JANUARY 4, 1902


Angela Sydney was born near Carcross, Yukon. Her mother was of Tlingit ancestry, her father, Tagish. At birth, she received three names-Ch’óonehte’ Ma (Tagish), Stóow (Tlingit), and Angela. As a young girl, Angela learned about Tagish stories, traditions and culture. Worried that the Tagish language, and its history and culture would be lost, Sydney, as one of the last fluent Tagish speakers, decided to preserve the language and the stories. “I have no money to leave for my grandchildren,” she once said. “My stories are my wealth.” Angela produced two books–My Stories Are My Wealth (1977) and Tagish Tlaagu (1982).  In 1983, with Julie Cruikshank, she produced Haa Shagoon: Our Family History, a record of her family tree. Her stories inspired fellow storytellers Anne Taylor and Louise Profeit LeBlan (her niece) to create the Yukon International Storytelling Festival.  She became a member of the Order of Canada in 1986–the first Native woman from the Yukon to receive the honor. Sidney died April 9, 1990.

Source:  Cheryl Petten, “Angela Sidney: Preserving the culture, a personal endeavor,” Windspeaker, 2003.  Retrieved 6/5/2019, http://www.ammsa.com/content/angela-sidney-footprints.			                    
Photo:   Janice Hamilton, 1975. At the Tauk-ee-tee-see-goo Summer Days Festival at Tagish Lake, Janice Hamilton fonds, 2008/130 #15. Courtesy of the Yukon Archives.  

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