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Quartz Road building renamed as the Tàgä Shrō Station

Previous name contained a racial slur
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9016 Quartz Road in Whitehorse on June 5. Owners of the building have announced it will now be called the Tàgä Shrō Station. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

The owners of the building known as Spook Creek Station have announced the building will now be called the Tàgä Shrö Station.

In a press release on June 9, Northern Vision Development Limited Partnership (NVD) and Vuntut Gwitchin Limited Partners (VGLP) — the owners of 9016 Quartz Rd. — announced the change.

The release stated that the building name originally came from the name of the area where the building is located. The name drew criticism because it contains a racial slur.

Piers McDonald, chairman of NVD, said the new name would be in the Ta’an Kwäch’än dialect.

“The controversy around the name provides us with the chance to show our own convictions about racial insensitivity and inequality,” McDonald said in the release. “It also gives us the chance to celebrate the history of the area more broadly by adopting a name in the Ta’an Kwäch’än dialect.”

The station is built on Ta’an Kwäch’än’s traditional territory. This is near its settlement lands, which includes Kishwoot Island.

“Tàgä Shrö Station uses the Tàän dialect meaning ‘Big River,’ of course referring to the Yukon River that flows past this location. This dialect is the original language of the area upon which the City of Whitehorse, including the majority of NVD’s assets, rest,” said Shirley Adamson, NVD Board Member and Ta’an citizen.

Rich Thompson, CEO of NVD, said he is proud to rename the building with a traditional First Nation name.

“By adopting First Nation words for the name of the building, we are also able to celebrate the fact that NVD is almost 40 per cent owned by Yukon First Nations who have been incredibly supportive of the development of NVD over the years,” Thompson said in the release.

NVD explained that the word “station” remains in the name due to hopes that the waterfront trolley may run again and to recognize the architectural notes of the building.

The old name is expected to be removed from the building sometime this week with Tàgä Shrö Station being put up “as soon as practical.”

Contact Gord Fortin at gord.fortin@yukon-news.com