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Gary Sidney Johnson | A decision that culture is my life

A young Tagish and Inland Tlingit man from the Carcross area, Gary Sidney Johnson is helping to revive cultural traditions in his community. A member of Carcross/Tagish First Nation, Gary is a drummer, singer, performer and native language teacher. He teaches dancing and Tlingit to adults and children, and he is a regular presence at community events.

Gary is part of the Dakhká Khwáan Dancers, a troupe of semi-professional Inland Tlingit performers from Southern Yukon. The dancers have performed at the Olympics, in New Zealand, at the Smithsonian, at the Pan-Am Games, and across Canada. They won Canada’s national cultural tourism award. The DKD have a punishing schedule of practices and performances, and Gary has additional responsibilities as a song leader. The DKD also have a junior group of youth dancers.