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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Inside the courtroom in Whitehorse, Chief Electoral Officer Max Harvey, Vuntut Gwitchin returning officer Renee Charlie and Supreme Court Judge Suzanne Duncan open the box containing the names of the tied candidates. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Annie Blake elected as MLA for Vuntut Gwitchin after name draw

“I’m still feeling shocked that my name was drawn, I feel overwhelmed.”

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
New COVID-19 case confirmed in rural Yukon community

An exposure notification has been issued for Andrea’s Restaurant in Watson Lake

Food trucks gather on Steele Street between Front and Second for the annual Street Eats Festival in Whitehorse on August 12, 2019. (Julien Gignac/Yukon News file)
May 1 could mark the start of the 2021 food truck season

Lottery for downtown sites set for April 28

Wyatt's World
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for April 16, 2021.… Continue reading

From left to right, Pascale Marceau and Eva Capozzola departed for Kluane National Park on April 12. The duo is taking on the first all-woman expedition to Mt. Lucania. (Michael Schmidt/Icefield Discovery)
First all-woman team among mountaineers heading to Kluane National Park

One team will be exploring Mt. Logan while a second all-woman team aims for Mt. Lucania summit

Crystal Schick/Yukon News Whitehorse International Airport in Whitehorse on May 6, 2020.
NAV CANADA suspends review for Whitehorse airport traffic control

NAV CANADA announced on April 15 that it is no longer considering… Continue reading

A bulldozer levels piles of garbage at the Whitehorse landfill in January 2012. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)
Rural dump closures and tipping fees raise concern from small communities

The government has said the measures are a cost-cutting necessity

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)
City news, briefly

A look at city council matters for the week of April 12

Joel Krahn/joelkran.com Hikers traverse the Chilkoot Trail in September 2015. Alaska side.
The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer

The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer Parks… Continue reading

Letters to the editor.
Today’s mailbox: Hands of Hope, the quilt of poppies

Toilets are important Ed. note: Hands of Hope is a Whitehorse-based non-profit… Continue reading

École Whitehorse Elementary Grade 7 students Yumi Traynor and Oscar Wolosewich participated in the Civix Student Vote in Whitehorse on April 12. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Yukon Student Vote chooses Yukon Party government; NDP take popular vote

The initiative is organized by national non-profit CIVIX

Yvonne Clarke is the newly elected Yukon Party MLA for Porter Creek Centre. (Submitted/Yukon Party)
Yvonne Clarke elected as first Filipina MLA in the Yukon Legislative Assembly

Clarke beat incumbent Liberal Paolo Gallina in Porter Creek Centre

Emily Tredger at NDP election night headquarters after winning the Whitehorse Centre riding. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Emily Tredger takes Whitehorse Centre for NDP

MLA-elect ready to get to work in new role

Most Read