Yukon (territory)

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coat of arms flag
Yukon Coat of Arms
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Flag of Yukon
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Motto : none
Dänemark Island Frankreich Alaska Vereinigte Staaten Prince Edward Island Nova Scotia New Brunswick Neufundland und Labrador Québec Ontario Manitoba Saskatchewan Alberta British Columbia Nunavut Nordwest-Territorien Yukonmap
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Basic data
Official language English and French
Capital Whitehorse
Biggest town Whitehorse
surface 482,443 km² (9.)
Population (2016) 35,874 (12.)
Population density 0.08 inhabitants / km²
GDP in CAD (2006) Total: 1.622 billion (12th)
Per capita: 53,504 (3rd)
Time zone UTC −8
ISO 3166-2 CA-YT
Postal abbreviation YT
Website www.gov.yk.ca
Joined Confederation June 13, 1898
Commissioner Angélique Bernard
prime minister Sandy Silver (Yukon Liberal Party)
Sit in the lower house 1
Seat in the Senate 1

Yukon is a territory in the far northwest of Canada with an area of ​​482,443 km². The Territory is bordered by Alaska ( United States ) to the west, the Northwest Territories to the east, and British Columbia to the south . The Arctic Ocean forms the northern border. Around two thirds of the 36,000 inhabitants (2016) live in the capital Whitehorse, which is located far to the south . Of the inhabitants of the territory , the ministry responsible for the Indians counts around 9,500 among the 16 First Nations .

In the southwest of the territory lies Canada's highest mountain at 5959 meters, Mount Logan . It is the second highest mountain in North America after the 6190 meter high Denali in Alaska .

People have lived in Yukon for at least twelve millennia. The ancestors of today's Indians , who belong to the Athabaskan language family , can be traced back to this time . They lived nomadically until the middle of the 20th century, always spending the winters in the same villages. Following early trading relationships that focused on furs, gold discoveries on the Klondike briefly brought more than 100,000 immigrants to the sparsely populated area. Today the Yukon people live mainly from tourism, raw material extraction and services, hunting only plays a role for a few indigenous groups.


Overview map

The name Yukon goes back to the river of the same name, the Yukon River , which flows through the territory and then westwards to Alaska. Its name goes back to yu-kun-ah , the name of the river by the Gwich'in - Indians as "great river". By 2003, the territory was Yukon Territory (Yukon Territory) called.


Extension and Limits

The Yukon is bordered by Alaska to the west, British Columbia to the south, the Northwest Territories to the east and the Beaufort Sea to the north .

The eastern border runs in the south of the territory roughly along the watershed between the drainage areas of the Yukon and the Mackenzie River , in the north it mainly includes Liard and Peel Rivers .

Geology and landscape

About 205 million years ago, a large tectonic plate in the northeast of the Panthalassa Ocean , the Farallon Plate , was first pushed under the North American Plate , which was moving westward. In addition to large amounts of granite, this produced an extensive chain of volcanoes. These volcanoes are now extinct and severely eroded , but volcanism often left behind meter-thick layers of volcanic ash and glass. The northwest coast of Canada, and thus today's Yukon, was also formed by the collision of volcanic islands, which stretched over 1,000 to 1,500 km, with a continent that existed before the Jurassic , about 180 million years ago. They are part of the broken Farallon plate; a part of the plate to the west behind it was also pushed under the continent. This created a mountain range called Omineca , which extends from the Yukon to Oregon ; mountain ranges were also unfolded further east and raised by melt rock.

North America in the Cretaceous Period

115 million years ago, a second chain of islands collided with the continent, the Insular Volcanic Islands , with the largest granite deposit in America being formed in British Columbia. This collision formed a new volcanic belt, the Coast Range Arc , which also extends into the Yukon. The remains there are volcanoes such as Montana Mountain south of Carcross or Mount Nansen and Skukum west of Carmacks . The enormous pressure produced large amounts of gneiss .

80 to 90 million years ago the North Pacific Farallon Plate broke in two; the northern one was the Kula plate, which initially produced new uplifts at the fracture point off the coast of California . Later, four to seven million years ago, the Olympic Peninsula in Washington was created by the Juan de Fuca plate, which still exists today and which has broken off to the south . The Kula plate in the north has been moving less eastward than parallel to the continent for about 60 million years, so the subductions ended and continued towards the Yukon and Alaska instead.

