Old Crow

Muskrat trapping provided a major source of income for the Vuntut Gwitchin from the early 1900s. They were a nomadic people, living seasonally, strictly off the land and animals.


Old Crow

  Old Crow, Yukon, Settlement, population 245 (2011c), 253 (2006c). Old Crow is located in northern Yukon on the confluence of the Porcupine and Old Crow rivers, and 112 km inside the ARCTIC CIRCLE. This Vuntut Gwitchin (see GWICH'IN) settlement was established in the early 1900s when some families permanently moved here. It was named after Chief Deetru' K'avihdik (Crow May I Walk). The area, rich in small game, caribou and fish, is situated on one of the main CARIBOU migration routes to and from the coastal calving grounds of the North Slope of Alaska near the Beaufort Sea. It was also close to MUSKRAT trapping areas in the OLD CROW PLAIN.

Muskrat trapping provided a major source of income for the Vuntut Gwitchin from the early 1900s. They were a nomadic people, living seasonally, strictly off the land and animals. When fur-bearing animal populations collapsed in the mid-1950s because of heavy trapping, families started to settle in Old Crow to work for a wage economy. This was the beginning of the modern era for this tiny, remote community.

The Vuntut Gwitchin was one of the first Yukon First Nations to sign their LAND CLAIM agreement with the federal and territorial governments in 1993. Also part of the agreement was the establishment of VUNTUT NATIONAL PARK, which lies north of the community.

The administrative centre of the Vuntut Gwitchin government, Old Crow is a modern community, complete with high-speed Internet. However, the people continue to practise their culture and traditional lifestyle. They pass on the skills of their ancestors to the youth of the community, meshing the traditional lifestyle with the modern.


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