The Canadian Mining Hall of Fame inducted the Klondike Discoverers as a group in 1999. These men – George Carmack, Robert Henderson, Skookum Jim Mason and Dawson Charlie – have historically been credited with the discovery that set off one of the world’s greatest gold rushes. The Klondike Gold Rush established Yukon and opened up the North, as well as Canadians’ eyes to its possibilities.
New information has since revealed that Kate Carmack also played an integral role in making this discovery. As an Indigenous woman, Kate’s traditional knowledge and skills allowed her and George Carmack, along with Skookum Jim Mason and Dawson Charlie, to live off the land in the Forty-Mile and Stewart River areas during their years of prospecting. Specifically, Kate’s ability to sew and market her mukluks and mittens to fellow prospectors provided the means to support their work. Clouded in hearsay and sensational reporting at the time, most historians agree that it is not clear who made the actual discovery. Oral histories shared among local Indigenous communities suggest that Kate herself found the first nugget of gold. The Canadian Mining Hall of Fame is proud to recognize Kate Carmack’s crucial contribution to the Klondike Discoverers and induct her in January 2019.
(Source: Canadian Mining Hall of Fame)