Mount Logan, the highest mountain in Canada

Apart from the areas around the Beaufort Sea in the north, the territory has since formed part of the northern Rocky Mountains and the coastal mountain range that extends from British Columbia to Alaska. The south-west is dominated by the Elias chain , where the Kluane National Park is located, which is a World Heritage Site, as well as the Tatshenshini-Alsek Park , which is already on British-Colombian territory and covers a total of 97,000 km². There are also the highest mountains in the territory, such as Mount Logan (5959 m) and the glaciers of Logan, Hubbard and Kaskawulsh . This mountain range keeps the moisture that otherwise characterizes the west coast of North America away from the Yukon. Therefore, the area behind it was relatively dry during the Ice Ages , which in turn largely prevented glaciation of the territory, apart from the coastal mountains and the east. The result was Beringia , a tundra landscape surrounded by extremely extensive glaciers.

Beringia, an ice-free area during the last ice age

Permafrost , i.e. soil that never thaws, is present throughout the north, predominantly in large parts of the territory, and occasionally in the south. It extends to a depth of more than 300 m, but this depth decreases rapidly to the south. In 1982 the depth at Old Crow was around 63 m, at Mayo 1991 up to 40 m, at Takhini up to 16 m and at Teslin only up to two meters. Overall, the permafrost is on the decline.

Along the southern border of the territory, in addition to various mountain ranges such as the Englishman Range or Simpson Range , the Cassiar Mountains form a striking cut. The Yukon capital, Whitehorse, is located in this comparatively wooded area . The eastern border runs through the Mackenzie Mountains , which are already predominantly in the Northwest Territories . The highest peak of this mountain range, the 2972 ​​m high Keele Peak , lies directly on the eastern border.

Ogilvie Mountains, north of Dawson

North of the Cassiar Mountains join the chains of the Pelly Mountains - its highest peak is the Fox Mountain (2404 m) -, north of the Saint Elias Mountains , the Samson Range , whose highest peak of the Klaza Mountain with 1939 m. Between these mountain ranges are the drainage areas of the Teslin (393 km), the Pelly (530 km) and the Yukon River (3120 km). In addition, there are numerous smaller rivers, such as the Klondike , at whose confluence with the Yukon is Dawson , after Whitehorse the largest place in the territory with about 1,300 inhabitants. From there, the Ogilvie Mountains join to the north , the highest peaks of which are Mount Frank Rae (2360 m), Yoke (2249 m), Tombstone Mountain (2196 m), Mount Monolith (2135 m) and Mount Patterson (2042 m).

To the north of this chain is the drainage area of ​​the Porcupine River , which rises in the Ogilvie Mountains and flows into the Yukon in Alaska. On the river is the northernmost place of the territory, Old Crow , and there lives the northernmost Indian tribe, the Vuntut Gwitchin . North of Porcupine, the Ivvavik National Park was established, which extends to the Arctic Ocean, to the east the Richardson Mountains (1240 m) extend to the eastern border of the Yukon.

Some mountain ranges in British Columbia and the Yukon are part of the ring of fire surrounding the Pacific . The northernmost of the Canadian volcanic fields that belong to this ring is Fort Selkirk Volcanic Field , which is located at the eponymous Fort Selkirk . In total there are around one hundred volcanic fields in the territory. Well-known volcanoes are the 1239 m high Volcano Mountain, the 2106 m high Ibex Mountain around 30 km southwest of Whitehorse, but also the Bennett Lake Volcanic Complex, a caldera .

Quiet Lake Region on South Canol Road
River systems and locations in the Yukon

Most of the territory is in the drainage area of the Yukon, which flows westward through Alaska and flows into the Bering Sea. There are also the drainage areas of the Mackenzie and Alsek - Tatshenshini and numerous smaller rivers that flow into the Beaufort Sea. The two largest rivers that flow into the Mackenzie are the Liard and the Peel ; the Porcupine and Klondike Rivers flow into the Yukon.

