Carmacks is the homeland of the Northern Tutchone people of the Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation, a community set in a breathtaking wilderness environment with the legendary Tage Cho (Yukon River) flowing through the community. This area is steeped in the rich historical culture of the Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation (LS/CFN) who occupied this area for thousands of years. The Tsawlnjik Chu (Nordenskiold River) also flows into the Yukon River in Carmacks, and in this area, one of the most significant historical events occurred during the summer months – the Annual Trade Gathering. This was one of the largest gatherings of Northern Tutchone people, and most notably, the Tlingit; who came together to trade, socialize, feast and to renew friendships and meet new people. It was an exciting and much-anticipated gathering in which the Northern Tutchone and Tlingit bargained and traded for highly-prized exotic trade from foreign lands.
During the summer months, numerous fish traps were set in the Nordenskiold River for the annual run of the King salmon (chinook). This provided the opportunity for the Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation to prepare, preserve and store dried salmon, which was instrumental for survival during the long, cold winter months. Fishing of the king salmon sustained our people for thousands of years and although fish traps are no longer used, this traditional activity is alive and practiced today, including ceremonies and potlatches.
The Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation and Traditional Territory encompasses the Northern Tutchone people of Little Salmon, Big Salmon River, Braeburn Lake, Hutshi Lake, Tatchun Lake, Frenchman Lake, and Carmacks area with many ties to other areas. The common language is Northern Tutchone with varying dialects throughout.