Feature Presentations

  • Indigenous Atlas of Canada and Floor Map



The Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada is an initiative of Canadian Geographic in collaboration with the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation; Indspire; the Métis National Council, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, and the Assembly of First Nations and in response to the Calls to Action released by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.  The Atlas, which has just been released, features a four volume set of books, a web site, an App, and a Giant Floor Map (11 metres by 8 metres) that features all of Canada’s indigenous nations. More information on Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada can be found on-line at https://indigenouspeoplesatlasofcanada.ca.

Canadian Indigenous leaders* recently received the Royal Canadian Geographical Society Gold Medal in recognition of their contribution and leadership in seeing the Atlas come to be.  Their excitement in partnering with Canadian Geographic on this historic project was clear.  They spoke passionately and eloquently on the role they see the Atlas playing for Indigenous Youth, for education across Canada, for reconciliation and thus for all Canadians and our collective future.  Others, including the indigenous media – APTN – all have recognized the power and potential of the atlas volumes and the floor map to both teach and honour.

*The leaders at the award ceremony included Ry Moran, director of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation; Roberta Jamieson, president and chief executive officer of Indspire; Clément Chartier, president of Métis National Council; Natan Obed, president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami; Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations.

Festival Presentation: 

Champagne and Aishihik First Nations (CAFN) citizen Jocelyn Joe-Strack is an author of a piece in “Treaties” section of the First Nations volume, and has accepted an invitation to read from her contribution during the part of the festival program focused on the Indigenous Atlas.

Festival participants will be invited to explore the giant Floor Map and engage in conversations about it.






Copies of the Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada will also be for sale at the Da Ku Cultural Centre gift shop on Sat Dec 1, 2018.

School Involvement: 

Because the atlas set and giant floor map are educational tools, we have arranged for the map to spend the week leading up to the Mountain Festival at St. Elias Community School; teaching staff will be incorporating the map into the week’s curriculum activities.

  • Chic Scott – “The Mountains of Canada”

Renowned mountaineer, author and historian, Chic Scott of Banff, Alberta, will present an overview of Mountains across Canada, with respect to Skiing, Climbing and Mountain History.  Chic has been skiing and climbing across Canada and around the world for more than 50 years now. He has climbed and guided extensively in the European Alps, the Canadian Rockies and the St. Elias Mountains in the Yukon. He is best known for his long ski traverses through the Rocky and Columbia Mountains of which he has done about ten. In recent years he has turned his hand to writing and is the author of about a dozen books on the mountains – ski guidebooks, history books and biographies. He is currently working on a book about Mount Assiniboine. Chic was the recent recipient of the Canadian Geographic Sir Christopher Ondaatje Medal for Exploration.






  • Linaya Workman – “Kluane National Park & Reserve, The Story of Ǟ’sía Keyi, Grandfathers Land”






Linaya Workman’s traditional name is ŁÄNDÉ, and she belongs to the Ägunda (wolf) clan of the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations in Yukon.  She is currently Site Superintendent for Kluane National Park & Reserve, where she has been busy working with the park board on implementing their mandate set out in the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations and Kluane First Nation Final Agreements.

“Kluane National Park & Reserve is located within the homelands of the Shadhäla, Äshèyi yè kwädän (Champagne and Aishihik people) and the  Lhu’ààn Mân ku Dân (Kluane Lake People). Resiliency, adaptability and strength has kept First Nation’s culture and knowledge alive and this has allowed them to survive on the land and form a special relationship to a continually changing environment and way of life. The history of Kluane has gone from the creation of the park and the removal of the First Nations, to the implementation of Land Claims Agreements, to building a new relationship with our self governing partners. ”

  • Wayne Merry – “60th Anniversary of the First Ascent of The Nose on El Capitan, Yosemite” 

Atlin, BC resident and mountaineer, Wayne Merry, will present a an account of his historic first ascent of ‘The Nose’ on El Capitan, in Yosemite National Park, on its 60th Anniversary.  He will also display some of the historic gear used for that ascent.

Wayne Merry on the first ascent of The Nose in 1958. Photo Wayne Merry Collection







  • Mount Logan Vignettes

A diverse collection of presentations on mountaineers’ stories climbing Canada’s highest mountain, Mount Logan, in Kluane National Park, Yukon over the last decades.  Speakers will include :  Chic Scott, Eva Riedwyl, Ron Chambers, Julie Bauer and Scott Stewart.  An audience question and answer period will follow.






  • Dr. Carmen Wong – “Mountain Fish: The Boom and Bust of Kokanee”





Dr. Carmen Wong is the Ecologist Team Leader at Kluane National Park and Reserve. She has a PhD in Forest Ecology from the University of British Columbia. At Kluane, she oversees the park’s monitoring, which includes Dall’s sheep, mountain goats, moose, Kokanee salmon, bats and frogs, among other things.

  • Darryl Tait – “Heroic Comeback” and “Lovin’ Life”









Yukon resident Darryl Tait has always been an athlete and extreme sports enthusiast. Fresh out of high school, he was pursuing a career in freestyle snowmobiling with the goal of competing in the X Games. But at the age of 19, a brutal accident left him paraplegic, and could have made him leave his old life behind.  Instead, he became a pioneer.

After his accident, he relied on support from his friends and family; the close-knit community in Whitehorse, where he lives; and social media, which connected him to the vibrant, growing world of extreme adaptive sports, such as WCMX, a wheelchair version of BMX biking.  He still felt extreme sports were his safe place. Even if he couldn’t ride in the same way as before his injury, he was determined to continue following his passion. “I’m about living life to its fullest potential,” he says.