Despite the dry climate, there are numerous lakes, especially in the drainage area of ​​the largest river, the Yukon. These include the Teslin and the Atlin , the Tagish and the Marsh Lake as well as the Lake Laberge or the Schwatka Lake, which has been dammed up since 1958 . Other lakes can be found at the foot of the glacier zone in the southwest, such as Kluane , Dezadeash and Kusawa Lake . There are numerous other lakes in the south of the Vuntut National Park .

At the end of the 19th century, this system of rivers and lakes formed the basis for opening up the territory from the coast, while the Mackenzie area was opened up from Hudson Bay .


Whaling settlement in Pauline Cove on Herschel Island
Carcross Desert, a dune landscape near Carcross

The climate is sub-arctic. In the north, such as on Herschel Island , it is arctic with very cold and long winters and short summers. The coldest region in North America is the area around Snag, where on February 3, 1947 -63 ° C was measured. In the winter of 2004/2005 the temperature in Burwash Landing was −58 ° C. There is very little rainfall in the entire territory. About half of this precipitation falls as snow. The glaciers with their meltwater ensure numerous rivers and streams in the southwest, although little rain falls in the lee of the almost 6000 m high mountain range, which keeps the moist westerly winds away. A particularly dry area is the so-called Carcross Desert near Carcross, where there have been around 2.5 km² of sand dunes since the last Ice Age.

The average temperature in Whitehorse in January is −17.7 ° C, in July 14.1 ° C, the amount of precipitation is 267.4 mm per year. In contrast, the corresponding temperature in Old Crow is −31.1 ° C and 14.6 ° C, the amount of precipitation is around 267 mm.

Flora and fauna

Apart from the extreme north with its arctic tundra and the mountain ridges as well as the glacier areas, most of the territory is interspersed with boreal coniferous forests . The south and the center belong, according to the classification of the Canadian regions by McGill University in Montréal, to the Boreal Cordillera Ecozone , while the more northern areas belong to the Taiga Cordillera Ecozone .

Collinsia parviflora, called maiden blue eyed Mary in the Yukon , grows in moist, cool forest areas
Narrow-leaved willowherb (Fireweed) is considered the plant of the territory, behind it white spruce ; in the southern Yukon
Grizzly in the western Yukon
Bearberry , Kinnikinnick called
Ruffed Grouse ( Bonasa umbellus ) Ruffed Grouse called
Myotis lucifugus , the most abundant bat species in the Yukon, recorded in Ohio in 2014

As a result, the plant communities are characterized by tree species such as black and white spruce , Populus tremuloides (called Quaking Aspen), western balsam poplar and coastal pine . The East American larch occurs more in the southeast, and firs in the south . Due to the near-polar location of the territory, the flora is only moderately rich in species with around 1100 vascular plant species.

The most noticeable species is the caribou , both as a barrenground and Canadian forest caribou. It occurs in huge herds, such as the Porcupine herd in the north, but also the forest caribou herd, such as the Carcross / Squanga-, Ibex and Atlin herd (which were almost exterminated), but also the Wolf Lake herd in the south. There are more than 20 herds in total. There are also moose , as the Moose are called, mule deer , mountain goat and Dall sheep and bison and elk that have been late but brought back by people here. So bison were reintroduced in 1986, for example at Aishihik Lake . Predators include the wolf , the grizzly bear , the puma , known as the cougar , but also coyote (immigrated since around 1900), the Canadian lynx (the greatest density in North America) and the American black bear .

Numerous are rodents represent different among them as Squirrels called squirrels, ground squirrels , often referred to as ground squirrels called, lemmings , Alaska pikas , mice, the porcupine-like Urson ( Canadian Porcupine called) and beaver . The latter was one of the numerous fur suppliers, including muskrats , wolverines , but above all spruce marten , ermine , weasel , mink , otters , but also Canadian lynx, arctic and red fox and occasionally still count.

Little is known about the distribution of the three bat species that have been identified to date . They live from April to the end of September / beginning of October in an area that extends northward to about 64 ° / 65 °; caves in southern Alaska, the Yukon and in the British-Columbian north are believed to be wintering places. The male members of the species Myotis lucifugus , known as Little Brown Bats , live up to an altitude of 1000 m, the female in separate colonies up to 400 m. On the one hand, the forest-loving North American mouse- eared mouse ( Myotis septentrionalis ), which only occurs in the south of the territory, and on the other hand, the great brown bat ( Eptesicus fuscus ), are rarer . The latter only occurs occasionally on the Teslin River. As of 2007, only three bat species were documented in the Yukon, but other species in the neighboring areas indicate an unfavorable research situation. All species are considered endangered because they are threatened by an epidemic that has already killed around 5.5 to 6.5 million animals in northeast North America. Myotis lucifugus has adapted its diet to the supply in Alaska and Yukon, on the northern edge of its range.

