Great Canadian Parks / British Columbia

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The Parks / British Columbia / Tatshenshini-Alsek National Park



 


 

Archaeologists continue to study the sites of numerous Tlingit and southern Tutchone fishing villages located along the Tatshenshini and Alsek rivers. The eastern edge of the park follows an ancient trade route used by the Chilkat tribe to barter with the Tutchone whose permanent villages were centres of trade and contact with coastal tribes. Today, Klukshu in the Yukon is still occupied by the Champagne Aishihik people, who have not altered their traditional methods for catching and smoking salmon. Jack Dalton and Edward Glave were the first Europeans to travel the Tat. Today, their trading post, established during the gold rush at the turn of the century, has been reduced to a couple of collapsing log cabins.

 

In the mid-1800's, a tragic flood occurred with the sudden expulsion of a huge lake dammed up for years by a glacier that had advanced until it completely blocked the Alsek River. A wall of water 7 metres high and 15 metres wide swept an entire Tutchone village into the sea at Dry Bay. Only the petroglyphs on a rock near the confluence of the Tat and Alsek and their oral history speak of their presence in the area.

 

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