The Accidental Discovery of Gold Rush Burials in Dawson City, Yukon

Nantuck Brothers

Canadian Museum of Civilization, Klondike Collection, 1898, No. J6186

During the Klondike Gold Rush, a number of individuals were convicted and hanged within the confines of Fort Herchmer, the Yukon headquarters for the North West Mounted Police in Dawson City. In 2010, four unmarked graves were accidentally exposed by a large-scale construction project. This presentation reports on the discovery, recovery and subsequent identification of the “Nantuck Brothers” – Tagish Kwan First Nation men who were convicted and executed for the murder of a white prospector. The excavation of these remains renewed the debate on cultural interpretations of “justice”, and directly relates to a new play by Leonard Linklater. Justice will be presented at Arts Court Theatre May 2-4, 8:00 p.m. as part of Northern Scene.

Presented in partnership with the Government of Yukon, the City of Ottawa, the Ontario Archaeological Society and the Archaeological Institute of America.