More than 250 species of birds are native to the Yukon Territory. One of the most culturally significant for the First Nations is the raven , less so for the more southern Indians, which occurs in the Yukon as a bald eagle and a golden eagle . The ger and peregrine falcon are common on falcons . Among the pheasant-like, there are fir chicken and dusky grouse , as well as the Ruffed Grouse , which here Ruffed Grouse is called. The ptarmigan , more rarely the white-tailed ptarmigan ( Lagopus leucura ), is found in higher areas .

The most important fish are four species of Pacific salmon ( Oncorhynchus ), king salmon (Chinook), red salmon ( sockeye), keta (Chum) and silver salmon (Coho). Chinook salmon cross the entire 3,000 km long Yukon to spawn above Whitehorse. There are also char species such as the dolly-varden trout ( Salvelinus malma ) or the rainbow trout , which originally came from Northwest America and have also been native to Europe since the end of the 19th century , then the pike , which is known as pike , or the arctic grayling ( Thymallus arcticus ) and numerous other fish species.

The most noticeable insects are the numerous mosquitoes and their natural enemies, the dragonflies , as well as black flies and butterflies .


Early history

Beringia, land bridge between Asia and America during the last ice age (Wisconsin gliaciation)

The early history can almost only be grasped archaeologically, apart from the oral tradition. There are far more than 3000 such sites in the Yukon so far. Until the end of the Ice Age, the area that is now called Beringia was a tundra landscape that remained ice-free due to a lack of precipitation, while eastern Siberia and all areas from the central Yukon eastward lay under glaciers. The region remained isolated for millennia.

In contrast to the Pacific coast, a culture of large-scale hunting with large mobility of small groups developed on the Yukon and Mackenzie. Some of Canada's oldest finds were made in the Yukon area, in the three Bluefish caves . They go back at least 12,000 years. The Gwich'in believe that the hunters who used these caves belonged to their ancestors.

The early Arctic culture spread further south along the coast after the Ice Age, possibly also along the Yukon . Their distinguishing features are tiny stone blades ( microblades ) and tools sharpened on both sides. One of the most important sites is on Annie Lake south of Whitehorse, where from 8000 BC. Chr. People lived again and again who had to give way twice to sand dunes and once to volcanic ash rain. Between 5000 and 2000 BC BC Eskimos may have migrated south through the territory. They hunted caribou and competed with the northernmost Indian groups, such as the Gwich'in.

The Indian groups in Yukon are divided into language families. The groups that belong to the Athapaskan languages are more likely to be related to sites in the drainage area of ​​the Mackenzie (approx. 1000 BC to 700 AD). It is believed that the phase known as Old Chief Creek on the northern Yukon produced the Gwich'in. The Taye Lake phase in the southern Yukon (4000 to 1000 BC), on the other hand, is associated with the Tutchone . The latter are characterized by lance-shaped projectile points , double-edged knives and the absence of microblades .

Dispute over trade monopolies, missionaries, first gold discoveries

The area in the upper reaches of the Yukon, populated by different tribes of the Tutchone and the Tlingit , who mainly live on the Pacific, was opened up at the beginning of the 19th century by the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) for their trading activities, mainly fur trade . The British trading company also exercised administrative sovereignty, legitimized by a trading monopoly of the British crown. However, they could not enforce this in the southern Yukon area against de facto trade monopolies, such as that of the Chilkat, who belonged to the Tlingit. They captured Fort Selkirk . It was only with the collapse of the coastal population due to the smallpox epidemic , which decimated the population of the Pacific northwest coast in 1862, that the predominance of the Tlingit collapsed.

The situation in the north of the Yukon was completely different. Here the HBC succeeded in establishing contact with the Gwich'in from the Mackenziedelta, and Fort Youcon in Alaska was established on later US territory.

