To recognize Kaska art and the Kaska Nation, the Yukon Mint™ Corporation will produce an ongoing series of gold coins with annual contests ‘My Kaska Nation’ where Kaska artists are asked to submit designs. The winning design then gets transformed into a gold coin. The gold coins will be minted in a variety of sizes that could range from ¼ ounce to 10 ounces.

WINNER – KASKA GOLD COIN:   Kaska Kayeh – an original sketch by Artist Dennis Shorty

When we drum, the drum represents our connection to Mother earth. We drum to honor our animals with the drum made from their hides. When we drum we honor the trees and the land with the frame made of wood. When we hold the drum our arm becomes the umbilical cord to Mother earth and we connect with her. Our heartbeat and Mother earth's heartbeat become one. The winning design celebrates the connection between the Kaska people, the drum and the land.

About Dennis Shorty

DENNIS SHORTY is of Kaska heritage, born on the land and lived most of his life near Ross River, Yukon. By watching his grandfather and father, Dennis became interested  in art which is a spiritual path for him and a way to communicate with his ancestors. Dennis carves in natural materials including copper, moose, caribou and deer antler, musk ox, sheep horn and wood and achieves his refined and detailed imagery with the use of a variety of hand and power tools.  Dennis has won numerous awards and travelled extensively showcasing his talents. Dennis is also a musician and began writing and composing songs in his language, Kaska, in 2009. He created the music duo,  Dena Zagi ,with his partner Jennifer Frohling, and they also produce jewelry together. Dennis’ work is in the Yukon  Permanent  Art  Collection, the Governor  General  of  Canada Collection and private collections across the world. His work and full biography can be found at:  www.dennis-shorty.com

Previous Winners

The First Design Contest took place in 2017 and the Winner was Kaska artist Ms. Miranda Lane with her submission: True North Moose. The Company held a ceremony to unveil and celebrate her winning design on May 30, 2018.

About Miranda Lane

Miranda Lane is a self-taught artist and spiritual intuitive. When she was a child, her grandfather (Mother’s father) Chief Little Jimmy, shared the importance of animal medicine and the value of our interconnectedness with all beings and Mother Earth – these lessons have greatly influenced and contributed to her artistic endeavors. She describes herself as someone who “paints intuitively from the heart, capturing the gifts of Mother Earth, using Spirit animals to deliver messages to help others on their Earth walk”.

Miranda is a member of the Wolf clan and a citizen of the Liard First Nation and currently lives in Alberta with her husband Doug, of 28 years, and her mother. She is the mother of two grown sons, Joshua and Jeremiah, and has a degree in Psychology and Social Welfare. When she isn’t painting, drawing, or creating art out of her home studio she provides Spiritual Intuitive Counselling from home.