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The Selkirk First Nation Peoples of Pelly

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.

Father for three things in life

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

Things to do in Pelly Crossing

Big Jonathan House

Big Jonathan House

Fort Selkirk River Boat Day Tour

Fort Selkirk River Boat Day Tour

June - August / Starting from $250 per person

Fort Selkirk Weekend Package

Fort Selkirk Weekend Package

June - August / Starting from $650 per person

Fish Camp Day Tour

Fish Camp Day Tour

June - August / Starting from $250 per person

Artists in Pelly Crossing

Photo of Kaylyn Baker

Kaylyn Baker

Points of interest in Pelly Crossing

  1. Big Jonathan House - Visit this replica of our former Chief’s Fort Selkirk home at Pelly Crossing, then check outside for artist demonstrations of sewing, beading and carving.
  2. Pelly Walking Tour - Meet local citizens along the trail that skirts the river; visit the community greenhouse and garden; stop by the Waterfront Park, aptly named “Where Friends Meet,” then continue over to the Selkirk First Nation Administration Building.
  3. Fort Selkirk - Step onto shore and into the past at this perfectly preserved townsite. Cabins, churches, trading post and archaeological sites immerse you in our world of Indigenous trade networks, fur trade, gold rush and sternwheeler history. Don’t miss this jewel on the Yukon River.
  4. Pelly River - Cross the bridge and check out the vista at the top of the hill. Interpretive signs convey the many threads of history woven together at this storied location.
  5. Pelly River Crossing Campground - No need to go farther than our family friendly campground on the edge of the river.

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)