With the demarcation between the British colonial empire and Russia, or the sale of Alaska to the USA (1867), the area of ​​several tribes was divided. The HBC had to cede Fort Youcon. In addition, the purchase raised fears that the US might seek political supremacy and occupy the Pacific regions of Canada.

In 1869 the Hudson's Bay Company sold the Northwest Territories and Rupert's Land to the Canadian Dominion, which had been established two years earlier . This released the province of Manitoba around Winnipeg from the area as early as 1870 with the Manitoba Act . From here the huge rest of the new parts of the country were co-administered, including the Yukon area 2500 km away, visited by very few non-Indians. Indian Commissioner , and thus responsible for the Yukon Indians, was Edgar Dewdney . After the first gold discoveries, Forty Mile was established as the first non-Indian settlement in 1887 , in 1894 Charles Constantine reached the area as leader of a small police force, the North West Mounted Police, and in 1895 Yukon became a district within the territories.

William Bompas, Anglican Bishop of the Diocese of Yukon, 1896

In contrast to the vast areas in the south that Canada acquired from the HBC, the Yukon was not suitable for agriculture, and thus for settlement. Therefore, there were no contracts of assignment with the Indians, as in the case of the Numbered Treaties . However, as in the rest of the country, they should be assimilated. The first step towards this was the mission while staying away from the "evils" of white society, such as alcohol and prostitution. The strongest missionary activity was now in the Anglican Church. Missionaries of the Catholic and Episcopalian Churches had been active since around 1840, and they also reached the northernmost tribe, the Vuntut Gwitchin . The Anglicans received Catholic competition mainly in the southeast of the Territory and on Lake Kluane.

Klondike gold rush, temporary population multiplication, territory

Manitoba, Yukon, and the Northwest Territories 1898
Chief Isaac, who led the Han who lived around the gold rush town of Dawson , 1898

With the gold rush on the Klondike River (1896–1898), which the two Tagish Keish (Skookum Jim Mason) and Tagish Kate Carmack (Shaaw Tlaa) triggered, conditions threatened to get out of control. In fact, thousands of Californians came to the region, around 100,000 prospectors in total. The Canadian government then decided to create its own administrative unit in the Yukon region and to send a small police force to get the situation under control. Since the Canadian territories were (and are) not independent provinces, but were directly under the government, the Yukon Territory was split off from the Northwest Territories by federal law on June 13, 1898. In 1908, the Territory succeeded in replacing the establishment of five administrators by Ottawa in 1898 with a ten-member elected assembly. However, the commissioner was able to prevail in the event of a conflict.

Dawson , which was at times one of the largest cities in North America with a population of over 40,000, lost most of its population within a few years after the Klondike gold rush subsided. Silver discoveries at Tagish Lake (1899) employed around 200 workers in Conrad , where John Howard Conrad acquired most of the claims until 1905 (prospecting rights at specified locations), but this could by no means compensate for the emigration. All the more so, as falling silver prices and little-productive deposits affected the mine so much from 1914 that it soon had to be closed. The place was also given up. Even other raw material discoveries, such as silver at Mayo , gold at Kluane Lake and copper at Whitehorse, which led to a certain immigration, could not compensate for the population decline. The local Gold Commissioner now co-administered the territory and was only required to report to the Minister of the Interior. The ten-person assembly of 1908 was reduced to three in 1918/1919, a situation that lasted until after the Second World War . The approaches to self-government (responsible government) of the territory were ended. At the same time, the police presence decreased dramatically. In 1904 there were 296 men of the North West Mounted Police in Yukon, 96 of them in Dawson, in 1910 there were only 60 (33), in 1925 only 38 (15). The infrastructure collapsed many times, numerous road houses along the streets were abandoned, only a few, such as the Montague Roadhouse , survived until the 1950s.

Segregation, neglect, disease

Whitehorse 1910

In the 1920s the entire territory had barely 4,000 inhabitants, with the Indians making up the majority in most areas. There were no contracts with the government even now because the possibility of new gold discoveries could not be ruled out and Ottawa did not want to cede this land of all places. Jim Boss, hereditary chief of the Indians at Lake Laberge , requested land for his people in 1902, but the government refused. Reverend AE O'Meara, Finance Secretary of the Diocese of Yukon, prepared a treaty between 1907 and 1910 that provided for the granting of protected areas for game, the recognition of Indian marriages, better health care and boarding-style Indian schools, but the church withdrew the project in the face of state resistance back. Only the Indians around Fort Liard were included in Contract No. 11 of the Numbered Treaties in 1921 , as they were added to the Mackenzie area. The Liard First Nation belongs to this group of tribes today .

