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Kwäday Dän Ts'ìnchi - Canadian Ice Man
Biographical Information
Name(s) Kwäday Dän Ts'ìnchi
Age 17 - 22 years old (est.)
Sex Male
Status undetermined
Height Unknown
Culture Champagne and Aishihik First Nations
Date(s) 1450 - 1700
Site Tatshenshini-Alsek Park, British Columbia, Canada
Current Location
Location Whitehorse, Yukon territory, Canada
Catalog # N/A

Kwäday Dän Ts'ìnchi (the young hunter in Southern Tutchone language of the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations people), also known as the Canadian Ice Man, was found in Tatshenshini-Alsek Park in British Columbia, Canada (about 1000 miles north of Vancouver) in 1999 by a group of three hunters. The initial discovery located a torso with the left arm attached. The hand was mummified with fingernails missing. The head was also missing. A few metres away lay the lower body. A wooden dart, walking stick and pieces of fish and scales were found within the folds of the man's robe. Researchers also found fragments of clothing and what was described as a personal medicine bag. The mummy was removed from the site on August, 1999 by the scientists for further analysis.

the spruce root hat

On or near the body were a knife and spear thrower suggesting that he was a hunter. A robe, made from the skins of about 95 gophers, a spruce root hat, a walking stick, and a small bag made of beaver skins.


Kwäday Dän Ts'ìnchi was a natural mummy. He was discovered in a melting glacier along with a number of artifacts, wore a small pelt and his belongings included a walking stick, an iron-blade knife, a spear thrower and some other tools.

The body had been found to be dismembered into two parts. The first one found was the torso (upper body) with left arm and mummified hand still attached to the body. The second part found was the lower body with thighs and muscles still attached. The skull was found in 2003 but was not removed from the site. The torso and thighs were primarily covered with soft tissues.

The cause of death is still unknown.


Based on the examinations carried out, it was established that he was a young man, who was between 17 and 22 at the time of his death. It is generally accepted that he lived around AD 1700, but it has also been suggested that he may have died more than 300 years ago. He was in good health before he died, leading to the possibility that his death was an accident. The Champagne and Alshihik First Nations people claimed to be the mummy's representatives because their historic territory was at the area of the site where the mummy was found. They joined and supported the studies of the mummy, and did the DNA testing analysis. Out of 241 volunteers of the Champagne and Alshihik First Nations people for mitochondiral DNA testing resulted 17 living people to be related to Kwäday Dän Ts'ìnchi.


The body was dismembered probably by thermal cracking of ice and slumping along the edge of the glacier. The mummy's height is also unknown due to this incident.

There was no sign of serious injury, so it is high potential that hypothermia was the reason caused the death.

Tissues study revealed his diet consisted of mainly salmon and shellfish, which demonstrates that he was from one of the communities (of the Champagne and Alshihik First Nations) near the Pacific Ocean coast. Analysis of his digestive tract showed that he had consumed shellfish and ‘beach asparagus’ as his last meal.


In 2001, the remains were given to the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations. He was then cremated in a closed ceremony and returned to the glacier where he was found.

External Links


Kwäday Dän Ts'ìnchi. (n.d.). Retrieved February 22, 2017, fromäday_Dän_Ts%27ìnchi

Bettinger, B. (2008, April 26). Kwäday Dän Ts’ìnchi – "Long-Ago Person Found". Retrieved February 22, 2017, from

Brooke, J. (1999, August 24). Body of Ancient Man Found in West Canada Glacier. Retrieved February 22, 2017, from