Berton House Day 32 and some Catch-up

I'm getting a little behind & out of sequence — sorry!

On Tuesday, July 30, I went to see the DÄNOJÀ ZHO (long time ago house) Cultural Centre. This is the one obviously new building on Front Street in Dawson. It is a place to learn the traditions and present day life of the Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in First Nation. They were the original inhabitants of the Dawson area and were displaced by the gold rush. Their land claims were finally settled in 1998 and they are self-governing.

It's a beautiful building right on the river. They had a display on residential schools across Canada. It was very moving, even though it was very simple — mainly consisting of old b&w photos and short written passages. They had small packs of tissues attached to a card with contact names and phone numbers for counseling, if difficult memories surfaced in the First Nations people viewing the display.

Also, beautiful hand-crafted items were available in the gift shop.

They have a special contemporary dance performance that I still want to see.

Today, Friday, August 3rd, I went to see the presentation called "Crime and Punishment: Mounties in the Klondike" at the Commissioner's residence. It's a little outside drama that takes place on the lawn, and leads to the old Mountie Barracks in the back of the residence. Interesting thing was the Mountie was a woman, which was historically accurate for about 1900. In the drama she arrests a local con-man for possession of a firearm.
When she asks the crowd what punishment the man should receive, I voted for the "blue ticket" (the "get out of town now" option), some voted for the "woodpile" (the "chop wood for six months" option), while one American observer said he should be hanged. The Mountie felt this was "a little extreme."

When I got back to the Berton House, Rob suggested we go see the Robert Service presentation, as he had not yet seen it, and it was a gorgeous day. So, we went. There was quite the crowd — two different tours, one from Ontario and one from California.

Rob introduced himself to Johnny Caribou, who was the "Ghost of Robert Service" today. Johnny had just started reading Rob's book "Hominids." So, Rob got referred to several times during the show. It was a great show. Rob loved Johnny's pun about how Robert Service was learning the business of being a cowboy by shoveling after the cows. Johnny said "[Service] was becoming quite the entre-manure."

So, even though it was my second time seeing the show, it was still fun.

Lastly, we walked into town to catch part of the 8:30pm show at Diamond Tooth Gerties. Mostly for the exercise... and the pizza. They charge $2 for a diet Coke, but refills are free!