Our traditional home and our nation’s namesake Fort Selkirk is at the confluence of the Yukon and Pelly rivers. Renowned as a meeting place for Indigenous people for thousands of years, there is a rich archeological record providing ample evidence of their activities. Today it is a protected heritage site that we co-manage as a park with the Yukon government.
Most Selkirk First Nation citizens live at Pelly Crossing today, shifted to the highway corridor by government in the 1950s when roads replaced steamboat transportation on the river. Known as the “Heart of the Northern Tutchone,” our community works closely with relatives at Mayo and Carmacks to preserve our common language and cultural knowledge. We have a special interest in documenting Dooli – the traditional laws of our people to provide a firm cultural foundation for contemporary life in a fast-changing world.
We actively support our youth of the Selkirk Spirit Dancers who are learning our traditional drumbeats, songs and dances from Elders. Other artists focus on sewing, beading, and carving regalia for the dancers. Not so long ago, our great grandparents were expert builders of birchbark canoes and baskets, fish traps, hunting gear and other tools. We are reviving these skills among youth so they will not be lost to future generations.
We have a longstanding tradition of extending a warm welcome and help to visitors. We invite you to stay awhile with us. You’ll be glad you did.
My traditional name, Ta Ché Te, means “Father for three things in life.” I have done many different things. Travelling on the land with my parents, I spoke Northern Tutchone until I was taken to residential school. I came home in summers so never forgot my culture. I have been a trapper, dog musher, wilderness guide with horses, land claims negotiator, international Salmon Treaty Committee member, and cultural researcher. I still hunt, fish and travel on the land. Much has changed but we hold dearly the utilization of our lands and our way of life – a must for the survival of our Selkirk people.Ta Ché Te, Elder Roger Alfred
Yukon First Nations Culture and Tourism Association
1-1109 Front Street (White Pass Building)
Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A-5G4