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Prince Charles Accepts Yukon Gift

May 1, 2001

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WHITEHORSE, Yukon (AP) _ Prince Charles urged Yukon’s aboriginal people to hang on to their culture as he accepted a gift of a carved walking stick in a hand-beaded, moose-skin sheath.

Everywhere Charles traveled in the Yukon on his recent trip, official functions highlighted the territory’s aboriginal culture.

The walking stick’s carvings represent the area’s aboriginal clans. Charles was urged by the mayor of Whitehorse to use it on his long walks in the Scottish hills.

Charles said he had met the carver earlier.

``What encourages me so much is to know that these traditional crafts are still flourishing, are still going,″ Charles said Sunday.

``I do hope you’ll manage to maintain these traditions for eternity. They do matter enormously and give such pleasure to people, particularly, it seems to me, the all-important symbolism that is inherent in them as represented by the First Nations people.″

Later, the British heir told a gala farewell banquet that non-aboriginal people have much to learn from ``the profound widom of these ancient traditions and cultures.″

Chief Ed Schultz, grand chief of the 11 Yukon First Nations, said the prince’s visit was an important one for aboriginal people.

The ties between First Nations and the Crown, though often difficult, continue to be meaningful, he said.

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