A new management is now in place for the SS Klondike, once the largest vessel to make its way along the Canadian portion of the Yukon River.
In a July 26 statement, Parks Canada noted the management plan for the SS Klondike National Historic Site was recently finalized.
The document is reviewed every 10 years. Such plans are a requirement of the Parks Canada Agency Act. The plans act as a guide in the management of national historic sites, parks and marine conservation areas.
In the SS Klondike’s most recent plan, three key strategies focus on the long-term conservation of the paddlewheeler and its cultural resources; offering interactive and innovative visitor experiences at the historic site in downtown Whitehorse; and involving partners and stakeholders in understanding, promoting and raising awareness of the site.
The plan also includes initiatives aimed at building on and improving collaboration with First Nation and integrating their perspectives in the overall site presentation and knowledge.
“National historic sites are a source of shared pride for all Canadians,” Yukon MP Brendan Hanley said. “They help protect our shared cultural heritage and tell the stories of Canada from all perspectives. I would like to thank everyone who contributed to the management plan for S.S. Klondike National Historic Site that will help shape the future of this treasured place. I applaud this collaborative effort to ensure S.S. Klondike National Historic Site continues to protect our shared national heritage and will be enjoyed for generations to come.”
The plan was based on input from Indigenous partners in Whitehorse, the territorial government, the City of Whitehorse, heritage and tourism organizations, local residents, as well as visitors.
Through the management plan, Parks Canada says it will protect “an important example of cultural heritage in Canada, engage and collaborate with Indigenous peoples, and provide an opportunity for Canadians to experience and discover history in new and innovative ways.”
The SS Klondike was built by the British Yukon Navigation Co. and launched in Whitehorse in 1937. Now one of the country’s few remaining steam-powered paddlewheelers, it sits on the shore of the Yukon River in the traditional territory of the the Ta’an Kwäch’än Council and Kwanlin Dün First Nation.
The historic site commemorates inland water transportation in the Yukon, paying tribute to an era before roads, when riverboats and rail linked the Yukon to the outside world. More than 35,000 typically visit the site each year.
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