Wolf Art by Lawrence Dean Charlie

Caribou Art by Lawrence Dean Charlie
Johnny D Charlie
Memorial Ski-doo Trip

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Liz Wright All photos and text submitted by Liz Wright. Go to Page 2

From Fort McPherson to Old Crow and back
In the early 1920's up to about 1960, many people from Fort McPherson traveled by dog team west over the Mountains to La Pierre House. La Pierre House was a popular trading post in between Fort McPherson, NT and Old Crow, YT.

People gathered here to trade, barter and sell their furs; La Pierre House was a stop over on the way to Old Crow or Fort McPherson, sort of a rest area.

A small break before they continue onIt was during this time that Alfred Charlie (Tetlichi) moved to Fort McPherson from Old Crow, he kept close ties with his family back in Old Crow. He traveled with his family many times back and forth to visit with his relatives, his method of traveling in those days were by dog team. After his death in 1974, his son Johnny D Charlie continued to make this trip with his own dog team, taking his young family with him to visit with relatives, Johnny later turned in his dog team for a faster way of traveling and made the trips by snowmobile.

These children would make Johnny proud going on this tripThese trips weren't made as often in the 1970's and 80's. In 1992, Johnny decided to make this trip so the traditional trails would not be forgotten. A lot of people planned for this trip, 52 ski-doo's and as many people made the trip over the mountains. The trip was such a success, that they continued each year with Johnny as their leader. Over the course of the years, not as many people would go on the ski-doo trip, but Johnny encouraged many of the young boys to take the trip with him so they could see the country and trails that their grandfathers traditionally traveled on.

In the fall of 1997, Johnny D Charlie was diagnosed with cancer, and his courageous strugglepart of the country Johnny would have traveled across came to an end one year later on September 9, 1998.

One of the many ways his family and community members chose to honour him was to continue with these trips to Old Crow that have inspired so many people. By doing this, we know we have successfully accomplished what he had wanted for everyone, to let them see his country and to make sure that the ties between the Tetlit Gwich'in and Vuntut Gwich'in will not be forgotten.

finished re-fueling at Porcupine riverThe first trip after Johnny's death was in 1999 and was with 42 people, these ski-doo trips have continued annually.

The trips are never the same, the weather is always a factor, but the warm welcome in Old Crow will always be there and the wonderful people in Old Crow continue to show us their support by welcoming us to their community.

Click thumbs to enlarge picture.
Travelers making last minute preporations to leave to Old Crow. Picture taken at Stoney Creek. The kids made snow angels while they waited.
Jack Smith walking along one of the trails. Shelly Pascal waiting to get on the move again. A top of Mt Lachute.
This is on the other side of Mt Lachute which the women and children had to walk down first because of the high vertical decline. Part of the flat land between Old Crow and Fort McPherson. Finished setting up camp for the night.
Grandson`s of the late Johnny D Charlie - Arlyn and Johnny D. Rhonda helping saw some wood. Getting some ice.
Everyone does thier own share of work in the bush. Brenda with Johnny Charlies daughters. He`s just enjoying a donut in the warm sun.
Soaking up some sun. David Krutko MLA of NWT and Liz Wright. David Krutko with James Tompson.

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