The Dakhká Khwáan Dancers, are a National Award winning Inland Tlingit dance group based out of Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. They focus on reclaiming their languages and traditional values through their inherent art form of singing, drumming, dancing, and storytelling. The Dakhká Khwaán Dancers strive to present their performance with the outmost respect to cultural protocol and with the highest form of artistic integrity. Since forming in the community of Carcross in 2007, they have grown from 6 to 30 members and with the addition of a children’s group, the Dakhká Khwaán Jrs.
Dakhká Khwáan means Inland People/Nation, a name given to them by the late Dakla’weidi elder, Mrs. Eliza Bosely. They are members of the Dakla’weidi, Yan Yedi, Ganaxteidi, Deisheetaan, Ishkihittaan, Kookhittaan, Lukaax.ádi and Wolf Clans. The group is led by Marilyn Jensen, who has danced since she was 2 years old in the group her Mother started in the 1970s, The Skookum Jim/Keish Tlingit Dancers. In addition, they are advised and guided by their loving group Elders and through the knowledge passed on from their Ancestors. Members of the group are the decendents of renowned Yukon Indigenous elders: Peter and Agnes Johns, Angela Sidney, Dora Wedge, Johnny Johns, Patsy Henderson, Louise Dickson, Tommy Smarch, and numerous others. We all share a passion for expressing our identity through the arts and absolutely love to sing, drum, learn language, make regalia and dance.
Together, we have danced across Canada, the US, New Zealand, Taiwan, the Vancouver 2010 Olympics and the Pam Am Games in 2015. The group received the 2014 National Aboriginal Cultural-Tourism Award.