Unlike the rest of Canada, the Yukon government was not intent on assimilating the indigenous people. On the contrary, until the 1950s, the Territorial Government was careful to give the Indians the option of self-sufficiency in order to save costs, but they should not own the land themselves. This resulted in only very small, seasonally used reserves near Dawson ( Moosehide ), Mayo and Whitehorse and areas near Carcross, Teslin, Selkirk, Carmacks and Old Crow, a total of 17 areas, the size of which varied between around 16 and 600 hectares. The protection of natural resources against exploration companies, hunting competitors and trophy hunters was only partially successful, so that the dependence on state welfare increased.

At the same time, the federal government, in cooperation with the missionaries, ensured a phase of relatively stable segregation from around 1905, which lasted until the 1950s. The Indians had to leave Dawson at 7 p.m. in summer and 5 p.m. in winter. Penalties could be imposed if they violated curfew, if they drank, or simply if they were too kind to white residents. From 1929, Indians had to leave Dawson at 8 p.m., and in 1933 they needed a special permit to stay in the city. They usually received this when they presented an employment contract. In Mayo, a loud bell announced the curfew in 1947.

The complete neglect of medical care, segregation and increasing poverty led to the spread of diseases, especially tuberculosis - which in turn led the authorities to isolate the Indians. Her treatment was taken over by the few hospitals, but, as in Mayo, they were cared for in a tent behind the building.

With extensive segregation and neglect, the number of Indians stagnated at around 1,300 to 1,600 people from 1911 to 1951, with a high level of disease and high child mortality. In 1901 their number was 3322, only in 1961 it was 2207 again, and in 1971 2580. Until 1941, 18 to 37 (registered) deaths per year were expected in the Yukon. In 1942 that number skyrocketed to 64 when the Alaska Highway was expanded.

Development through roads and pipelines (from 1942)

The Alaska Highway
Abandoned motor vehicles in Champagne , a place near the Alaska Highway (H.-J. Hübner, 2009)

The Second World War suddenly made the territory an important base for the Pacific war operations. For this purpose, the Alaska Highway was built in 1942 , which Canada took over for civil use after the war. Tens of thousands worked on the streets during the construction phase. The men brought diseases to the First Nations, which continued to reduce their numbers. At the same time, the road expansion led to the collapse of the river boat companies, which had previously formed the backbone of the infrastructure using steam boats.

In addition, a pipeline was built from Norman Neills on Mackenzie to Whitehorse. Around 10,000 workers were deployed to build the 2560 km long pipeline, the largest project of its kind at the time. There was also a road over the MacMillan Pass on the border between the neighboring territories, the Canol Road . But shortly after the war, the $ 300 million connection was abandoned. In the early 1970s, Faro zinc mine again attracted immigrants.

The renewed massive immigration and the expansion of the traffic routes improved the sales opportunities of the exploration companies, but also meant the end of steam navigation on the rivers (around 1955). Only in 1960 did the Indians of Canada get the right to vote, in 1961 the Yukon Indians first took part in an election in the territory. The government now pushed for sedentarism and assimilation of the indigenous people, with much delay compared to the rest of Canada. In addition to compulsory schooling, the allocation of permanent homes and the provision of jobs, albeit too few, the Department of Indian Affairs promoted handicraft production. But the Yukon Indian Craft Co-operative Association, founded in 1962, only lasted until 1966. In contrast, the Yukon Native Products that emerged in the 1970s were more permanent. The poor success and the end of the traditional way of life as well as the emergence of the Canadian welfare state meant that more and more Indians received grants, so that the expenditure rose from $ 30,000 in 1949 to 200,000 in 1965. At the same time, the exploration companies refused, despite promises to the contrary, to employ Indians, who often lacked the necessary training and who, for their part, often gave priority to a return to the traditional way of life.

