Fonds yuk-490 - Pearl Keenan fonds

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Pearl Keenan fonds

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yuk yuk-490

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  • Copied 1990, 1992, 1998, 2004 (originally created [ca. 1905-1954]) (Creation)
    Keenan, Pearl, ca. 1918-

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Physical description

260 photographs : b&w copy negs

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Biographical history

Pearl Keenan was born around 1918 at 12-Mile, near Teslin, to George Geddes and Annie (nee Sidney). Her mother was Tlingit and her father Scottish-Canadian and she was raised, along with her five siblings, in the traditional way of hunting, trapping and speaking their language. Pearl was a young woman of twenty-two years, helping her family raise mink and grow vegetables on a homestead outside of Teslin when the Alaska Highway came through the community in 1942. She married Hugh Balfour Keenan (1921-1999) in 1947 and they raised 3 children - Hugh, Dave and Karen. Pearl lived in British Columbia for a period and while there she worked as a home/school coordinator in the public school system and counselled inmates in prison in the Vancouver area. In the Yukon she has taught the Tlingit language and operated summer camps for children, always teaching the value of First Nations traditions. She was the Yukon Commissioner for Expo '86 in Vancouver and was Chancellor of Yukon College, 1993-2000. As an elder Pearl has sat on many boards and committees including the Yukon First Nations Elders' Council, First Nations Education Commission, Skookum Jim Friendship Centre, and the Yukon College Elders Advisory Council to the Vice President of First Nations Programs and Services. Pearl's Tlingit name is T'aakú Tláa which means "Mother of the Taku River".

Custodial history

Tim Coonen lent photographs (accession 90/29) from the Pearl Keenan Collection at the George Johnston Museum. Pearl Keenan lent photographs (accession 92/37) to Dick North for copying at Yukon Archives for the Yukon Historical and Museums Association 1992 Alaska Highway Fiftieth Anniversary Project.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of six accessions with a total of 260 copy negs with reference prints. The photographs were taken predominantly in the Teslin, Yukon area and include many images of Geddes and Keenan family members, friends and neighbours at work and play. Thirty-nine photographs, 1942-1943, depict the construction of the Alaska Highway around Teslin and include images of the Nisutlin Bridge, Brook's Brook, Johnsons Crossing, Teslin airport and camps (90/29). Nine photographs (ca. 1924-1942) are of the Keenan-Geddes family at their home at 12-Mile near Teslin, scenes of the Johnsons Crossing and Nisutlin Bay bridges, July 1 celebrations at Teslin, and U.S. Army Major Austin at the Keenan homestead (92/37). Six photographs (5 from postcards), ca. 1917-1930, depict the first Roman Catholic Church in Atlin, the Caribou Hotel, Constable Teale, Chooutla School, Susie Taylor and sternwheelers Tutshi and Gleaner (98/66). Ninety-four photographs, ca. 1905-1954, depict the Geddes family in Teslin and Livingstone Creek, First Nations people in Teslin and Ross River, images of Atlin, Iron Creek, Teslin built boats, sternwheelers, a mink ranch at 12-Mile, Hootalinqua River and Teslin Lake (2002/132). One hundred and seven photographs, ca. 1918-1937, depict the Geddes family at their 12-Mile Homestead, First Nations people in Teslin and Carcross, and images of Iron Creek and Livingstone Creek (2004/7). Five photographs capture a view of the Whitehorse waterfront, scenic views and a dog team on a frozen lake (2004/80).

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Five of the photographs are from photograph postcards.

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Restrictions on access

If photographs from accession 90/29 are copied, the credit line should read: Yukon Archives, George Johnston Museum/Pearl Keenan collection, 90/29 #_. The remaining photographs are not to be used for commercial or Internet use without permission of the donor in her lifetime. Permission after her lifetime to come from her children, Karen or Dave Keenan.

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Finding aids

Caption list available for photographs in accession 92/37. Caption list available for photographs in accession 2004/7 . Caption list available for photographs in accession 90/29. Caption list available for photographs in accession 2002/132

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