Arts, Culture and Heritage
Tagish means ‘break up (of ice)’ in the Tagish Athapaskan language; the original village of the Carcross/Tagish First Nation (CTFN) was located three miles south on the east side of Tagish Lake; the neighboring village, Carcross, was the CTFN’s seasonal hunting grounds for caribou.
Tagish was also the home of the five people who figured prominently in the discovery of gold in Dawson on Bonanza Creek in 1896: Skookum Jim and his nephews, Patsy Henderson and Dawson Charlie, and sister Kate and husband George Carmack.
The Southern Lakes water system provided a water route for many gold-seekers during the Klondike Gold Rush. This eventually gave rise to a need for management and safety at Six-Mile River in Tagish. Known as Fort Sifton, it was the location of one of the most important posts for the North-West Mounted Police in 1897.
A tent city developed very quickly with the sudden influx of gold seekers; over 28,000 people registered at Fort Sifton on their way to the Klondike, outfits were inspected for safety and duties were collected.