Yukoner wants Klondike artifacts turned over to territory
Greg Hakonson says a lack of vision and funding at federal level is hurting the territory
A prominent Dawson City, Yukon, resident is calling on the Yukon government to re-patriate Klondike Gold Rush-era buildings and artifacts from Parks Canada.
Greg Hakonson said a lack of funding and vision at the federal level for the historic site is hurting the territory.
"There's a huge amount of artifacts that are out of touch to everybody. There's a huge amount of buildings that you could only view from the exterior," he said.
Hakonson spent his childhood playing in and around the remnants of the Klondike Gold Rush. He said Parks Canada had an ambitious plan in the 1970s to develop a major historic site in the Klondike, but as the years passed the work stalled, and then the cutbacks began.
"With this last round of cuts with Parks Canada it's obvious that things are going to get desperate. They're not good now for our heritage assets, they're going to get worse," he said.
Hakonson said Parks Canada should turn those assets over to the territorial government.
"We're obligated as Yukoners to re-patriate those assets and protect them and utilize them for our benefit."
Hakonson points to the Bear Creek mining compound about 10 kilometres up the Klondike Valley from Dawson City - dozens of buildings house thousands of artifacts accumulated in the last century.
Parks Canada closed it to the public 10 years ago because of cuts. Hakonson said it should be re-opened.