Yukon Mining Game Changer, Shawn Ryan

In the old days, they panned the rivers and creeks north of here for the gold flakes that sent so many scurrying to the Klondike. Today, we'll introduce you to prospector Shawn Ryan whose low-tech weed extractor and high-tech mapping has pinpointed the Gold many thought was Gone. He now owns 20-percent of all the mineral claims in the Territory. Not bad for a guy with no formal geology training who came here to pick mushrooms.

Three of The Current

Yukon Mining Game Changer, Shawn Ryan

Tunes like the Klondike song we started this segment with lured the sourdoughs to the Chilcoot pass at the end of the 19th century. And more than a few must have wished they never heard those siren songs. There wasn't nearly enough Klondike gold to make the crowds of fortune seekers rich, and most left empty handed. But now -- it looks as if they just didn't look hard enough. Because the Yukon has the fever once again.

Last year more than 300 million dollars was spent on exploration in the territory. That's twice as much as the year before. Two mines opened over the past year, with the prospect of a half dozen more opening in the next five to ten years. The boom has put a record number of people to work in the territory. Retail sales and housing prices are higher than ever. Some credit Shawn Ryan for the territory's new lustre.

Shawn Ryan accepted an award recognizing his prospecting success from the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada last year. He and his wife Cathy Wood have searched for gold in the Klondike for more than 20 years. And it's paid off. He's a game changer in the territory. Shawn Ryan joined Anna Maria in our Whitehorse studio.

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Last Word - Town Hall Promo & 8th Fire

The Current will be broadcasting a special edition tomorrow, as we air our Town Hall, Fathers without Fathers: Aboriginal Men in Canada. It's a candid and revealing discussion about the role of First Nations fathers, many of whom are absent in their children's lives.

Also, tune in for other special programming on CBC in a project called 8th Fire. It's an exploration of what Canadians can do to mend the relationship with Indigenous People. Host Wab Kinew explores misperceptions about Aboriginal rights and benefits, and introduces us to future leaders. That begins tomorrow at 9 o'clock, 9:30 in Newfoundland on CBC Television. Check out details at cbc.ca/8thfire.