From July 21–24, 2015, Dease River First Nation hosted Dease River First Nation’s Cultural Days, a celebration of Kaska Culture and Families. The gathering, which close to 100 people attended, took place at Gāchō Tué (Rapid River), approximately 25 km from Good Hope Lake.
A central focus of Dease River First Nation’s Cultural Days was family re-unification. Not only did Kaska come from the Kaska Dena communities, but they were joined by family members from southern Canada and the United States. Kaska came from as far away as the east coast of Canada, Los Angeles, and San Diego.
Dease River First Nation’s Cultural Days was a time for true family re-unification. Grandparents met grandchildren for the first time, cousins met cousins, and together, Kaska Dena celebrated their families, their land, and their culture.
Kaska family members from southern Canada and USA rarely have the chance to come back to the land, so it was a time for celebrating being back home, getting out on the land, taking part in cultural activities, and eating traditional foods.
Every day the cooks prepared traditional foods, including moose, salmon, sheep, and porcupine cooked on the fire. Activities were well planned and everyone had a great time playing traditional games such as Hand Games, as well as archery and horseshoe contests, horseback riding, and a fishing derby.
Dease River First Nation held a draw for prizes including a river boat, which was a huge hit with people.
Winners of the DRFN Raffle Draw:
|1st place:||16 ft river boat (25 hp jet motor) & trailer – Chris Wardrop – Fort Ware, BC|
|2nd place:||Round trip for two to Vegas by Air North – Darcy Fjellner – Vanderhoof, BC|
|3rd place:||12′ x 10′ canvas tent with stove and cot – Michael Johnny – Good Hope Lake, BC|
|4th place:||$1,000.00 cash – Geraldine Dennis – Dease Lake, BC|
|5th place:||$500.00 cash – Eileen Melnychuck – Whitehorse, YT|
|6th place:||Moose hide slippers – E. Etzerza – Telegraph Creek, BC|
Thanks to the sponsors, to Air North for supplying the air tickets, and to Dease River Development Corporation for all of their support.