Dawson Youth Photography Project

 

By

Skyler Isaac

 

Their names are Vanessa Oliviero and Kale Michon. The pair of youths hail from Dawson City, Yukon.

Together, they are working with the Tr’ondek Hwech’in Youth Centre in putting together a photography project that is quite ambitious in its scope: Visit every single community within the Territory, conduct interviews with local youth and take as many establishing photographs of the area as they can.

The goal of this undertaking would be to get a sense of what everyday life in an unassuming small town is really like. Further interviews with elders will offer an in-depth look into the history of the community and the land surrounding it. These interviews and photographs will offer an unflinching, three-dimensional view of the community.

Their first stop will be in the town of Old Crow, which they plan on visiting at the end of September.

Another person who is heavily involved in making this come to life is Gwyneth Williams, who serves as the Youth Coordinator for the Tr’ondek Hwech’in First Nation.

“Growing up in the North,” she says, “is isolating. [The youth] were quite keen on meeting other youth from other communities to share stories.”

Williams explains that after the Old Crow visit, the next phase of the project would consist of a road trip from Dawson to Whitehorse, with planned stops at every community in between.

The final product will be a full-length photobook. Its completion is expected sometime next summer.

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