- Lester Wilson working on restoring and placing grave markers at Two Mile Hill Cemetery, Fall 2012.
KDFN has been awarded the Yukon Historical & Museums Association’s 2013 Conservation Project of the Year Award for its restoration work in two of its cemeteries. The Association is hosting a reception on April 17th at Yukon Archives to present the awards, leading in to UNESCO World Heritage Day on April 18th.
A funded portion of the project spanned the past two summers. Matching funding support was provided to KDFN by YG Historic Properties Assistance Program. The funding support enabled KDFN to complete a restoration project for its Two Mile Hill cemetery and its cemetery site located on atop the hill behind the Whitehorse General Hospital.
Kwanlin Dün personnel performed a detailed gravesite mapping exercise in order to identify and place markers on any unmarked gravesites within the cemeteries. This inventory work built upon existing work to confirm the names of those buried at these sites. With the help of ground penetrating, data identifying specific locations within the sites where soils had been disturbed was obtained. With this information, KDFN personnel were able to identify and place markers on several specific sites within the cemeteries that were previously unmarked.
KDFN’s public works crew did brushing and vegetation clean-up at the cemetery sites, in addition to performing repairs and restoration of gravesite structures including replacing rotting boards, repairing structures and painting in addition to placing new markers.
The cemetery located at the foot of Two Mile Hill was officially closed in a ceremony for KDFN community members and the families of those buried at the site on the fall Equinox in 2013. A new cemetery developed by the First Nation for its people, located on Long Lake Road was officially opened on the same day in the fall of 2013.
Kwanlin Dün graciously acknowledges its Lands and the public works crew members who performed this important work on behalf of the Kwanlin Dün people, past and present.