the

Scenic highway 395 near Bishop, California.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Bishop, California.

Where are they going next? South, towards Death Valley National Park.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Natives and dancing girls

As I said, there's a week's worth of stuff to see and do in and Dawson City, Yukon. We were lucky that we arrived here just before summer solstice, and here in Canada, June 21st is National Indigenous Peoples Day.

Yukon has a population of 36,000 people, and demographically, 25% are aboriginal. So there's a lot of First Nations culture in the Yukon, and almost half of Dawson City's residents are First Nation.

The Dänojà Zho Cultural Centre in Dawson City put on a free celebration for everyone on the day...

Waiting for the show to start.

She reminded us of Cher!

They had various things going on all day, but we stayed for the The Hän Singers.

The Hän Singers have been actively singing as a group since the mid-1990s and include members of all ages, performing in small and large ensembles. The history of the songs sung by the Hän Singers extends back to a time when people moved about the land for food, trade, and potlatches. In the early 1900s, Chief Isaac, the most influential Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in leader, foresaw that his people were going to lose an important part of their culture: the songs and dances. Elders tell stories of how Chief Isaac gave the Hän songs to Alaskan people for safekeeping. Almost 80 years later, Elder Archie Roberts was the only one who knew some Hän songs when Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in had their first Moosehide Gathering in 1993. Since that time, Alaskan Elders Laura Sanford, Titus David, Larry Jonathan, Kenny Thomas Sr., Jerry Isaac, and their family members came forward to assist Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in in reviving  traditional songs from Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Traditional Territory. Since Moosehide Gathering 2006, the group has received two new songs. Songs continue to be reclaimed and revitalized, and new ones created as well.

A short video for you... turn up your volume...


Even Ruth got in on the dancing!

Is this guy authentic, or what?

Teaching the little ones.

They sure were having fun!

That evening, we went for a different type of song and dance!

Diamond Tooth Gerties is a can-can vaudeville type of show with a bar and casino. It's probably the most famous thing in Dawson City. Well, besides the gold of course!

It costs $15 CAD ($11.50 USD) for a ticket, and that ticket is actually a season's pass. So, you can come back to Gerties at any time that year and you don't have to pay any further admission.

They do three shows per evening, and all the shows are different so you can come back another night at a different time and not have to pay to get in.

At the entrance.

Ready for the 8:30pm show.

Doors open at 7:00pm, and if you want to get a decent seat for the 8:30pm show, you should probably arrive shortly after the doors open. We stayed also for the 10:00pm show, and that one wasn't nearly as busy. We will head back to take in the midnight show when we return to Dawson City after our trip to the Arctic Ocean!

Gertie herself!

The girls heading down to the audience.

Lots of fun when they pick various people out of the audience!

Showing some leg!

There are lots of costume changes!

And lots of dace moves!

We had a fun evening, and if you're in Dawson City, it's really a show not to be missed. Good times. The 8:30pm show was really well done, but the 10:00pm show wasn't quite as good in our opinion. Still worth going to though. We're looking forward to seeing the midnight show, which is said to be a little more "risque"!

Many people don't know that Diamond Tooth Gerties is operated by the Klondike Visitor's Association, a not-for-profit organization. Proceeds from Diamond Tooth Gerties are re-invested in the local community.

Today is a maintenance day for us because we begin our trek up the Dempster Highway tomorrow. We're going to get laundry done today, grocery shopping, wine and beer, showers, empty the holding tanks, fill the propane, and fill the fresh water tank. Tomorrow morning, we'll top off the gas tank. Then, we'll be ready to head to the Arctic Ocean!

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20 comments:

  1. Will be thinking of you on this epic journey. We drove our car and a year later were still getting Dempster dust off. Don't write anything on yourRV..

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    1. Thanks for thinking of us. Yeah, we keep thinking about the dust but if you want to do this adventure , then you have to put up with it. Anyways, that just helps bring back the memories every time you find a bit more dust. ;-)

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  2. I'm glad you made it to the show at Diamond Tooth Gerties. I didn't know it was part of the Visitor's Bureau, but that makes it even more worthwhile.

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    1. We are glad that we went there as well. It might be a bit of a touristy thing but it just adds to the experience. We love how that money gets reinvested into the town itself. They have done a good job trying to make the town look like it was back in the day.

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  3. Replies
    1. It was! We are looking forward to coming back and seeing the late show in a few weeks time. :-)

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  4. In 1997 the show costed $ 4.75 but was only good on the date issued.

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    1. I like the idea of it being good for the year. I would imagine though that most people only go for the one night because they don't stay in town much longer than that.

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  5. Yeah, fun times at Diamond Tooth Gerties ... kinda like the melodrama we attended in Wallace, Idaho ... and the First Nations celebration. I am getting excited for your trip to the Arctic Ocean!

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    1. It was a good day! :-)

      We are pretty excited ourselves for this adventure up to the Arctic Ocean. We just hope that the weather cooperates for us.

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  6. I had no idea that was part of the visitors bureau.

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    1. They say you learn something new everyday! ;-)

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  7. We were up there a couple of years ago and your post brought back some great memories! We blogged extensively about our journey up there and will do it again some day!

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    1. Looks like you had a great time in Alaska but spent only a little time in the Yukon. I hope when you come back that you take your time and spend more time exploring the Yukon, it has many beautiful things to see and do but unfortunately people blow through it to get to Alaska or to get back home.

      Mind you, when we go to Alaska after we are finished on the Dempster Highway we will be spending only a little time there. Alaska for this trip isn't our goal. One day we will come back and spend the summer exploring it. :-)

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  8. Great pics of the First Nations celebrations. I'm always awed by their customs and costumes! In 2013 there was only the 8 pm show for Gertie’s. Good to know they’ve expanded it. Definitely a riot to watch and one not to miss! So looking forward to your trip to Tuk! Safe travels!

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    1. Thank you Lynnette! We enjoyed watching the First Nations music and dance. It helps to bring some understanding of their culture. We are glad that the young people are starting to show more of an interest in it and are learning about the songs and the language so that they too can pass it along to the following generations before is is lost forever.

      We are looking forward to going to the midnight show at Gerties, just to see how different it is from the others. The first show was definitely the best out of the two that we saw that night.

      Our travels north are definitely starting out as quite the adventure. More on that soon!

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  9. Dawson City is a must see visit. Shows look wonderful. You both must be super excited about heading up to the arctic. Enjoy and stay safe!

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    1. Yes it is and we still have more to see on our return from the Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk.

      We are very excited about our trip north and it is certainly starting out as quite the adventure.

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  10. Wow... we have been following your travels. We were in the same show as you. You can see my back. I am the one in the brown shirt.

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    1. Glad that you have been following our adventures.

      Too funny that you were at the same show as us and so close, it is a small world sometimes. :-)

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