Erling Friis-Baastad

Love was in the air then landed

My recent activities had been surprisingly similar to the courtship displays of other animals. I had stuck a row of spruce branches into the lake ice to attract my mate from high up in the air, went on a cooking and baking spree to impress him with my ama

Nurses answered the call for heath care in the Klondike

It was 1898, the Klondike Gold Rush was in full swing and thousands had made their way to the Yukon to find their fortunes. With the massive surge in population came a need for professionals of all sorts. One of the direst needs was for trained medical pr

how to fight fair sorta and win

Dear Uma: Valentine's Day was a bust. After all my plans to participate by getting a card and some red things for Pete, I got involved in a new project and forgot all about it. When Pete showed up a day early for his two weeks out, I got up and gave him

Shovel ready

Under the current Federal economic stimulus plan, the Yukon government will be getting millions of dollars for shovel-ready projects. It looks like there will be a $48 million in extra federal transfer payments, and another $50 million for affordable...

the world has a wolf by the ear

The first green shoots of the coming spring should be breaking the ground right about now in Missouri. By the middle of next month, crocuses, grape hyacinths, bells of the valley and daffodils will provide a vibrant annual sign of renewal and hope in the...

A tale of two icons

Deep in the heart of the Klondike capital, Dawson City, stands a proud and elegant building: The Palace Grand Theatre. Over the years, I spent many hours in it as Parks Canada's curator of collections, but I also spent many enjoyable hours, joining the...

Liberals stand for equality on round heels

In 1978, a majority Liberal government under Pierre Trudeau passed Canada's first pay equity legislation. For the next 20 years, a succession of Liberal and Conservative governments resisted that law's natural outcome, a multi-million dollar...

historys gone to the dogs

They work, they play, they protect and they love unconditionally. Throughout the history of the Yukon, dogs have done it all. Dogs served as faithful companions for lonely prospectors living on the remote Klondike creeks where they may...

it makes sense to recycle buildings

'The greenest building is the one that is already built." It's an adage that sounds familiar, like it's been around forever, but it turns out these sage words were uttered just a few years ago. In coining this phrase,

Bearing the beams of love

Dear Uma: Pete has made certain he'll be home for Valentine's Day. There will be a romantic dinner planned; there'll be a surprise gift and a mushy card. All his usual reticence about matters of the heart disappears on the day of the valentine;

great writers… come with the territory

During February, March and into April, enjoy an eclectic mix of literary readings by Yukon authors. From fiction to drama to poetry to science fiction, you'll hear a little of everything. The series will be presented at Whitehorse Public Library (meeting

the secret language of gold

It didn't take me long to learn that placer mining has its own vocabulary and traditions. John Gould, my mentor in the area of gold mining, introduced me to this unique world when, shortly after I arrived at my new job in Dawson City, he took me out into...

the northern economic development agency boon or boondoggle

I spent the Wednesday morning of this week in a crowded little meeting room in the Elijah Smith Building, hearing about, and spouting off a bit about, the federal government's proposed Northern Economic Development Agency. I was there in two capacities...

canadas liberals new leader same old band

Michael Ignatieff, Canada's newly-minted Opposition leader, got his job because the country, the media, and the party perceived his predecessor as weak and ineffective. The question now arises, should the Liberals go back to that barrel of leadership...

Flaherty’s advisers: the richest of the rich

This week, the US Federal Reserve released a "snapshot" of the American economy. To make a long story short, it does not look good. Millions of jobs were lost last year, and millions more will be lost this year. In Canada, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is

sustainable stimulation

The federal government will be injecting a whack of cash into the Canadian economy in order to fiscally stimulate the country out of the depression. While the exact amount has yet to be determined, the $30 billion amount is being heard an awful lot these

the klondike diaries expose the realities of the klondike gold rush

My wife gave me a diary for Christmas. As a matter of fact, she gave me four. No, this wasn't a subtle hint that I have to start writing my memoirs. These diaries, published in book form, or compiled in Acco binders, describe the personal experiences of v

Cold snap results in surprises and novelties

My dog Nooka has eargasms, as my reading during the cold snap confirmed. While just about any dog thoroughly enjoys an ear rub, Nooka has always taken the pleasure from it to an entirely different level. When she is in a relaxed mood and gets the base of

from metal pans to animated houseboats

As a testament to its importance in the development of the territory, the gold panner, 'Yukon Sam,' has been on the Yukon licence plate since 1953. Until 1991, Sam even had a dab of hand-applied gold paint in his pan representing a gold nugget...

We must honour the loss

I've never been good at sadness. Because of the way I grew up, displaced, dislocated and abused, I wore sadness like a bruise. For me the emotion brings with it tides of recollections that still tend to hurt, and it kindles the embers of the posttrauma th