Old Crow, Yukon Territory, Canada -- Home of the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation
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Introduction
2001 Vacation
Photos
Photos
Caribou Usage
Caribou Usage
 

Summer Vacation, 2001
Mission: The Arctic Circle

Introduction:



Old Crow's webmaster, Paul Doehle
Old Crow's webmaster, Paul Doehle.
Once I made up my mind to go to Old Crow, I contacted the webmaster, Paul Doehle for traveling information. During that process, I was asked if I would like to talk to the school board about their future plans set up a music program (this from the Chief and the council). I felt it was such an honor, and of course agreed to help any way I could. (picture of school).

I contacted Bill Stevens to tell him I was going and he decided to go as well. When he made his contacts there, it was arranged for him to play fiddle at a few dances. Allan Benjamin, a fiddler in Old Crow wrote, "We have 3 days of activities, games, feasts and dancing (jigging and square dancing) probably to the music of Harold and Marvin Frost. (don't forget to bring your fiddle)." We had coordinated our stay around the Gwitchin Days Gathering (not the same as the biannual Gwich'in nation gathering, but a smaller, local one). However at the last minute it was moved back a week to coincide with an upcoming wedding. That also affected the travel arrangements because of the large influx of people anticipated to arrive. Since Air North and Old Crow have a close alliance, these last minute changes can happen, however the change in schedule and additional overnight stay in Dawson City was paid for by the airline. In spite of the change of plans, Canada Day celebrations would still occur and they held 2 dances anyway.

Teresa Frost looks on, as husband Harold plays a few tunes on Bill Stevens' fiddle at the B&B.

Both of us wound up staying in rooms at the Porcupine Bed and Breakfast, an extremely pleasant place owned and run by Harold and Theresa Frost. It proved to be a heavenly retreat from the mosquitos, with a breakfast-stocked refrigerator, a washing machine (dryer was broken), nice lavatory, and rooms with comfortable twin beds and large closets. It had a river-view and was in close walking distance to the store and community center.

The highlights of the trip were the tour around the town clinging to the back side of a 4-wheeler, courtesy of Paul Doehle, fiddling the Red River Jig with Bill while people danced, eating caribou, and talking to the school board about their plans for a music program. I hope I can continue to be helpful to them in whatever capacity they need.

Our fiddling was Gwinzii! Photo by Paul Doehle--Old Crow
This is a picture of Bill Stevens and I playing the Red River Jig at the dance our first night there. Notice my sunburn. The sun is huge in the arctic. Bring sunscreen!

It would be nice if some generous people would be willing to donate violins or talent to their program. On my part, I'll do what I can to them from down here — with the music program and with their struggle to protect the sacred calving grounds from drilling which could disrupt the caribou migration, destroy the herd, and forever change Old Crow.



 

 

 

Athabascan slippers cover these happy dancing feet (woman left, man right).

Journal excerpts from my trip, beginning with Fairbanks.

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Services I used (2001):

Air:

Alaska Airlines
  Seattle>Fairbanks RT=$534

Air North
  Fairbanks>Old Crow via Dawson
  R/T=$212.40 (US) 800-764-0407

The route I took

Lodging:

Dawson City:
  Downtown Hotel
  $102* (CA) = $67.21 (US)
  Phone: (867) 993-5346
  * with AAA discount. Regular=112

Old Crow:
  Porcupine Bed & Breakfast
  Harold and Teresa Frost
  $120 (CA) = $85.79 (US)
  (867)966-3913

My itinerary (Word doc)
I changed lodging after I got there.


temperature in Old Crow
Old Crow

Click for Seattle, Washington Forecast
Seattle, WA

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Tulsa, OK


caribou stew.  Yummy!
Caribou stew, offered to me shortly after I arrived.

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