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.
Author MARY JANE MOSES
Links to Other Sites
Old Crow: Land of the Vuntut Gwitch'in
An informative site about the geography, history, and culture of the Gwitch'in community of Old Crow. Also focuses on the historical relationship between the Gwitch'in people and the Porcupine caribou. Features great images, including one of a caribou fence and some that show caribou crossing the river. From Canada’s Digital Collections.
The Official Website of the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation (VGFN) in Old Crow, Yukon. Learn about their colourful history and culture, local environmental issues and more. Be sure to check out their traditional recipes, crafts, and audio clips.
Yukon Community Profiles
Click on the map for essential information about many communities situated in the Yukon Territory. See the menu on the left for details about municipal services, population data, local economic activity, and more.
Environmental Change and Traditional Use of the Old Crow Flats in Northern Canada
See an article about a joint community–researcher investigation of environmental change and traditional use of the Old Crow Flats in the Yukon. A Government of Canada International Polar Year project. From the journal "Arctic," published by the Arctic Institute of North America at the University of Calgary.