The Ross River Dena Council Peoples of Ross River

The people of Tu Łidlini – which means “where the river meets and the people gather” – welcome you to this place we call home, where the Pelly and Ross rivers meet. Our people gathered here for thousands of years and we still do today. Both English river names hearken back to fur trade days when newcomers replaced some of our Dena names with English ones to honour far distant Hudson’s Bay Company men. We are returning to our Dena language as quickly as possible to ensure it survives with all its vibrancy for our children and all those yet to come.

As Kaska Dena or Denek’éh – Dena means people – we are part of the larger group of Kaska Nation living in southeast Yukon and northern B.C. We often designate groups by the landscape features in their areas. Though we have community-based governments in B.C and Yukon, we consider ourselves one Kaska Nation.

Led by our Elders, we retain a strong sense of our traditional spirituality. We fish, hunt and learn from the land as our ancestors have before us. Drumming is the heartbeat of our nation, uniting people in prayer and song as we build toward a new and better future for ourselves as independent self-reliant people in control of our destiny.

The land is still teaching me

As a kid, I felt peace on the land and connected to who I was as a Dene. It was learned from being with my grandparents and parents – hearing stories of how my ancestors lived before I was born, skinning out a caribou at 40 below with my ninety-year-old Grandpa Amos Dick, hunting ducks with my brother on an ancient river where my ancestors travelled, hunting grouse in spring with my uncle. The land is still teaching me to walk in a good way, to show respect to everything. Our respect for the land should mirror our respect towards one another. Soga senla – thank you.
Robby Dick-Nāgódigá

Things to do in Ross River

3-Night Koa’ Tzih’ Homestay

3-Night Koa’ Tzih’ Homestay

June - August / $495 per person

Koa’ Tzih’ Homestay

Koa’ Tzih’ Homestay

June - August / $375 per person

Artists in Ross River

Photo of Vashti Etzel

Vashti Etzel

Points of interest in Ross River

  1. Dena Cho Trail - Travel our historic trail on foot, horseback, mountain bike, or skis from Tu Łidlini (Ross River) to Tse Zul (Faro) with spectacular views of the Pelly River and Mountains. Bring your tent or stay in quaint cabins en route.
  2. Ross River Footbridge - Walk across the Pelly River on the longest suspension foot bridge in North America. The original bridge was built in one day as part of the WWII Canol Pipeline Project in 1942.
  3. Dennis Shorty Fine Art Gallery - Visit one of the Yukon’s most prestigious First Nation artists at his home base. Hear stories of the creative inspiration given to him by Elders and his Dena ways while you marvel at his carvings, paintings, and jewelry.
  4. Dena Drumming - Feel the beat of ancient Dena drum songs and watch Dena culture come alive at one of our famous Na-Ah (Hand Games) tournaments, where visitors from far and wide come to compete and have fun as they have done for generations.
  5. Dinosaur Tracks - See the only known dinosaur fossil footprints in the Yukon just a few kilometres away from Ross River, known to the Dena for generations and discovered by paleontologists in 1998.

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

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