Old Crow, Yukon

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Old Crow

Teechik
Old Crow, Yukon1.jpg
Old Crow is located in Yukon
Old Crow
Old Crow
Old Crow is located in Canada
Old Crow
Old Crow
Coordinates: 67°34′N 139°48′W / 67.567°N 139.800°W / 67.567; -139.800Coordinates: 67°34′N 139°48′W / 67.567°N 139.800°W / 67.567; -139.800
CountryCanada
TerritoryYukon
Area
 • Land14.17 km2 (5.47 sq mi)
Population
 (2016)[1]
 • Total221
 • Density15.6/km2 (40/sq mi)
 • Change 2011-2016
Decrease−9.8%
Time zoneUTC−07:00 (MST)
Canadian Postal code
Y0B 1N0
Area code(s)867
Telephone exchange966
Websitehttp://www.oldcrow.ca/index.htm

Old Crow (Teechik[2] in Gwich’in) is a community in the Canadian territory of Yukon. It had 221 inhabitants as of 2016, most of them Gwich'in, a First Nations people who belong to the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation.

Located in a periglacial environment, the community is situated on the Porcupine River in the far northern part of the territory. Old Crow is the only Yukon community that cannot be reached by motor vehicle, requiring visitors to fly in to Old Crow Airport. It is a dry community.

History[edit]

A large number of apparently human modified animal bones have been discovered in the Old Crow area, notably at Bluefish Caves, about 380 km (240 mi) south, and the Old Crow Flats, located about 14 km (8.7 mi) south, that have been dated to 25,000-40,000 years ago by carbon dating, several thousand years earlier than generally accepted human habitation of North America.[3]

An Indigenous chief named Deetru` K`avihdik, literally "Crow-May-I-Walk", helped settle a community here around the 1870s and the town was named after him.[4] The village was founded around muskrat trapping, which continues to provide basic income.

The people of Old Crow are dependent on the Porcupine caribou herd for food and clothing.[5] The Porcupine caribou herd migrates to the coastal plain in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska to give birth to their young. Many citizens of Old Crow believe the herd is being seriously threatened by oil-drilling in the ANWR and have been heavily involved in lobbying to prevent it.

Transportation[edit]

Old Crow Airport provides year-round transportation to other communities. During winter time, a temporary winter road is sometimes built to transport freight into Old Crow; it is not annual, but only when a significant need arises such as a major building project.[6]

Energy supply[edit]

Electric energy is supplied by three diesel generators (170 kW, 330 kW and 600 kW), operated by ATCO Electric Yukon. As the community has no road access, diesel fuel needs to be flown in.[7]

In 2019, the microgrid was extended by a PV plant which generates electricity in the summer season, thus saving about 190.000 litres of diesel per year (~400,000 $/a). The plant has been built in an back-to-back configuration to receive a mostly continuous solar harvest during the day. Consequently, the DC capacity of the PV panels (in sum 940 kWpeak) is partly orientated westwards and partly eastwards; the AC capacity of the PV inverter is 480 kW. A battery energy storage system (BESS) has been added with an energy capacity of 350 kWh, balancing out smaller cloud fluctuations and avoiding rapid start stop cycles of the diesel gensets. The whole PV-BESS plant is $6.5 million and shall last for at least 25 years.[8][9]

By May 2021, the solar plant had begun producing electricity, projected to be fully operational by July and capable of letting the community turn off their diesel generators on sunny days.[10]

Communications[edit]

Old Crow is served by Northwestel since 1971. The long distance connection originally relied on a microwave relay at Rat Pass near the Yukon/NWT border, which also provide a radio-telephone base station along the Dempster Highway, but it was frequently out of service in winter when weather conditions made helicopter access hazardous. In the late 1980s, a satellite ground station was installed in Old Crow, providing more reliable service.

The long distance connection is noteworthy for two minor incidents. In 1985, the Yukon territorial election was covered by live television coverage for the first time, sent by satellite to Toronto for switching into the network stations in Yukon; however, results from Old Crow were unavailable due to the microwave failure. On 11 September 2001, the satellite connection went out of service, and an aircraft bringing a technician to repair it was challenged by Canadian Forces aircraft for violating the closure of airspace throughout North America.

