


Tsäk-ge-jëk tells the fox, “I’ll go the long way around the island to see if anyone else wants to join us.

You take the shortcut so you can rest until I get there.”

Tsäk-ge-jëk continues on his way, happy to be able to help poor, old Fox.

But there’s nothing wrong with Fox … except that he’s a wily trickster. In two minutes he rounded a bend and found all of the delicious, roasted ducks. What luck, he thinks to himself.

Meanwhile Tsäk-ge-jëk carries on but he doesn’t find anyone else to share the ducks with. He finally showed up after walking all the way around the island. He didn’t find anyone else to eat the ducks with him. He was very hungry after walking around the whole island so he was looking forward to the nice roasted ducks.

He could see all of the ducks’ feet poking out of the sand. What a feast!

He pulled the first one out and … nothing. The duck was gone … just the feet were there. Same thing with the next and the next and the next.

Fox had tricked him and packed all the ducks home. What a feast indeed!

TH Art Work