Lisa Cooke* - Thompson Rivers University
In this paper we travel North through the layers of meaning, politics, histories, and power that constitute the very notion of North in Canada, to Dawson City, Yukon. Drawn North by tales of "strange things done in the midnight sun" and "the call of the wild," we'll walk the streets of Dawson, noting the ways that national-cultural narratives assemble, take place, around us as a collection of National Historic Sites of Canada. Emblematic of Canada's pioneering past and northern ambition collective restorative nostalgias take hold of the guts and glory of the Klondike Gold Rush through officialized commemorative efforts that turn this space into a meaningful, and distinctly colonial, national-cultural place. By way of state-sponsored officialized commemorations, the Klondike Gold Rush is called into meaningfulness in the present and takes place in Dawson City as simultaneously an emotional national-cultural geography of public memory and a tourist destination. In this paper I am interested in the ways that nationalistic and touristic forces converge to take place, happen, in Dawson City and how the deployment of state-sponsored productions of official heritage work as a particular technology of place-making that builds colonial relations into the very ground we walk on.