Michael Gates

Chief Isaac: The gentle diplomat

He greeted visitors who arrived in Dawson on the riverboats in the early days. He met royalty and represented his people on many special occasions throughout the territory. 

Breaden family had deep roots in the Yukon

Earlier this month, former students of F.H. Collins High School flocked to Whitehorse for a reunion before the old school is demolished after more than 50 years of service.

Taylor House dedicated to its new role

More than 100 people, including six former commissioners, attended the ceremony this past Monday, dedicating the Taylor House to its new role as office of the commissioner of the Yukon.

How not to teach Yukon history to a six year old

My wife Kathy planned an action-packed itinerary filled with uniquely northern events for the much-anticipated visit by her cousin Nigel, his wife Maya and their six year-old daughter Nina from England.

The Black family returns to the Klondike

A hundred years after the Yukon's commissioner, George Black and his wife Martha entertained in the Yukon's most elegant mansion, their presence was again felt at the Commissioner's Tea.

Early Yukon politics was a rowdy affair

The mob found him a few minutes before 4 p.m. hiding in the Fourth Avenue cabin of Montreal Marie, at the north end of Dawson City.

Four are honoured by Yukon Transportation Hall of Fame

Four Yukoners were inducted to the Yukon Transportation Hall of Fame on Tuesday evening at the Yukon Transportation Museum. Ronald Frederick Connelly sold the family horse in order to purchase a surplus World War II trainer - and then learned to fly it.

Students reveal history at heritage fair

Did you ever wonder what games the Vuntut Gwich'in played before there was hockey? Did you want to learn who Martha Black was and why she is famous? How about the history of an ancestor, or routes to the Klondike? 

Saloons, Prostitutes and Temperance in Alaska: a book review

In my years as curator of collections for Klondike National Historic Sites in Dawson City, I learned one thing: that gold rush stereotypes are difficult to overcome. Take the frontier brothel, for example.

Two Yukoners were awarded the Victoria Cross

The Yukon is getting the short end of the stick in the narrative of World War I. There are plenty of books on the Great War, but many of them don't mention Canada's involvement in the conflict.

The two worlds of Eskimo Welzl

Everybody who visits the Klondike should see its iconic attractions: The Discovery Claim on Bonanza Creek, and in Dawson City, Robert Service Cabin, Jack London's cabin, even to a certain extent the Berton Home.

Let’s remember the Yukoners who fought at Vimy Ridge during the First World War

Last week, on April 9, members of the three parties in the Yukon legislature rose in turn to commemorate Canada's important role in the Battle for Vimy Ridge.

The woman who ran the Yukon

I attended a recent "Throwback Thursday" sponsored by the MacBride Museum featuring women in Yukon history.

Mrs. Black goes to war

If any Yukon woman stood out in her patriotic activities during the First World War, it had to be Martha Black, the wife of Commissioner George Black.

Yukon women and the Great War

When Britain declared war with Germany the summer of 1914, the men of the territory rallied to the cause. After all, it would be over by Christmas, they were sure.

A Mohawk in the Klondike

Here is an interesting story that was recently brought to my attention by Donald Smith, professor emeritus of history at the University of Calgary.

New book chronicles the Klondike’s biggest winner

"It's the goddamndest story you ever heard," Gordon Bennett, an unassuming 92-year-old, told Betsy Lumbye, a journalist with more than 30 years experience. And he was right. 

Building the Dempster Highway: an engineering challenge

When Yukon Highway No. 5 was built, it penetrated some of the most challenging and enigmatic wilderness in Canada.

Black pioneer speaks at exhibit launch

An appreciative crowd came out to the Whitehorse Public Library on Tuesday evening to celebrate the diversity of Yukon's past as part of Black History Month.