The Liard First Nation Peoples of Watson Lake

As Kaska people, we consider our land and everything on it sacred. We have been stewards of our land from time immemorial. We will continue to take care of it for all generations to come. From Ross River in the Yukon to Kwadacha in northern British Columbia, this is all Kaska land. It provides for us and continues to teach us and guide us. If you listen to the spirit of the land, you can hear it speaking to you. The land, water, fire, animals – everything speaks to you if you really listen.

Kaska people living around Tetsełūge menéʼ (Watson Lake) come from many places in our territory. We have settled here and made it our home. We strive to work together to create a healthy, vibrant and prosperous community where our people, our land, our culture and our language are valued and celebrated.

Adela Stone Watson, well-known Kaska Elder, and her husband Frank Watson, were the first to settle in the area. The lake was named after Frank. We are a proud, strong people. Many of our people follow a subsistence life on the land – hunting, fishing and trapping to obtain food and earn income. We enjoy fun cultural events especially when we are out on the land with our Elders and youth. Our artists produce exceptional beadwork, hide garments, birchbark baskets, carvings and paintings.

We invite you to enjoy the unique beauties of our region, pausing to listen to our voices, the waters and the land as you travel through our communities.

Through my grandmother's eyes

I am a Dene, carrying forward my grandmother Mā́sīyāʼs ways, keeping her stories and her spirit alive. My grandmother travelled all over our land, and knew everything on our land by name. She was very strong, but gentle. She had a powerful voice and when she spoke, everyone listened. People also called her Dzedéh’ī́nīmā – “the one who can foresee the future” – because she always knew what was coming and warned people about it. I continue teaching our young people about our Kaska ways, our land, our language, and who we are as Kaska people. As you travel through our Kaska territory, I wish for you to see it through my grandmother’s eyes.
Elder Leda Jules

Points of interest in Watson Lake

  1. Wye Lake Walk - Take a leisurely 2.5-km stroll around this lake in the centre of town, with interpretive signs and excellent bird watching opportunities. Turn north on 8th Street and follow it to Wye Lake Park on the right. The main trail is the one closest to the lake.
  2. Liard River Canyon - Re-live a piece of history and take in the picturesque canyon on this 3-km hike, suitable for those with a moderate fitness level. The well-marked trail begins at the west end of Lucky Lake.
  3. Watson Lake And Liard River At Upper Liard - Looking for an opportunity to catch tonight’s supper? Test your angling skills at one of these fish-abundant and beautiful spots – both located close to the town of Watson Lake.
  4. Aurora Borealis - Experience the thrill of dancing northern lights – called Yūkā in Kaska – best viewed in our night skies in fall and winter.
  5. Hand Games And Culture - Watch for notices advertising our cultural events, including Hand Games tournaments – action-packed drama with drums, competitive teams and visitors from around the North. Call the Liard First Nation office at (867) 535-5200 for events being hosted during your stay.

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)