Honouring Our Future: Yukon First Nations Graduation Regalia

15 Jun-21 Sep 2024

Canada Gallery
London SW1Y 5BJ


Honouring Our Future: Yukon First Nations Graduation Regalia

The Yukon First Nations Graduation has been occurring since 1975 and is hosted by the Council for Yukon First Nations, and all of the 14 Yukon First Nations (Canada).  It occurs in addition to the mainstream cap and gown and Prom offered by our high schools and recognizes the efforts of our Indigenous students who have received their high school diploma.  Many of these students have to leave their home communities and attend their final high school years in the Territory’s capital city of Whitehorse.  

This event has become a shining example of the growing progress and pride of Indigenous people in the Yukon.  It serves as a vibrant celebration of culture and language revitalization, reflecting the ongoing efforts and increasing momentum within our communities.

This exhibition brings together graduation regalia from every region of the Yukon Territory, featuring pieces that have been created by moms, aunties, grandmas, other family members, clan, community matriarchs and patriarchs.  Many of them brim with artistry and skill and in a lot of cases were sewn on kitchen tables, and community halls.  The dedication and effort of all these sewers, hunters and artists are poured into each piece of regalia so their special loved one can receive their diploma wearing regalia that represents who they are, an Indigenous Person and student representing their Nation.  

The end products shown at the Canada Gallery were several months in the making. Often sewing circles are started up, sharing of beads and patterns begins, and a beautiful blend of tradition and high fashion evolves.   It really creates its own energy and brings family and community together.  

The exhibition is organised by The Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre and Yukon Arts Centre and curated by Lisa Dewhurst (member of the Nlaka’pamux First Nation)