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Update on flooding at Ch’ëdähdëk Forty Mile Historic Site: Damage assessed and Request for Proposals issued for long-term conservation plan

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by ahnationtalk on February 22, 202440 Views


22/02/2024

This is a joint release with Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in.

In May of 2023, an ice jam formed at the confluence of the Forty mile and Yukon rivers 88 km downriver from Dawson City, resulting in extensive ice and water damage to the co-managed Ch’ëdähdëk (Forty Mile) Historic Site, one of the eight component sites that make up the Tr’ondëk-Klondike UNESCO World Heritage Site.

A thorough survey by officials from the Yukon and Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in governments was conducted over the summer to assess the damage. In addition to downed trees and considerable damage to access trails and infrastructure, the assessment work found that three of 11 historic structures were washed away completely, with the other eight sustaining extensive to moderate damage, most dislodged from their foundations. The five buildings in the adjacent work camp were also lifted from their foundations and the site’s campground amenities (signage, garbage bins, outhouses, etc.) will need to be replaced. The assessment also included work to ensure vulnerable structures were stabilized to prevent further damage.

With the assessment now complete, a Request for Proposals has been issued for the design of a conservation plan to explore repair and interpretation options for the damaged buildings and provide guidance on mitigation for potential future flooding events. As laid out in the Request for Proposals, community engagement will play a central role throughout the plan’s development, with a finalized plan anticipated by the end of 2024.

The Request for Proposals can be found on the Yukon Bids and Tenders website: yukon.bidsandtenders.ca. The closing date is March 15, 2024.

Due to the hazards posed by the downed trees, damaged trails, unstable structures and debris, Ch’ëdähdëk (Forty Mile) remains closed to the public. The Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in and the Government of Yukon ask visitors not to travel to the site until it is officially reopened.

Ch’ëdähdëk (Forty Mile) has been an important site for the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in since time immemorial and remains sacred among our people today. We take our role as stewards of the land seriously and look forward to rebuilding and repairing the structures at this site in a good way, consistent with our values and the teachings given to us by our Elders and ancestors.

Debbie Nagano, Heritage Director, Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in

While the impacts of last spring’s flooding at Ch’ëdähdëk (Forty Mile) were devastating, it does not change the cultural significance that this site holds. With community engagement playing a central role in the development of a conservation plan to guide restoration, we are hopeful that this will be an opportunity for Yukoners to reflect, heal and help create a strong vision for the site’s future.

Minister of Tourism and Culture John Streicker

  • Ch’ëdähdëk, Forty Mile is a significant cultural heritage site located 88 km downriver from Dawson City at the confluence of the Forty Mile and Yukon Rivers.
  • The site includes a significant material record of late prehistoric use and archaeological evidence and standing structures from the historic period dating as far back as 1886.
  • A management plan for the site was developed in 2006 by a Steering Committee with representatives from the Government of Yukon and Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in and included public engagement.
  • Ch’ëdähdëk (Forty Mile) is one of eight component sites that make up the Tr’ondëk-Klondike UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Media contact

Laura Seeley
Cabinet Communications
867-332-7627
Laura.Seeley@yukon.ca

Elaine Corden
Director of Communications and Policy, Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in
867-993-7100 ext. 136
elaine.corden@trondek.ca

Cameron Webber
Communications, Tourism and Culture
867-332-0400
cameron.webber@yukon.ca

NT6

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