A scientist who studies the material remains of past cultures. Archaeologists
dig in likely campsites and gathering places to uncover traces and tools
of long-ago people.
“Depending on the climate of the centuries, the layers will take
on different colours and thicknesses-from organic-rich brown sands to
pale yellow wind-blown sands. These sands contain traces of the people
who lived there throughout the past, and the job of the archaeologist
is to sort through the clues sealed in the earth to discover how these
from: Carcross/Tagish First Nation, Désdélé Méné
The Archaeology of Annie Lake (written by Greg Hare and Sheila Greer).
This is anything that someone made long ago. Old weapons, fish traps,
containers, sewing tools and dishes are all artifacts.
An Aztec word for an early type of dart or spear thrower. Usually, this
is a wooden or bone stick or board with a handgrip at one end and a spur
or hook at the other end. By extending the length of the hunter's arm,
the atlatl sends the dart much further with more force.
A tool with a tapering blade, usually bone or horn, used to punch holes
for stitches in leather.
Rawhide, cut in a spiral, to make a long strip. When these strips are
shrunk under tension, they make very strong cords.
A person who teaches the principles of religion.
One of three tribes of the Coastal Tlingit people. The other two were
the Chilkoot and the Taku. Each group controlled one of the mountain passes
into the Yukon interior.
Eulachon [yoo la kon]
Thalicthys pacificus. A small type of smelt also called "candlefish"
because they contain so much natural oil that when dried, they could be
burned like a candle. Eulachon oil was not only a food product but also
a prized trade commodity. Also spelled “oolichan.”
A term that came into common usage in the 1970s to replace the word “Indian,”
which many people found offensive. “First Nations peoples”
refers to the Indian people in Canada. Many Indian people have also adopted
the term “First Nation” to replace the word “band”
in the name of their community.
(Note: In the United States, the term “Native American” is
often used instead of Indian.)
A Canadian government official responsible for handling local First Nations
or “Indian” affairs.
Marriage between two different groups (such as the Coastal Tlingit people
and the inland Athapaskans). This is often done to improve relations by
creating closer family ties.
A map that shows approximate boundaries of the areas lived in by peoples
who speak different languages. In the Yukon, there are eight different
native languages: Gwich’in, Hän, Northern Tutchone, Southern
Tutchone, Upper Tanana, Tagish, Tlingit and Kaska.
The process of passing on information by word of mouth from person to
person and between generations. This was very important in preliterate
cultures (before people developed writing systems).
A scientist who studies fossils. A fossil is any evidence of ancient life
(whether the remains themselves, or tracks, traces, impressions, burrows,
A tendon or the fibrous cord that joins a muscle to a bone which is then
split into strands to make a very strong thread.
A type of boarding school, operated by churches in collaboration with
the Canadian government, for First Nations and Inuit children from sparsely
One of the names given to gold seekers who headed north to the Klondike
Gold Rush. Over the winter of 1897-98, thousands of people were in such
a desperate hurry to find gold that their movements resembled a stampede.
An ecclesiastical (church) council that is summoned by the bishop, usually
meeting every few years.