Edmonton still touts its tenuous link to the Klondike

Edmonton still touts its tenuous link to the Klondike I noted with amusement the article in the Wednesday, April 20 edition of the Yukon News by Myles Dolphin remembering the Klondike Defence Force of the 1960s. Among other things, it consolidated the Yu

I noted with amusement the article in the Wednesday, April 20 edition of the Yukon News by Myles Dolphin remembering the Klondike Defence Force of the 1960s. Among other things, it consolidated the Yukon community’s sense of outrage, and affirmed its strong connection to the historical past.

My wife Kathy and I were in Edmonton some years ago when we asked a cab driver what the Klondike Days were all about. According to him, the gold rush took place just outside of Edmonton. The long line of stampeders struggling up the golden stairs? Why that was just up the Saskatchewan River valley a short distance, he told us!

What alarmed me about this revelation was that Edmonton grasped at an historical event that might have been colourful, but was not central to defining the city’s origins. Seattle could get away with claiming a legitimate link to the Klondike – but Edmonton? Celebrating the event year after year has created a false sense of ownership of the event within the public mind of Edmontonians.

If they had to grasp at such a tenuous link to somebody else’s heritage, have they overlooked who they are and what they have become? Oil and agriculture were the foundations upon which the modern province has been built. Have they no grasp of their own history? I think this is a sad indictment of the historians who have failed to fashion a common public perception of identity for Alberta’s capital city.

So they abolished Klondike Days in 2006 and went looking for a new name. And K-Days was the best that they could muster? I did a quick Google search, and as of 2013, I see they are still referring to the Edmonton event as Klondike Days and to “Reliving the gold rush.” They pan for gold and lines of high-kicking dancers perform the can-can. Further Google searching reveals that they are competing with Eagle River, Wisconsin for the title of Klondike Days.

C’mon Edmonton, you can do better than that!

Michael Gates

Whitehorse

Just Posted

Yukon government outlines proposed pot rules

Opposition says revealed plans short on specifics

Yukon Court of Appeal to hear arguments in Blackjack case

Family of Carmacks woman who died during 2013 medevac wants public inquiry

Casino aims to start YESAB panel review by end of 2018

‘Elephant in the room’ a 286-metre tailing pond wall

Human rights hearing over Destruction Bay pantsing put off until next year

Motel co-owner accused in case did not attend hearing due to illness

Survey this: How does Yukon’s health care rate?

Since the government loves questionnaires so much, how about one on health care?

Beware of debt

Don’t be a Trudeau, Silver

Project near Takhini Hot Springs to measure Yukon’s geothermal potential

The results could open the door for a new, green way of generating power in the Yukon

Straight and true: the story of the Yukon colours

Michael Gates | History Hunter Last week, I participated in the 150th… Continue reading

Get ready to tumble: Whitehorse’s Polarettes to flip out at fundraiser

‘There’s a mandatory five-minute break at the end, just so people don’t fall over’

Alaska’s governor goes to China

There are very different rules for resource projects depending on which side of the border you’re on

Yukon survey shows broad support for legal pot

But there’s no consensus on retail and distribution models

Most Read