End of nomadism, cultural uprooting, land rights

Stop sign in the McIntyre subdivision of Whitehorse, bilingual in English and Southern Tutchone

As in the other provinces and territories of Canada , there was a complete transformation of the nomadic cultures, especially of the northern Indian groups, that were nomadic up to the 1950s. The funds of a federal government that had become more interventionist in the course of the Second World War were available for this, so that even more of the decisions were withdrawn from the territory itself. Ottawa increased the pressure on the Indian groups to assimilate, the pressure was passed on by the representatives of the Department of Indian Affairs. The most important step was the end of the nomadic lifestyle, the settlement in fixed places. School lessons, medical care and the distribution of welfare benefits took place there. About these achievements, which were recognized as necessary - at the end of the 1940s to the mid-1950s, the labor market, which had provided jobs in the river navigation and in the fur trade, also collapsed - decided in a meeting in 1958 exclusively non-Indians.

Four residential schools had been set up earlier and now had to be attended by the children of the Indians. There the use of their mother tongues was forbidden, as was any other cultural expression that stood in the way of assimilation. These boarding-like schools originated in Carcross ( Chooutla , an Anglican school), Coudert Hall in Whitehorse (today Whitehorse Hostel / Student Residence , the predecessor of the later Yukon Hall), where the Whitehorse Baptist Mission originated . There was also the Anglican school Shingle Point , which later moved to Aklavik as All Saints , and St. Paul's Hostel , which operated from September 1920 to June 1943. The Catholic children went to Lower Post in British Columbia. The schools were only closed in the 1960s, and Lower Post only in 1975.

The former students of the said residential schools, who call themselves survivors , vehemently opposed their survival and many of them filed lawsuits of ill-treatment. The actual reserve schools, whose visit resulted in less pronounced cultural uprooting processes because the children stayed at the site, were less criticized.

Occasionally there was resistance to the numerous forced relocations, which were mostly triggered by resource explorers, but occasionally only to combine small groups into a larger one or to settle them in places where they were protected from exploitation by fur traders - at the price of complete dependence from the State. So the groups on the White River , the later White River First Nation, had to move to Burwash Landing and live there with the Kluane Indian Band . It was not until 1991 that the White Rivers separated from the Kluane and moved northwest to Beaver Creek , near the Alaska border. Further reserves were created in the 1950s. So the Aishihik, who lived 50 miles north of the Alaska Highway, had to move to Haines Junction ; The same happened to the Champagne band , which had to move to the highway with the Aishihik from 1958 and 1966. The Upper Liard-Lower Post even consisted of five groups. Here internal contacts were completely broken off in 1972.

The huts, which were mainly built along the highway and near Whitehorse, lagged far behind Canadian standards, as Ottawa only provided $ 100,000 for the entire territory. From 1967 to 1970, only 116 houses were built. This only changed between 1973 and 1975, when the government doubled the budget within two years. In its development program, the government paid little attention to existing patterns. So the healers and shamans were disregarded, common houses in the south that could not cope with the northern climate were built; they were also far too close together. The Indian agency, growing in personnel but not able to cope with the multitude of tasks that Ottawa forced upon it, failed because of the cultural resistance of the Indians, who found their voices in leaders such as Elijah Smith , Angela Sidney and Margaret Thompson . Even Indian agents like A. E. Frey opposed the government's policy of assimilation, which led to total impoverishment, often neglect. Church representatives such as Father Mouchet also vehemently opposed the policies of their organizations.

In 1973 the Indians submitted a coherent land claim for the first time, realizing that their cultural survival was only possible on their own land under their own government. These demands can be traced back to the early years of the 20th century, but in 1970 they became so loud in the Yukon that they preoccupied the Canadian public. This year, an oil company had begun, in the area of the main Bisampopulation to drill the Vuntut Gwitch'in at Old Crow for oil. Under the leadership of Elijah Smith and others, claims for land rights were combined throughout the territory, and overarching organizations such as the Klondike Indian Association (1966) were established.

From the mid-1990s, after the takeover of government by the Yukon New Democratic Party , most of the tribes began to enter into land negotiations with Canada and the territory. Most of them have now signed treaties, although the process, which was largely supported by the liberals at federal level, threatened to fail in 1984 due to the resistance of the progressive conservatives. Most of the tribes regained political, economic and ecological control over core areas of their traditional territories. In addition, there is the maintenance of historical sites. However, in 2009 the territory tried to reinstate gas and oil production without consulting the tribes.

