A Guide to Fort Selkirk, Yukon
August 6, 2010
WHITEHORSE – The Yukon government and Selkirk First Nation are pleased to announce the designation of Fort Selkirk as a Yukon Historic Site under Yukon’s Historic Resources Act.
“Fort Selkirk is a place of great historic significance to all Yukoners,” Tourism and Culture Minister Elaine Taylor said. “For years it served as a waypoint for travelers, a centre for trade and a home for the people who settled there. The Yukon government is proud to partner with the Selkirk First Nation in preserving this irreplaceable part of our shared heritage.”
Fort Selkirk is located near the mouth of the Pelly River, in the heart of the Selkirk First Nation traditional territory.
“Fort Selkirk was home to our ancestors and has been a traditional harvesting and gathering place for our people for thousands of years,” Selkirk First Nation Chief Darin Isaac said. “Our people are deeply attached to this site and we have worked together successfully with the Yukon government to protect and manage it. We’re very pleased that this partnership will now be enshrined through the site’s designation as a Yukon Historic Site, as set out in the Selkirk First Nation Final Agreement.”
From the Northern Tutchone people’s first encounter with Europeans in the mid-1800s until the 1950s, Fort Selkirk was a thriving cross-cultural community featuring trading posts, Christian missions and a North-West Mounted Police post. The two cultures worked, played and prayed together until Fort Selkirk was abandoned after the construction of modern roads, which ended the sternwheeler era. Today, Fort Selkirk provides visitors with a unique experience amidst stunning natural surroundings, exceptional historic buildings and a rich cultural heritage.
The Selkirk First Nation and Yukon government have been working together to preserve and maintain Fort Selkirk since 1982. As part of the ongoing management of the site, Selkirk First Nation work crews preserve buildings, provide tours to visitors and maintain camping areas with funding and technical support from the Yukon government.
Fort Selkirk is the seventh Yukon Historic Site and the largest one designated so far. A date will be announced in the future for a formal ceremony recognizing the designation. For more information about Fort Selkirk and other Yukon Historic Sites, visit www.tc.gov.yk.ca/historicsites.