Feature Presentations

Festival feature presentations include the following:  (see Schedule for times):

Kwäday Dän Ts’ìnchi Discovery and Book Launch























Speakers will include:

Alexander Mackie – Fieldwork at the Kwädąy Dän Ts’ìnchį Discovery Site, and the Man’s Knife and Copper Bead

Al Mackie has a BA in anthropology from the University of Victoria. He has worked as an archaeologist for 25 years with a number of Museums, First Nations and government agencies. He has directed archaeological projects in coastal British Columbia and Washington State, as well as in London, England where he worked for four years. He joined the BC Archaeology Branch in 1994 where his regular duties revolve around archaeological site protection and conservation. He is a member of the Kwaday Dän Ts’inchí Management Group that oversees the project.  Al Mackie worked on the glacier to excavate and document Kwaday Dän Ts’inchí, and stayed on in Whitehorse as representative for the Ministry of Small Business, Tourism and Culture in discussions with the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations about how to proceed with the Kwaday Dän Ts’inchí Project. Since that time he has worked with the CAFN, Scientific Advisor Dr. Owen Beattie, the Royal British Columbia Museum and researchers to make arrangements for the scientific study of those Kwaday Dän Ts’inchí materials that are housed in Victoria. He has also worked with museum staff to catalogue and evaluate research potential of the various samples of materials recovered from the ice surface and surrounding areas. He is responsible for many of the administrative aspects of the project.

Kjerstin Mackie – Conservation and Study of the Kwädąy Dän Ts’ìnchį Gopher Robe

A textile conservator at the Royal BC Museum, job-sharing since 1991, Kjerstin Mackie has a postgraduate diploma from the Courtauld Institute, University of London, England, and a BA in archaeology from Simon Fraser University. Before coming to the Royal BC Museum, she worked as a bench conservator and later as second-year tutor at the Textile Conservation Centre at Hampton Court Palace. Prior to that, Kjerstin worked as an archaeologist in BC, the US, Peru and Egypt.  Kjerstin was the Royal BC Museum conservator on the Kwädąy Dän Ts’ìnchį project, a successful collaboration between the Royal BC Museum, the Archaeology Branch of the BC government, and the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations. She has been working since 1999 to examine, research and report on materials found preserved in a glacier with human remains.

Sheila Greer (CAFN) – Stories of Glacier Travel and the Community DNA Study

Sheila Greer (Ntthe aghajęl)  is an adopted member of the Käjèt (Crow) clan. Her degrees in anthropology and archaeology lead to a consulting career, with CAFN and other Yukon First Nations being her principal clients. More recently, she became CAFN staff. In the role of Heritage Manager, Sheila assists the First Nation in fulfilling its responsibilities as steward of and voice for, the many manifestations of its heritage and history.

Lawrence Joe (Katanayata) – Co-Management of the Kwädąy Dän Ts’ìnchį Discovery

Lawrence Joe, a Champagne and Aishihik First Nations (CAFN) citizen and Käjèt (Crow) clan member has been living up to his Southern Tutchone name “Katanayata” which means “walks in the bush all the time” his whole life. Whether he was in a political or bureaucratic role or serving on an influential board, Lawrence has influenced decisions in ways that ensured protection of the traditional lands and activities of his people. Having walked many trails with Elders, Lawrence has direct knowledge of the inseparable relationship between the land and the culture of First Nations people.

As the long-service Director of Heritage, Lands and Resources for the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations, Lawrence negotiated and implemented leading-edge agreements with the Federal, Yukon and British Columbia government: throughout, respect and value for the land and the Southern Tutchone people has been central. As Champagne and Aishihik First Nation’s senior representative on the Kwäday Dän Ts’ìnchi Management Group, Lawrence considered it his primary responsibility to ensure that the values of his First Nations were honored in all decisions regarding Kwäday Dän Ts’ìnchi.

Ron Chambers (CAFN) – Travelling in Glacier and Mountain Landscapes

Ron Chambers, a Champagne and Aishihik First Nations (CAFN) citizen and Wolf clan member, lives in Haines Junction, Yukon. Ron is a well-known guide and outdoorsman with considerable experience around glaciers. At the time of the Kwädąy Dän Ts’ìnchį discovery in 1999, when he was Deputy Chief of Champagne and Aishihik First Nations, Ron provided logistical advice and assistance to the recovery team. He helped on subsequent visits to the discovery site site as well and is responsible for finding many of the artefacts recovered from the surrounding area. Ron was also part of the group that returned the remains of the Long Ago Person Found in 2001 to the mountain where he lost his life.

Valery Monahan – Notes from the Conservation Binder: the Kwädąy Dän Ts’ìnchį Whitehorse Collection

Valery Monahan was born and raised in Halifax, NS. She holds a Bachelor of Anthropology degree from Saint Mary’s University (Halifax, NS) and a Master of Art Conservation degree from Queen’s University (Kingston, ON). Valery has been Yukon Government Museums Conservator since 2000, working with Yukon First Nations Cultural Centres, Heritage Offices and Yukon Community Museums.

Earthquakes in Kluane Region


Michael Schmidt (AINA)

Natalia Martinez

Craig McKinnon (Parks Canada)


Language on the Land


Khâsha (Stephen Reid) – Stories From This Country

Khâsha, also known as Stephen Reid, is a Champagne and Aishihik citizen and Käjèt (Crow) clan member. Khâsha has a Master’s Degree in Indigenous Language Revitalization from University of Victoria, and has been a native language teacher at Elijah Smith School in Whitehorse for many years. Revitalizing Dákwanjè (Southern Tutchone language) has long been a passion for Khâsha, and he has worked many many hours with Elder Paddy Jim to document the language. Khâsha and his family recently moved to Haines Junction so that he could take on the assignment of developing an Adult-level language immersion program.