old picture of Old Crow with communications tower

Old Crow: An Introduction (part 1)

[Digital Collections Website]

old picture with many Vuntut Gwitch'in people in 

front of  a church after a church service

Old Crow is a First Nation settlement of Vuntut Gwitch'in people located 770 km north of Whitehorse, capital of the Yukon Territory, and 112 km north of the Arctic Circle. Old Crow has a population of approximately 300 people. The ancestors of the Old Crow people settled at New Rampart House near the Alaska (U.S.A.) border in the 1870s. They moved up from there to the muskrat breeding grounds at the confluence of the Crow and Porcupine rivers in the 1930s. The present community of Old Crow is named after Walking Crow, a revered chief who died in the 1870s.

The community is governed by a Chief and Councillors. There is a nursing station, R.C.M.P. (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) station and there is also a school in the village. The school goes up to grade 9 and students transfer to Whitehorse, Yukon, to complete their education to grade 12. Yukon College has a campus in the village; upgrading and vocational skills are taught there.

Many Old Crow people trap, fish, and hunt. The community has a generations old cultural, spirtual, and physical connection to the land and the animals.

We, the Vuntut Gwitch'in people, have been making contact with people throughout the world in order to share our deep concerns about the possible threats to our culture and lifestyle, which would result from development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, the birthing grounds of the Porcupine Caribou Herd. Our people have depended on this herd for many generations. The caribou are our main source of food and this food helps us to survive the harsh climate of the north. Our community wants to communicate with people all over the world about our knowledge and experience with the land, the Porcupine Caribou Herd, and our culture. We want the people of the world to know about the many challenges we face in order to continue our lifestyle, which was lived for many generations in harmony with the ecosystem. It is most vital to us to ask the United States government not to develop the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The Internet is giving us an opportunity to reach people we were unable to reach in our previous travels; this is one of the main reasons for creating this World Wide Web site. This site was created through the efforts of many of our people - old and young. Students, parents, and elders worked together to gather the information. We hope you enjoy meeting our community in this new way!

picture of Old Crow youth who helped create this Web site 

and some of the other people who helped create this site

Old Crow youth who helped create this Web site and some of the other people who helped create this site.
Photo credit: Yukon Native Language Centre.

Old Crow: An Introduction (part 2)

[BACK] [Home] [French] [Feedback] [Digital  Collections]

©Copyright 1996 - Vuntut Gwitch'in - Last Modified: Thursday, May 16, 1996