The Tr’ondek Hwech’in shared their land, culture and heritage at the Moosehide Gathering this past weekend.
Throngs of people were shuttled by a small armada to Moosehide Village. It was a short boat ride down the Yukon River, even shorter if speedy volunteer captain Kevin Blanchard was at the helm.
Moosehide Village is a spiritual haven for the Tr’ondek Hwech’in and as such, drug and alcohol use is not permitted – nor required for enjoyment. Elders live there in small cabins during the summer and their ubiquitous presence gave an ambiance of calm and peace.
A sacred fire crackled and burned for the duration of the gathering under the watchful eyes of Tr’ondek Hwech’in youth tasked with its keeping.
Every morning was filled with workshops for beading, drum making, fiddle playing and more. Every afternoon and evening offered an impressive showcase of regalia, dancing, drumming and storytelling from performers from Yukon, Alaska and beyond. Special musical guests from Iqaluit, The Jerry Cans, easily got the crowd to their feet.
As equally impressive as the performances was the daily evening feast. Everything about it was mind boggling: the quantity, the quality – great moose meat – and the service. Served by some of the 220 volunteers, Tr’ondek Hwech’in prepared and shared food for an estimated 1,500 people at the peak of the festivities on Saturday.
Contact Alistair Maitland at firstname.lastname@example.org