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The Champagne and Aishihik First Nation Peoples of Haines Junction

Champagne and Aishihik First Nations

We are the Shadhäla, Äshèyi yè kwädän (Champagne and Aishihik First Nations or CAFN). Our name derives from two of our historic settlements: Shadhäla (Champagne), on the Dezadeash River; and Äshèyi (Aishihik), at the Alsek River headwaters. CAFN has more than 1,200 Dän – this means “person” in Dákwanjè (Southern Tutchone), our traditional language. Landscape features in our country have both Dákwanjè and Tlingit names, with the latter being the language of trade during the 18th and 19th centuries. Many citizens also have Tlingit ancestral connections.

Dághāłan (family) is the heart of our culture and way of life. In kwädąy (traditional) times, families worked together to provide for themselves with everyone contributing. Children grew up with and were taught by their grandparents and extended family members.

Our clan system, which is central to our identity and belonging, keeps us connected as a community. We have two clans: Käjèt (Crow) and Agunda (Wolf), with nakwat’a (potlatches) hosted by one of the clans and featuring a feast to honour a person, event or achievement.

Our Dän and Tlingit customs and traditions connect our past, present and future generations. After decades of difficult times, our culture is coming alive again – in the same way that the land comes alive each spring. Come learn about the reawakening of our culture!

Tsür Khęn (woodpecker Song)

Our traditional teachings say that noisy tsür khęla (woodpecker) “wakes up the land” each spring. The tapping of the drumstick on the wooden drum rim mimics the woodpecker and marks the beginning and end of this lively song.

Tsür Khęla Khęȩn – Woodpecker Song
hey hee ya ho hey, hey hee ya ho hey
hey hee ya ho hey, Tsür khęla nàkwatʼāla
hey hee ya ho hey, hey hee ya ho hey
hey hee ya ho hey, Dákeyį ts’an kwànájala
hee ya ho hey hey, hee ya ho hey
hey hee ya ho hey, Dáyenji shäwkwathana

Wood-pecker an invitation
Our-country to all-to-come
Our-minds are very-good
(We’re going to have a gathering)
(We’re very happy)

To listen to the song, visit cafn.ca/woodpecker-song. To honour the reawakening of our culture, Dákwanjè speakers worked with the Dakwakada Dancers to create the woodpecker khęn (song).


 

Things to do in Haines Junction

Indigenous Peoples Day

Indigenous Peoples Day

June 21, 2024

Da Kų Nän Ts’étthèt Dance Festival

Da Kų Nän Ts’étthèt Dance Festival

Da Kų (Our House)

Da Kų (Our House)

Cultus Bay Package

Cultus Bay Package

Starting from $1,215 per person

Yukon First Nations Heritage & Cultural Tours

Yukon First Nations Heritage & Cultural Tours

Ice Fishing or Traditional Drum Making Group Package

Ice Fishing or Traditional Drum Making Group Package

Starting from $939 per person

River Flow – Packtrip and Yoga

River Flow – Packtrip and Yoga

July 23 – 23, 2022 / $2999 + GST

6 days of traveling through the mountains on foot, horseback and by boat. Daily yoga, mountain boreal cuisine and Plant medicine walks

Independent Traveller Package: Winter Adventure Package

Independent Traveller Package: Winter Adventure Package

$945 per person

Shakat Tun Wilderness Camp Group Package

Shakat Tun Wilderness Camp Group Package

May 15 - September 15 / Starting from $715 per person

Shakat Tun Wilderness Camp Independent Travel Package

Shakat Tun Wilderness Camp Independent Travel Package

May 15 - September 15 / Starting from $609 per person

Points of interest in Haines Junction

  1. Da Kų Cultural Centre - Prepare to be captivated by our dän (our people), dän kéyi (our land), dän k’e (our ways), and Dákwanjè (our language) at Da Kų (Our House). At 280 Alaska Highway in Haines Junction. cafn.ca/da-ku-cultural-centre
  2. Yukon And Parks Canada Visitor Centres - Get ready to explore! Here you’ll find amazing Yukon art exhibits and a wealth of information about local trails, lakes, campgrounds and wildlife. Located in the Da Kų Cultural Centre.
  3. World-Class Parks And Protected Areas - Hike in splendor or enjoy one of the stunning lakes in Kluane National Park and Reserve, Tatshenshini/ Alsek Park or Kusawa (a Territorial Park in progress). We invite you to explore our backyard, part of one of the largest protected areas in the world.
  4. Cultural Experts - Experience our traditional way of life. Visit Kwäday Dän Kenji (Long Ago Peoples Place) near Shadhäla (Champagne) or Shakat Tun Wilderness Camp on the shores of Kluane Lake.
  5. Da Kų Nän Ts’étthèt Festival - Join us as performers, artists and craftspeople come together for this biennial celebration of drumming, song and dance. June 2022 at the Da Kų Cultural Centre in Haines Junction.

The Yukon First Nations Culture and Tourism Association (YFNCT) is a non-profit, stakeholder-based organization that is committed to growing and promoting vibrant and sustainable arts/culture and tourism sectors.

Yukon First Nations Culture and Tourism Association
1-1109 Front Street (White Pass Building)
Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A-5G4

Phone 867.667.7698

Email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)