Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre

Whitehorse, Yukon

About the Centre

Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre is proud to release its Strategic Plan for 2023-2028.

Click here to view!

Gunałchîsh, Mähsi’ cho, Shäw níthän, Sógá sénlá, Thank you to all community stakeholders who participated in providing us with such insight, including the Kwanlin Dün citizens who participated in the survey and the individuals and organizations who provided their perspectives. We are grateful for your ideas and time spent with us.

Dänk’e ye Dakwänje ye Dakwändur

Our Indigenous Culture, Heritage, and Language

Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre walks two paths with its cultural purpose and that of a gathering place.

At the core of KDCC cultural collections and programming is the vision of long-term preservation, survival, and celebration of Kwanlin Dün culture, languages, and community. The intergenerational transfer of the knowledge of culture and language is essential for Kwanlin Dün cultural to survive and thrive.

KDCC as a Cultural Connector

KDCC celebrates Kwanlin Dün ways of life for the benefit of the Kwanlin Dün people and to share our culture with other First Nations and the public at large. The Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre collects and preserves cultural, historic, traditional, contemporary, and artistic objects, replicas, and artefacts.

At the KDCC, Kwanlin Dün artists celebrate and advance Kwanlin Dün’s culture and heritage. KDCC operates First Nations emerging and established artist residencies, and presents performing arts and community cultural events.

KDCC as a Meeting & Conference Venue

The beautiful and unique Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre is one of Yukon’s premier and busiest venues welcoming thousands of people into the world of Kwanlin Dün culture while creating a great sense of community belonging for the Kwanlin Dün First Nations citizens.

KDCC hosts 1,200 events a year within a diversity of spaces appropriate for conferences and conventions, community meetings, workshops, weddings, cultural events, artist residencies, and experiences.

the people’s way
our way

Opened in 2012 and built near the mighty Yukon River by the Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN), the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre (KDCC) celebrates, values, and advances the Kwanlin Dün culture, history, teachings, traditions, and languages.

Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre is a registered not-for-profit organization governed by the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Society (KDCS). The KDCS Governance Council was established in September 2013 through the appointment by KDFN Chief and Council.

As part of the 2005 KDFN Final Agreement, Kwanlin Dün First Nation negotiated support for the construction of a cultural centre on Settlement Land Parcel C- 70FS.  Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre’s facilities and land are owned by the Kwanlin Dün First Nation.


By connecting people and place, we ensure Kwanlin Dün culture, languages, and traditions thrive for many generations.


We walk two paths by celebrating, honouring, and advancing Kwanlin Dün culture and languages while being a gathering place and outstanding venue.


KDCC is the steward of its Core, Living, and Working Collections, and is creating the future Digital Collection of Kwanlin Dün Culture.

Our collection mission is the continued preservation, protection, and representation of material culture, and the resurgence of Kwanlin Dün cultural arts, languages, and activities.


Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre embraces the KDFN Heritage mandate, described in The Kwanlin Dün First Nation Agreement, Chapter 13, Heritage.

  1. ENGAGEMENT: We promote public awareness, appreciation, and understanding of all aspects of culture and heritage in the Yukon and respect and foster the culture and heritage of the Kwanlin Dün people;
  2. PRESERVATION: We promote the recording and preservation of traditional languages, beliefs, oral histories for the benefit of future generations;
  3. HERITAGE RESOURCES: We promote the use of generally accepted standards of Heritage Resources management to ensure the protection and conservation of Heritage Resources;
  4. ACCESS: We facilitate reasonable public access, except where the nature of the Heritage Resource or other special circumstances warrant otherwise;
  5. ORAL HISTORY: We recognize that oral history is a valid and relevant form of research.

GOAL 1: We will ensure that the long-term survival and celebration of Kwanlin Dün culture and languages are at the core of KDCC cultural and heritage collections and programming.

GOAL 2: We will create youth cultural engagement programs in collaboration with Kwanlin Dün First Nation and other partners.

GOAL 3: We will intentionally develop future KDCC First Nation governance and staff leadership and ensure a caring and professional working environment for all our staff.

GOAL 4: We will establish a successful and mutually beneficial relationship with the new Conference Centre.

GOAL 5: We will ensure financial and operational excellence and sustainability.

Raven Releases the Light – The story of our logo

Our logo “Raven Releases the Light” was designed by Mark Preston (Tenna-Tsa-Teh).

“Although there are many versions of similar stories, the one that I thought of when I designed this image was how raven transformed into a small boy to get close to the chief so that he could steal the sun, the moon, and the the stars from the great cedar chest. Only later to release them to man as he flew away into the sky. The story has a deeper meaning that suggests that all of mankind was in darkness until raven gave us the light/knowledge and self awareness. Bringing us out of darkness, the story is about how wea re so much a part of the universe and that our lives are so entwined with the other creatures that we live with. It is a story about creation in its purest terms.”

Tenna-Tsa-Teh (Master of the Copper)

Mark Preston (Tenna-Tsa-Teh) is an Aboriginal artist from Dawson City, Yukon. He is of Tlingit and Irish ancestry.

Mark Preston learned about his Tlingit ancestry through family and school study. Initially, he began studying art through European masters such as Leonardo da Vinci, but later discovered Northwest Coast Native artists such as Bill Reid, Robert Davidson and Roy Vickers.

He cites Mark Rothko and Jack Bush as influences in his more recent aboriginal paintings and artworks which transcend the traditional Tlingit Native art form and move him closer into the abstract and contemporary realm.

Mark has studied various mediums in paper, cloth, wood, metals, stone and glass. He studied silver carving with well known master jeweler and carver Phil Janze (Gitskan Nation) at Hazelton, BC.

“When I think about what art is, it is more than illustration or objects to be doted over. Art is the magic, the glue that binds us all together. It is the language that transcends its forms.”

Hand Games Demonstration during the 2017 National Aboriginal Day Celebrations.