Parks Canada



Parks Canada

November 23, 2012 09:30 ET

Harper Government Designates T'aw Ta'ar as National Historic Site

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 23, 2012) - On behalf of the Honourable Peter Kent, Canada's Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Ryan Leef, Member of Parliament for Yukon, today recognized T'äw Tà'är, a cultural landscape in the Yukon, as a national historic site of Canada.

"T'äw Tà'är is a cultural landscape that illustrates the significance of the relationship between the Ta'an Kwäch'än and their traditional territory, and the importance of connections and cultural networks," said Mr. Leef. "This special place is representative of many of the cultures of our First Peoples and is a worthy addition to Yukon's list of places, people and events of national historic significance."

Located on the Teslin River, Yukon, T'äw Tà'är is an Aboriginal cultural landscape that represents the interconnected web of seasonal food gathering activities, family relations, travel and trade of the Southern Tutchone people of Ta'an Kwäch'än, "the people of the flat lake place." It has been chosen by the Ta'an Kwäch'än as a landscape that speaks to their traditional way of life.

"Today's designation helps bring to life the cultural and physical ties that First Nations have to this country, for both Canadians and visitors to Canada," said Minister Kent. "T'äw Tà'är is a cultural landscape that illustrates their world, and the connections that sustained it."

Today's designation will be included in Canada's system of national historic sites, persons and events, on the recommendation of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.

The Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada was established in 1919 and is supported by Parks Canada. It advises the Minister of the Environment regarding the national significance of places, persons and events that have marked Canada's history. On behalf of the people of Canada, Parks Canada manages a nationwide network that makes up a rich tapestry of Canada's historical heritage and offers the public opportunities for real and inspiring discoveries.

For additional information, please see the accompanying backgrounder at www.parkscanada.gc.ca under Media Room.

BACKGROUNDER

NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE DESIGNATION - T'ÄW TÀ'ÄR

Located on the Teslin River, Yukon, T'äw Tà'är is an Aboriginal cultural landscape that represents the interconnected web of seasonal food gathering activities, family relations, travel and trade of the Southern Tutchone people of Ta'an Kwäch'än, "the people of the flat lake place." It has been chosen by the Ta'an Kwäch'än as a landscape that speaks to their traditional way of life.

T'äw Tà'är is at the intersection of many regional travel routes, both trails and waterways. These routes illustrate the sustained relationship between the Ta'an Kwäch'än and their traditional territory, through which they travelled each year to harvest animals, plants and fish. The travel routes that met at T'äw Tà'är helped to foster a network of marriages and resulting family lineages, as well as cooperation, and the maintenance of good relations with neighbours such as the Northern Tutchone, Tagish, Tlingit and Kaska peoples, culturally connecting the southern Yukon Athapaskan First Nations to each other.

From T'äw Tà'är, trails lead west to TàaΓǃan Män (Lake Laberge), which is now where most members of the Ta'an Kwäch'än First Nation live. Another trail heads east to Livingstone Creek and the Big Salmon River. River routes lead north and south from T'äw Tà'är along the Teslin River. Another trail leads south to Marsh Lake on the Yukon River.

The name T'äw Tà'är means "grayling run up" in the Southern Tutchone language and refers to the run of Arctic grayling fish that would take place each spring when the site was used as a fishing camp. In autumn, people passed through the camp on their way to hunt moose, bighorn sheep or caribou in the mountains, or to fish for whitefish in the rivers and lakes. At all seasons, people would pass through the area to trade and visit with neighbours and relatives. At the turn of the 20th century, it was also a small settlement for a number of families who ran traplines in the area. For the Ta'an Kwäch'än, T'äw Tà'är is a cultural landscape that illustrates their world, and the connections that sustained it.

Contact Information

  • Adam Sweet
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Minister of the Environment
    819-997-1441

    Media Relations
    Parks Canada
    819-953-8371
    www.twitter.com/parkscanada