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Yukon and Alaska

As I've mentioned in some of my older posts - I'm a university professor and, every spring, I get to teach courses on the politics of climate change in the southwest Yukon and southeast Alaska! I just got back, after 5 weeks of intense teaching and almost no access to phones or internet. here are some key shots!

This is the Carcross desert, in Carcross, Yukon. Yes, the Yukon has a desert! And this is the view of Bennett lake, and the mountains from the top of the tallest dune. The desert is actually the sandy bottom of an ancient sea that used to cover the whole area!

Clan houses in Carcross:

Playing frisbee with students on the shore of Kluane Lake, Yukon. We stay at a research station right on this beach for most of our time in Kluane country.

This is one of our many 'classrooms' in Kluane country - we hiked up Sheep Creek to this view point and then had class here, overlooking Kluane National Park, the Slims river valley and the St.Elias mountains - home to the largest non-polar ice sheet in the world, and Mount Logan, second tallest mountain in N. America.

Me and the Kluane ranges!

Haines, Alaska in June!

On the Seduction Point Trail, Chilkat State Park,

Some of my students, sitting on the beach overlooking the Davidson glacier, Haines AK

At the Jilkaat Kwaan Heritage Center, Klukwan, Ak - an amazing day!
Gorgeous pictures. Alaska has always been on must visit list but I am slightly fearful I'd never want to leave.
I think Alaska and Yukon should be on everyone's list! They are just amazing places! And the se Alaska coast is amazing - Haines, Skagway, Juneau, Sitka, Angoon, Hoonah...it's an incredible place rich with culture and nature!

@Jilly yes! First Nations around the Carcross and Teslin areas are inland Tlingit - linked very much to coastal Tlingit peoples (like the Jilkaat Kwaan in the bottom photo), which is probably why you see the resemblance to Haida and Tsimshian neighbours (especially use of formline).

Rainbow Jenny

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
What an awesome TR (both photos and captions) thank you, @Albertan ski girl! Do you have any non-trade book recommendation on the indigenous people of Alaska in general?

I had a chance to visit the Tlingit museum in Haines several years ago and contrast it with the Ainu museums of Hokkaido, Japan. From my untrained eyes, I saw more similarities than differences. I'm totally fascinated by the indigenous people up north, how they live, hunt, travel, communicate, and how much trade/commerce may have taken place.

Just found this interesting map of arctic linguistic families, Na-Dene family is new to me, and Hokkaido isn't even in the highlighted zones. Way cool!

Hi @Rainbow Jenny - there are definitely a lot of similarities between coastal peoples! One of my favourite books that I would highly recommend is Life Lived Like a story: Like stories of three Yukon Elders. It is the life story of three women, both of mixed Tlingit and Southern Tutchone ancestry. It covers their own lives and the lives of their families – both of which cross the Alaska – Yukon border, and are really tied up with Pacific coastal life. The three women also have had amazing lives, and have amazing perspectives on their culture, the north and life in general. It has always been one of my absolutely favourite books.


Another great dad is My name is not easy which is officially for young adults but a really important read about the impact of residential schools on Alaska Native culture.


I also recommend anything by Nora Marks Dauenhauer - she was a 20th century Tlingit anthropologist who did an amazing job collecting stories of her ancestors, Elders histories and making accessible Tlingit culture to a wider audience.
I love talking to people about the north, climate change and wonderful northerners! I'm always happy to oblige.

And I totally am hoping to be able to make it to mammoth next year!!!

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