Explore ancient arts and vibrant cultures

The Southern Lakes First Nations communities are small, warm and welcoming. In Teslin and Carcross, visitors are invited to join in the spirited National Indigenous Peoples Day celebrations each June 21st. The Haa Ḵusteey gathering in Teslin or Carcross takes place every two years, and is an extraordinary experience for everyone who attends.

If your timing works well to join a celebration, lucky you! Otherwise, there are many opportunities all summer long to learn about First Nations cultures in the region.

In Teslin, visit the George Johnston Museum for a fascinating look into the heritage of the Inland Tlingit. Exhibits include colourful ceremonial regalia, instruments, tools, carved bowls and woven baskets. Browse the vintage photo collection of Teslin Tlingit elder, George Johnstone, for a view into what life was like before the Alaska Highway came through the community. Up the highway a few minutes, the Teslin Tlingit Heritage Centre is another chance for travellers to explore the vibrant culture of the Tlingit people.

Less than a two-hour drive from Teslin, travellers can visit the picturesque village of Carcross. The roots of the Carcross Tagish First Nation go back thousands of years in this area. Hear their stories and learn about their deep connection to the land and water. Carcross Commons features many pieces of traditional art, from the meaningful designs covering the entire front of the buildings to the carved totem poles representing clans and legends. At the Parks Canada office, request a tour of the carving shed to watch pieces take shape in the hands of a master carver. The office is in the Skookum Jim House, where visitors can browse an exhibit highlighting the area’s First Nations history.

Regions: Southern Lakes Communities: Carcross, Tagish, Teslin
Themes: Heritage & Culture Categories: Heritage & Culture, First Nations Culture