Five Recipients to Receive Top Honours in Heritage

The Yukon Historical & Museums Association (YHMA) invites Yukoners to celebrate Yukon heritage on Monday, February 20, 2017 at the Annual Heritage Awards. The celebration will take place at 7:00 pm at the Yukon Archives in Whitehorse. Doors will open to the public at 6:30 pm.

This year’s theme for Heritage Week, February 20-26, is My Canada!. Molly Shore, World Heritage Status Project Assistant for the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation, will provide an illustrated talk on the Tr’ondëk-Klondike World Heritage Site nomination. The talk will explore how and why particular places were chosen to represent the nomination theme, and will trace the very interesting process of involving the entire Dawson area community in the nomination process.

YHMA will be presenting five awards this year. Instead of granting an Annual Heritage Award, we are pleased to honour two people who have spent a lifetime pursuing their passion for Yukon heritage with History Maker Awards. We will also be presenting the Helen Couch Volunteer of the Year Award; an Innovation, Education, and Community Engagement Award; and a Heritage Conservation Project of the Year Award.

A History Maker Award will be presented to Ruth Gotthardt, the recently retired Yukon Archaeologist. Dr. Gotthardt has authored and co-authored many significant studies that have put Yukon at the forefront of important northern research. Yukon archaeological sites contain some of the earliest evidence of human occupation in America and Ruth has played a huge part in exploring, documenting, and protecting these sites and artifacts.

A History Maker Award will also be presented to Sid van der Meer, local historian, owner of the Border Town Garage and Museum in Beaver Creek, and an entertaining and knowledgeable story-teller. Sid and his Upper Tanana wife raised their four children at Mountain View Lodge at Mile 1128 on the Alaska Highway. He is a treasure house of tales related to his collection of vintage and highway memorabilia, which he shares with visitors and Yukoners throughout the summer.

The Innovation, Education and Community Engagement Award will be presented to Peter Long. His recent research and website publication, Forgotten Trails: Walking the Hepburn Tramway, demonstrates leadership and an outstanding contribution to Yukon heritage preservation. Peter’s work on the Hepburn Trail is fueled by his desire to have aspects of our local history valued, protected, and developed.

The North and the First World War Conference Committee is the recipient of the 2016 Helen Couch Volunteer of the Year Award. The committee includes Dr. Ken Coates, Dr. Brent Slobodin (co-chairs), Michael Gates, Max Fraser, Piers McDonald, Dan Davidson, Joanne Lewis, and Marius Curtenau. The committee’s goal was to produce an entertaining and informative conference to illuminate a previously little-known and not well-understood era of Yukon History. The committee put in two years of hard work, much appreciated by the participants and YHMA, and their efforts prove, yet again, how Yukoners are wonderful and sharing hosts.

The Conservation Project of the Year Award will be presented to the Village of Mayo in recognition of their conservation and restoration of the Mabel McIntyre House, also known as the Mayo Mining Recorder’s Office. Mabel McIntyre, a local First Nation woman, lived in the house between 1946 and 1981 and gave it much of its most recent significance. The award is presented annually to the person or group whose conservation work on a historic property best exemplifies the practices outlined in the Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada. This award is sponsored by the Yukon Department of Tourism and Culture’s Historic Sites Unit.

Come and help YHMA and Hon. Jeanie Dendys, Minister of Tourism & Culture, honour this year’s recipients and enjoy an insightful look at Yukon cultural places. Celebrate National Heritage Week, February 20 - 26, 2017.

For more information, please contact:

Sally Robinson