Language legacy

The Yukon Native Language Centre honoured Ida Calmegane, during its Fluent Speaker Recognition Ceremony on June 9, 2023. We are so proud to see her receive this recognition. 

Used with permission of the YNLC:

“Ida Calmegane, 2nd youngest of five children born to parents George Sidney and Angela (Johns) Sidney on October 21st, 1928, is a Tlingít and Tagish/Denke speaker who dedicated much of her life to teaching language(s), to organizing and improvement of Yukon First Nation programming, including groups such as Tagish/Denke Nation Connections, Yukon Indian Advancement Group, Skookum Jim Friendship Centre, and more. She was taught history, stories, Traditional Knowledge and both languages at home and with her maternal grandparents, Tagish and Maria John.

Ida became noted for providing Traditional Knowledge, history, and stories at Tagish Lake every spring during the return of the swans and still does so.

Ida was a dedicated mother to five children and co-developed a very successful hunting business and horse ranch. Additionally, Ida excelled at Nurses’ Aide training, seriously enjoyed her employment at the local General Hospital and then in the C/TFN communities as a Community Health Nurse.

She continued teaching and sharing her other interests and knowledge: berry picking, hide tanning, sewing traditional clothing and beading. In her spare time, she enjoyed teaching and sharing gardening, food preservation, fishing, hunting, trapping, and snaring. Ida kept her grandchildren in handsewn seasonal clothing items for many years.

Ida actively participated in community programming, was passionate about sharing her Traditional Knowledge gained as a daughter, granddaughter, great-granddaughter, wife, mother, sister, cousin, auntie, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, Elder, as well as sharing Traditional Medicines and carpet bowling in her spare time in various communities, including travelling with Sports Yukon for several years.

Ida included her knowledge of Tlingít and Tagish/Denke in all her work, along with storytelling at Adaka, participating in several Tagish and Tlingit workshops with YNLC, C/TFN & TTC, and during Summer Camps, and a Yukon River, department of Education, Traditional Knowledge boat trip.”