The community operated its own television transmitter to carry CBC television signals from satellite. The current[when?] status of this transmitter is unknown since the CBC in 2012 closed down analog transmitters it owned. The community has APTN television, as well as CHON-FM and CKRW transmitters and a community-owned transmitter picking up CBC station CHAK-AM in Inuvik.

Climate[edit]

View from the river bank

Old Crow has a subarctic climate (Köppen climate classification Dfc) with mild summers and severely cold winters. Average annual temperature is −8.3 °C (17.1 °F).[11] Old Crow experiences annual temperature average daily highs of 20.2 °C (68.4 °F) in July and average daily lows of −33.5 °C (−28.3 °F) in January.[11] Record high temperature was 32.8 °C (91.0 °F) on August 30, 1976 and the lowest was −59.4 °C (−74.9 °F) on January 5, 1975.[11] Precipitation is very low, but is somewhat higher in the summer. Average annual snowfall is 141.4 cm (55.67 in) and rainfall is 154.8 mm (6.09 in).[11]

As Old Crow is located north of the Arctic Circle, it experiences polar day or midnight sun in summer and polar night in winter. The midnight sun is typically between May 5 and August 8 inclusive, while the polar night usually starts around December 14 and ends by December 29.[12]

Climate data for Old Crow Airport, 1981–2010 normals, extremes 1951–present
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 2.5
(36.5)
3.0
(37.4)
6.7
(44.1)
15.9
(60.6)
28.1
(82.6)
32.3
(90.1)
32.4
(90.3)
32.8
(91.0)
23.9
(75.0)
17.5
(63.5)
6.1
(43.0)
1.7
(35.1)
32.8
(91.0)
Average high °C (°F) −25.2
(−13.4)
−21.7
(−7.1)
−14.8
(5.4)
−3.7
(25.3)
8.4
(47.1)
19.1
(66.4)
20.2
(68.4)
16.2
(61.2)
7.9
(46.2)
−5.3
(22.5)
−19.0
(−2.2)
−20.7
(−5.3)
−3.2
(26.2)
Daily mean °C (°F) −29.2
(−20.6)
−26.5
(−15.7)
−21.2
(−6.2)
−10.1
(13.8)
2.7
(36.9)
12.9
(55.2)
14.6
(58.3)
10.9
(51.6)
3.5
(38.3)
−8.8
(16.2)
−22.9
(−9.2)
−25.1
(−13.2)
−8.3
(17.1)
Average low °C (°F) −33.5
(−28.3)
−31.1
(−24.0)
−27.6
(−17.7)
−16.5
(2.3)
−3.0
(26.6)
6.6
(43.9)
8.9
(48.0)
5.4
(41.7)
−0.9
(30.4)
−12.2
(10.0)
−27.1
(−16.8)
−29.6
(−21.3)
−13.4
(7.9)
Record low °C (°F) −59.4
(−74.9)
−54.4
(−65.9)
−48.3
(−54.9)
−39.5
(−39.1)
−28.0
(−18.4)
−8.3
(17.1)
−2.5
(27.5)
−9.5
(14.9)
−22.5
(−8.5)
−38.0
(−36.4)
−47.0
(−52.6)
−56.7
(−70.1)
−59.4
(−74.9)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 13.1
(0.52)
13.8
(0.54)
14.4
(0.57)
9.5
(0.37)
14.4
(0.57)
37.2
(1.46)
43.5
(1.71)
46.7
(1.84)
29.0
(1.14)
22.1
(0.87)
18.1
(0.71)
16.7
(0.66)
278.6
(10.97)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 0.0
(0.0)
0.1
(0.00)
0.0
(0.0)
0.7
(0.03)
8.3
(0.33)
34.5
(1.36)
43.5
(1.71)
45.8
(1.80)
20.0
(0.79)
2.0
(0.08)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
154.8
(6.09)
Average snowfall cm (inches) 15.5
(6.1)
16.4
(6.5)
16.6
(6.5)
9.7
(3.8)
6.6
(2.6)
2.8
(1.1)
0.0
(0.0)
1.0
(0.4)
9.3
(3.7)
23.0
(9.1)
21.6
(8.5)
18.9
(7.4)
141.4
(55.7)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm) 9.2 9.6 9.4 6.6 6.3 10.8 13.6 14.4 12.6 13.6 11.9 11.4 129.3
Average rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm) 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.6 3.6 10.5 13.6 14.3 9.3 1.0 0.0 0.0 53.0
Average snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm) 10.0 9.9 9.5 6.2 3.1 0.8 0.0 0.4 3.9 13.2 12.6 11.8 81.5
Average relative humidity (%) 78.7 76.5 77.0 70.4 54.6 47.0 53.3 60.2 66.5 80.3 79.5 78.9 68.6
Source: Environment Canada[11][13][14][15][16][17]

