The story of Klondike Kate Carmack and the (modern day) sisters who moil for gold – by Joe O’Connor (Financial Post – January 4, 2019)

Five sisters are modern pioneers linked to a colourful prospecting past that includes Carmack, whose lying husband took credit for the Klondike strike and cheated her out of her fortune

During the summer, when by fate of their unpredictable schedules the five Bjorkman sisters actually find themselves together at their parents’ log home on Whiskyjack Lake, Ont., the conversation inevitably turns to rocks.

Jessica Bjorkman, the eldest sister at 38, might, for example, start talking about what she found or didn’t find, or the bear she had to run off, or the view from a B.C. mountain ridge that was so perfect she couldn’t quite believe it was real.

Karla, the youngest at 22, might take it up from there, and speak of the moonscape of Nunavut near Hudson’s Bay, and of walking that ground with her sampling hammer, trying to figure out what rocks to crack into, and which ones to ignore, while feeling as though the rocks she was treading upon were from the very beginning of time.

At this point, perhaps, Ruth, now with a four-month-old daughter, Julie, might say something about the baby, interrupting the rhythm of the rock talk for a group of sisters who, in the realm of siblings — and in the overwhelmingly male-skewed world of mining — are an extraordinary anomaly.

Jessica, Veronique and Karla Bjorkman are prospectors; Katarina and Ruth are geologists. They are modern day pioneers — and industry role models — linked to a colourful prospecting past where male gold hunters made newspaper headlines, took credit for lucky strikes and cheated women out of their rightful fortunes.

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