APTN National News
It’s not the goldfields of the Klondike.
But a makeshift sluice box at Skookum Jim’s house in Carcross, Yukon is to help the young and tourists learn more about Yukon’s gold rush history.
And how First Nations played a role in it.
Skookum Jim co-discovered Yukon gold that kicked off the 1898 Klondike Gold Rush.
He made thousands of dollars from his claim in Dawson City but he never forgot about his local kin of the Tlingit and Tagish people.
“That is how now we have the Skookum Jim Friendship Centre in Whitehorse because of his legacy. He willed a lot of funds ahead for his descendants,” said Georgie Low.
But often his name has been left out of the history books and credit has been given to George Carmacks, an American miner.
“You don’t see Skookum Jim’s name in there a lot. There is just brief mentions … that’s why this interpretive centre is important. We really tell the story of Skookum Jim here,” said Richard Zaidan of Parks Canada.
In 1904, he sold his gold claims for $65,000 and continued to live in Carcross until his death in 1919.
His trust fund continues to fund local social and education programs for many Yukon First Nations.