ARCHIVED - The Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre

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The Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre, situated along the Yukon River in the City of Whitehorse, Yukon, showcases the arts and culture of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation. The cultural centre is the largest meeting place in Whitehorse. It is used by both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples for large gatherings, conventions and weddings.

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Transcript: The Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre

Gary Baile –Project Manager- Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre

The Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre is located on the banks of the Yukon River, in Whitehorse Yukon, on Kwanlin Dün traditional territory.

This land close to the Yukon River was always held in high esteem, so after we had signed our land claim agreements we had acquired this section of land here, by the Yukon River, so they decided to build the Cultural Centre here at the river because of its cultural significance.

Rae Mombourquette – Executive Director - Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre

The river really was the life source for our community…a way of transportation… a food source, we built our communities here, people were born here and people are buried here as well.

The physical space for the Cultural Centre is very welcoming and is along the waterfront and tries to incorporate the river frontage as much as possible.

We have two exhibit spaces… one is a permanent exhibit space that showcases the history of Kwanlin Dün First Nation along the waterfront…and also we've got a temporary exhibit space as well which really showcases the different archeological and artistic and cultural aspects of this area and our traditional territory…

…then we've got the longhouse which is our feature room

 … we've got the multi-purpose room which is also a mini-replica of a longhouse, and our two meeting spaces…

…we've got several classrooms and an artist studio in there… we do rent out those spaces as well, however we do hold a host of cultural programming, language programming… arts and crafts programming as well…

…and then we've got a sacred space.

We've got an Elders lounge as well which gives a nice venue for kids and elders to kind of get together and share stories and pass on the knowledge.

So, on our outdoor grounds we've got a canoe pavilion ….

… to house the canoe that was gifted to Kwanlin Dün First Nation by the Northern Cultural Expressions Society…

… we chose to put it external to the building because we wanted to still use it…it is not a museum piece and it is part of a living culture.

Right now the Society is also carving a healing totem …the purpose of this totem is to honor and commemorate the survivors of residential schools and the generations that have followed.

Wayne G. Price – Master Carver

I've got 42 wonderful years of wood carving in my own life…

 …and have found a time where it's time to pass it on…and what a place but up here in the Yukon to be able to do that.

Alicia Vance- Councillor- Kwanlin Dün First Nation

You know it's a just a great opportunity for our culture and our traditions to be revived and have a place to gather.

I think it was a, a long time coming for Kwanlin Dün First Nation to actually make their mark within the city of Whitehorse…

Gary Baile –Project Manager- Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre

It's great to see the building is here…

…and just to see it doing its work and helping our people to feel proud of who they are once again, and reclaim their identity and to know that the, the  future looks bright for all of us.

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