People of the North

Learning about the First Peoples learning 1learning 2learning 3

A number of early traders, explorers and journalists left written descriptions and drawings of the people they met. These are valuable records of how First Nations people lived in the mid-19th century. Alexander Hunter Murray, a Hudson’s Bay Company (HBCo.) trader, made paintings of some of the people he met and in his writings described the various groups that came to the trading post.

This portrait of a Gwich’in warrior was painted by Alexander Hunter Murray, ca. 1845.

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YA, Catharine McClellan fonds, 90/57 #3, PHO 423.

We also have the words of the people themselves. Through the oral tradition, stories, histories, songs and personal experiences were passed on from one generation to the next by word of mouth. This was an important way of preserving history and heritage. Today’s researchers save these spoken memories by oral history, the process of making sound recordings and transcripts of these stories.

Hän elder Annie Henry and her great-granddaughter, Teresa Procee, at the Moosehide Gathering, 2002.

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Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Archives

Traditional Territory 1