Graham Vantighem dries off recently trapped beaver by dragging it back and forth over the snow. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

Yukon kids learn trapping traditions

‘It’s important to not give up on the youth’

Amid the silent wilderness, interrupted occasionally by chirping birds, a convoy of sleds headed out from Lubbock Creek Saturday morning toward Little Atlin Lake.

A group of approximately 20 kids and 12 adults from the second annual Youth Muskrat Camp were heading out to check the muskrat and beaver traps they had set the day before.

“This camp is about getting youth on the land and teaching them about trapping, respect for the animals, ice fishing and how to target different fish,” said Ken Reeder, co-founder of the camp and Carcross Tagish Renewable Resources chair.

The camp, which took place April 12 to 15, is organized by the Carcross Tagish Renewable Resources council in partnership with the Carcross Tagish First Nation.

Kids from Tagish, Carcross, Whitehorse and Atlin all converged in a pop-up camp at the bottom of a twisted, muddy, two-kilometre long road to learn about the importance of trapping and a traditional way of life.

The participants not only learned how to set traps and retrieve their spoils, but also how to skin the animals and stretch the fur. They also learned animal anatomy and a First Nations perspective on the traditional way of life.

“It’s important to not give up on the youth. (It’s important) to get them out on the land … and show them that trapping is acceptable and that it’s part of a lifestyle,” said Reeder. It’s also important that youth learn these skills, he added, because many elders can no longer continue the tradition themselves.

The camp, which provided heated tents, meals and qualified instructors, was free for the children and parents to attend, but with double the attendance of last year, Reeder said they couldn’t take more campers next year with their current budget.

“I would recommend this to any parent,” said Reeder. “To get your child out here and to teach them it’s a good place to be, on the land.”

Contact Crystal Schick at crystal.schick@yukon-news.com

First NationsFish and GametrappingWildlife

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

 

Instructors, youths, and parents gather on Little Atlin Lake after checking the muskrat and beaver traps to learn about ice fishing. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

Kris McKay fishes patiently on Little Atlin Lake. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

Jean Legare prepares to skin muskrats at the Youth Trapping Camp at Lubbock Creek. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

A beaver lays ready for skinning at the Carcross Tagish Renewable Resources Council’s Youth Trapping Camp. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

Trapping instructor Ryan Sealy, from left, shows Ethan Sicotte and Cole Vantighem, how to skin a muskrat as Elliot Flemming, Sophie Molgat, and Janna Lojang prepare a beaver for skinning with camp co-founder Ken Reeder. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

Trapping instructor Ryan Sealy, from left, show Ethan Sicotte, Cole Vantighem, and Elliot Flemming how to skin a muskrat. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

Janna Lojang, front left, and Southern Lakes biologist Lars Jessup, watch as camp co-founder Ken Reeder begins to skin a beaver trapped earlier that day. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

Just Posted

Dr. Brendan Hanley, Yukon’s chief medical officer of health, speaks to media at a press conference about COVID-19 in Whitehorse on March 30. The Yukon government announce the first COVID-19 related death in a press conference announcement Friday morning. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
UPDATED: Yukon announces first COVID-19-related death

The person was an older Watson Lake resident with underlying health conditions, officials said

Wyatt's World for Oct. 30.
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Oct. 30

Health Minister Pauline Frost insists no one who shows up at the Whitehorse Emergency Shelter for dinner will go without a meal, despite no drop-in dinner service being offered starting on Nov. 1. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Non-profits concerned as Whitehorse Emergency Shelter ends drop-in dinner service

Minister Pauline Frost insists everyone who needs one ‘will be provided with a meal.’

Housing construction continues in the Whistle Bend subdivision in Whitehorse on Oct. 29. Affordability challenges is being described as being among the most pressing issues facing housing markets throughout the north in a report released Oct. 29 by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Home, rent prices increasing in Whitehorse, northern housing report says

Affordability continues to be a major challenge, report says

Premier Sandy Silver talks to media in Whitehorse on March 19. According to the premier, who is also the finance minister, the Yukon government ran a $2.6 million deficit in the 2019-2020 fiscal year, instead of the surplus it had originally predicted. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon government ran a $2.6 million deficit in 2019-2020

Deficit attributed to lower-than-expected revenue, higher expenses on health and social side

Catherine Constable, the city’s manager of legislative services, speaks at a council and management roundtable discussion Sept. 26, 2019. During an Oct. 29 meeting, Constable highlighted a number of potential changes to the City of Whitehorse procedures bylaw. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Work on City of Whitehorse procedures bylaw continues

Officials will look at procedures for other municipalities

Premier Sandy Silver, left, and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley at a COVID-19 press conference in Whitehorse on Aug. 26. Hanley said the source of the outbreak in Watson Lake may not ever be found, but contact tracing in the community continues. (Alistair Maitland Photography)
New Whitehorse COVID-19 case is unrelated to Watson Lake cluster, officials say

Chief medical officer of health says avoid indoor Halloween parties, monitor for symptoms

Joel Krahn/Yukon News file Whitehorse City Hall.
Whitehorse city council, briefly

Updates on matters before city council on Oct. 26

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
GoFundMe for Whitehorse boy hit by car on Range Road raises more than $62k in a day

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

A proposed Official Community Plan amendment would designate a 56.3 hectare piece of land in Whistle Bend currently designated as green space, as urban residential use. Whitehorse city council passed first reading on a bylaw for the designation change at its Oct. 26 meeting, prompting an upcoming public hearing on Nov. 23 ahead of second reading on Dec. 7. (Courtesy City of Whitehorse)
Local contractors will be given an advantage on a contract for the design and construction services that will see a new reception building at Robert Service Campground decided city councillors during the Oct. 26 council meeting. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Local firms will get advantage on contract for new Robert Service Campground building

Yukon-based companies competing for contract for new reception building will receive 20 extra points

Fallen trees due to strong winds are seen leaning on to power lines which caused some power outages around the territory on Oct. 26. (Courtesy of ATCO)
Wind knocks out power around the Yukon

High winds on Oct. 26 knocked out power to Faro, parts of Whitehorse and beyond

The Yukon government is asking for all claims in a lawsuit over the Takhini elk herd be struck by the court. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)
Yukon government asks for Takhini elk lawsuit to be struck

The Yukon government is asking for all claims in a lawsuit over… Continue reading

Most Read