Population data[edit]

Historical populations
YearPop.±%
1991256—    
1996278+8.6%
2001299+7.6%
2006253−15.4%
2011245−3.2%
Canada census – Old Crow, Yukon community profile
2011 2006
Population: 245 (-3.2% from 2006) 253 (-15.4% from 2001)
Land area: 14.17 km2 (5.47 sq mi) 14.15 km2 (5.46 sq mi)
Population density: 17.3/km2 (45/sq mi) 17.9/km2 (46/sq mi)
Median age: N/A (M: 39.0, F: 39.5)
Total private dwellings: 162 153
Median household income: $28,244
References: 2011[18] 2006[19] earlier[20]

Notable residents[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Census Profile, 2016 Census". 2016 Census. Statistics Canada.
  2. ^ ANLC : Alaska Native Place Names
  3. ^ Morlan, R.E. (1986), Pleistocene archaeology in Old Crow Basin: a critical reappraisal. In Bryan, A.L.,ed. New Evidence for the Pleistocene Peopling of the Americas. Orono, Maine,Center for the study of Early Man, pp.27-48.
  4. ^ Old Crow History
  5. ^ Fralic, Shelley (5 November 2009). "Olympic celebration and survival in Old Crow". National Post. Retrieved 4 February 2011.
  6. ^ "Old Crow winter road challenges truckers". CBC News. 2014-03-03.
  7. ^ "Old Crow Solar Project". Yukon University. Retrieved 2020-09-24.
  8. ^ Francklyn, Lili (2018-07-11). "Bringing A Renewable Microgrid to the Canadian Arctic Village of Old Crow". HOMER Microgrid News. HOMER Energy. Retrieved 2020-09-24.
  9. ^ "Old Crow Solar Project" (PDF). bba.ca. Breton, Banville and Associates. 2019-04-18. Retrieved 2020-09-24.
  10. ^ Gignac, Julien (2021-05-05). "Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation's solar farm now generating electricity". CBC News.
  11. ^ a b c d e "Old Crow A". Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010. Environment Canada. Climate ID: 2100800. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  12. ^ Sunrise Sunset Old Crow 2012
  13. ^ "Old Crow RCS". Canadian Climate Data. Environment Canada. Climate ID: 2100805. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  14. ^ "Daily Data Report for April 2009". Canadian Climate Data. Environment Canada. Climate ID: 2100805. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  15. ^ "Daily Data Report for May 2010". Canadian Climate Data. Environment Canada. Climate ID: 2100805. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  16. ^ "Daily Data Report for June 2004". Canadian Climate Data. Environment Canada. Climate ID: 2100805. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  17. ^ "Daily Data Report for July 1998". Canadian Climate Data. Environment Canada. Climate ID: 2100805. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  18. ^ "2011 Community Profiles". 2011 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. July 5, 2013. Retrieved 2012-05-14.
  19. ^ "2006 Community Profiles". 2006 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. March 30, 2011. Retrieved 2009-02-24.
  20. ^ "2001 Community Profiles". 2001 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. February 17, 2012.

Further reading[edit]

  • Josie, Edith. Old Crow News: The Best of Edith Josie, 1964. Whitehorse, Yukon: Whitehorse Star, 1964.
  • McSkimming, Robert James. Territory, Territoriality and Cultural Change in an Indigenous Society: Old Crow, Yukon Territory. [S.l: s.n.], 1975.

External links[edit]