There is no other place like Tr’ondëk–Klondike in the world. It’s a living, evolving, cultural place. Tr’ondëk–Klondike tells the story of two cultures with very different relationships to the land, which were suddenly bound together by the iconic Klondike Gold Rush. Indigenous and mining activities have co-existed in Tr’ondëk–Klondike from the gold rush to the present day, where they continue to shape the landscape and the peoples who live here. It is an exceptional, intact and comprehensive example of how 19th Century gold rushes have had a profound influence on landscapes, culture and people.
Tr’ondëk–Klondike is a cultural landscape proposed for inscription on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2018. It consists of historic and modern sites along an 85-kilometre stretch of the Yukon River, in the Gold Rush-era town of Dawson City and in the Klondike goldfields. It features Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in sites, camps and settlements such as Tr’ochëk fishing camp and Moosehide Village; the streetscapes and buildings of Dawson City and Forty Mile, and the machinery and sites associated with 120 years of continuous, and continuing, placer mining in the goldfields. The site includes heritage buildings, as well as archaeological sites, sternwheelers, a gold mining dredge, the evolving community of Dawson City, operational placer mining, and ongoing Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in traditional activities on the land.
Our title “Tr’ondëk-Klondike” recognizes the full spectrum of our shared history. The name “Klondike” which brings to mind the quest for gold, a bounty of riches and is famous around the world, actually originated as the Han Athapaskan word Tr’ondëk.
Tr’o signifies the hammer rock used to drive the salmon weir stakes into the mouth of the river; ndëk means “river”. Another interpretation uses the word Kl’o, which means grass, and translates roughly to: “waters flowing through the grass at the mouth of the Klondike.” The word Hwëch’in means the “people”. Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in means: “the people who lived at the mouth of the Klondike”.
— Gerald Isaac, February 1999
This project is led by a community-based advisory committee, chaired by the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Heritage Director and includes representatives from the Klondike Visitors Association, Dawson City Chamber of Commerce, Dawson City Museum, Klondike Placer Miners Association, Yukon Chamber of Mines, City of Dawson, Government of Yukon – Tourism and Culture, Parks Canada – KNHS, up to four local residents, and a Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in citizen.
The project is managed by Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in with funds from the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and Yukon Department of Economic Development. A core project management team includes the Project Manager, Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Heritage Officer and Yukon Historic Sites Manager.
In addition, Working Groups are set up to assist with technical research, develop the site’s Outstanding Universal Values, and determine the site’s physical boundaries.
For more detailed information, see Who we are.