What is the Adaka Cultural Festival?
Each July hundreds of Yukon First Nations musicians, dancers, drummers and artisans gather in Whitehorse for a celebration and exchange of First Nations culture. Music performances range from traditional dance and drumming to contemporary folk, fiddling, country and beyond. Artisans include carvers, beaders, jewelers, painters, sculptors, and photographers with wares for sale in a world-class retail gallery. The festival also features cultural presentations, an indigenous fashion show and visual art demonstrations.
A real highlight of the festival are the workshops which offer visitors a rare opportunity to participate in First Nations traditions. Workshops include storytelling, drumming, carving, beading, weaving and much more. There are workshops available for beginners and experts alike and run from half to full days.
Need to Know
If you are attending the festival, you will notice there are several Gwich’in Fiddlers on the program. Fiddles came to the First Nations by way of Scottish and Irish fur traders in the mid-1800’. The Gwich’in people adopted the fiddle and made a type of music entirely their own called jigging. This musical tradition is alive and well today and should not be missed!
Did You Know?
There are 14 Yukon First Nations with 8 language groups. There is evidence of First Nations inhabitation of the Yukon going back at least 12,000 years. Today indigenous peoples make up roughly 25% of the Yukon’s population and most First Nations groups have signed treaties with the Canadian government giving them increased autonomy and self-governance.
Coronavirus is causing a number of event cancellations; we provide event website links on each page for you to check the latest updates.
See our Coronavirus page here.