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Joe and Annie Henry

    The photos below show a monument to Yukon pioneers Joe and Annie Henry that was erected at Km 112 of the Dempster Highway, at a site once known as Black City. Annie Henry was born here in 1904, while Joe was born in 1898 near the Hart and Wind Rivers. They got married in 1921, hunted and trapped together on the Blackstone Uplands, and eventually had 13 children. In the 1950s, Joe Henry guided cat trains that built winter roads to the Peel plateau, and then the surveyors who laid out the route of the Dempster Highway, which some locals call "the Joe Henry. Harreson Tanner sculpted their faces in clay, and Béla Simó cast them in bronze. The rock, shaped like an arrowhead, was found by family friend and Yukon Highways worker Eddie Taylor, and Jackie Olson, one of Joe and Annie's granddaughers, created the plaques and coordinated the project, which began at Annie's request after Joe died in 2002 (Annie died in 2005).

An excellent 8½-minute interview with Harreson Tanner about his work on the project can be heard here.

Joseph and Annie Henry Monument, Dempster Highway

Joe Henry Monument, Dempster Highway

Joseph Henry (Shada)
June 1898 - March 2002

Joe Henry was an expert hunter and trapper who spent extended periods of time out on the land. Joe was known internationally for his craftsmanship in making snowshoes and other bush tools. Instrumental in the construction of the Dempster Highway, Joe literally broek trail and determined the best route for the Cat train to follow from mile zero to Gwazhal Kak (Ogilvie Ridge). Joe and Annie Henry were remarkable people who shared many gifts. They leave behind a living legacy.

"Physical Strength an essential part of living off the land"

Annie Henry Monument, Dempster Highway

Annie Henry (Mitchell)
October 1904 - October 2005

Annie was born at Black City and spent much of her life on the land with her family. Yukon winters are formidable and Annie worked hard to keep her family fed and clothed. Annie had a profound connection to the land and the traditional ways but she also adapted to the tremendous changes that occurred in her lifetime. Annie and her husband Joe were married 81 years. Together they ensured that their culture and traditional knowledge was passed along for the future generations.

"Spiritual Strength a guide to health and happiness"

Arctic & Northern Biographies