Based in Haines Junction, Yukon, the Dakwäkäda Dancers have been teaching young people in Southern Tutchone and Tlingit cultures through the tradition of song and dance for more than 20 years.
The group was established by four sisters, all granddaughters of the late Annie Ned. A well-known and respected Southern Tutchone Elder, Annie Ned taught many people to dance, sing and become knowledgeable about the traditional way of life. Her songs and dances form the basis of the group’s repertoire.
With a focus on youth, the Dakwäkäda Dancers include child performers who begin as young as two years of age. Audiences witness the older youth and adults demonstrate leadership and the Southern Tutchone culture alive, vibrant, and being passed down to new generations – Indigenous and non-Indigenous.
Each song is introduced with its origin and story, thus the audience understands the importance of what is being shared. The Dakwäkäda Dancers are ambassadors of their culture, their community, and the Yukon Territory. Establishing and achieving a performance goal is gratifying for the children and a source of pride for the community.