Madeline deRepentigny, centre, leads the singing during Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in’s Moosehide Gathering closing ceremony in 2014. (Alistair Maitland/Yukon News file)

2020 Moosehide Gathering cancelled

Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in has cancelled the 2020 Moosehide Gathering over concerns about COVID-19.

The First Nation made the announcement in a press release April 27.

The decision to cancel the biennial potlatch, a celebration of Hän cultural that has brought Indigenous people and visitors from around the world to Moosehide since 1993, was made at a recent TH council meeting, the press release says, explaining that a number of factors, including “the challenges associated with hosting a large-scale gathering during a pandemic, the need for outside performers to self-isolate upon arrival in the territory, and the recommendation to avoid non-essential travel between communities” were taken into account.

“The Moosehide Gathering is an important part of Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in traditional culture,” Chief Roberta Joseph said in the press release. “Our Elders stated we have to think about the well-being and health of everyone at this time. Cancelling our traditional potlach for 2020 is the right thing to do right now. We don’t know how long COVID-19 will impact our society and it’s important we all keep safe and healthy.”

The next Moosehide Gathering will be held in 2022.

“The Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Council are grateful for everyone’s understanding and are already looking forward to coming together with family and friends at Moosehide two summers from now, where we will once again enjoy the culture and traditions offered by the Moosehide Gathering,” Joseph said.

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