Status of the Territory

These changes would not have been possible in Yukon if the territory had not been given greater autonomy. Until 1979, the Yukon Territory was ruled by a commissioner appointed by the respective Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (Minister for Indian Affairs and Development in the North). Thus the main areas, the assimilation of the Indians and the economic development, so above all the search for raw materials, were fixed as focal points for decades and controlled by Ottawa. The elected Territorial Council only had an advisory role.

In 1979, however , Minister Jake Epp issued a letter decreeing that most government affairs should be entrusted to the council. With the Yukon Act 2003, the responsibilities of the elected territorial government were finally regulated by law; they roughly correspond to those of the Canadian provinces . This gave regional development a considerably greater weight, and it was not just Ottawa's interest in raw materials that dominated the agenda of the political bodies. Noticeable economic diversification and different types of land use have increased since then. This ranges from areas of traditional use and municipalities, which fundamentally reject any "development", to tourist use to regions of extensive mining.


According to the results of the 2001 and 2006 censuses, the number of inhabitants has risen from 28,674 to 30,372, with Yukon showing a population increase of 5.9 percent (for comparison: Canada 5.4 percent). By 2011, the population had increased by a further 11.6%, with around 80% of that increase occurring in Whitehorse. In 2016, 35,874 inhabitants were registered, which means that their number had increased by 5.8% within five years. Overall, the population of the territory fluctuated extremely. It peaked with the Klondike gold rush around 1897–1898. Then censuses found the following results.

year Residents urban rural Share of urban
population in%
1901 27,219 09,142 18,077 34
1911 08,512 03,865 04,647 45
1921 04.157 01.306 02,851 31
1931 04,230 01,360 02,870 32
1941 04,914 01,797 03.117 37
1951 09.096 02,594 06,502 29
1961 14,628 05,031 09,597 34
1971 18,390 11,215 07.170 61
1981 23,150 14,810 08,340 64
1991 27,797 16,335 11,462 59
2001 28,674 16,843 11,831 59
2006 30,372
2011 33,897
2016 35,874

In the official census in 2016, the Census 2016 , the average age of the territory's residents was 39.1 years, which is below the national average of 41.0 years. The median age of the residents was determined to be 37.4 years or years for all residents in Canada.

The urbanization of the population increased by leaps and bounds in the 1960s and has leveled off at this level since then. The population has again reached the figures from shortly after the gold rush, but has now reached a low of only 4,000 inhabitants. In addition, there was a strong influx of workers during the expansion of the Alaska Highway and Canol Road during and shortly after World War II.

Another characteristic for a long time was the excessive number of men. In 1901 there were 572 men for every 100 women, in 1911 there were 325, ten years later 211, then 202 (1931), 179 (1941) and 150 (1951). Thereafter, the proportion of the sexes increasingly equalized and has been almost equal since around 2000.

According to the results of the 2011 census, the updates had to be revised down to 33,897 inhabitants. These included around 8,800 members of the First Nations , which was just under 26%. Of the population in 2006, around 6,280 inhabitants (20.7%) belonged to them, in 1996 there were only 5,330 (17.3%). Another 800 were Métis (1996: 550) and 255 Inupiat (1996: 100). There were also another 240 indigenous people (200). In July 2009 there were already over 8,000 members of the First Nations, by the end of 2017 their number had reached around 10,000. Around 1200 of them spoke their mother tongue or spoke again in 2006. In 2006, 220 and 565 of the Inupiat and Métis lived in Whitehorse, and 2845 of the Indians.

The First Nations belong, according to the territorial borders drawn at the end of the 19th century, to various large groups whose territories continue outside the Yukon. The Vuntut Gwitchin are the only group of the Gwich'in living in the north whose residential areas are predominantly in Alaska and the Northwest Territories . The Tutchone , whose residential areas stretch far into British Columbia, include most of the tribes, such as the Selkirk , the First Nation of Nacho Nyak Dun , but also the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations , the Kluane and the White River First Nation on the border to Alaska. A third group are the Tagish , who are culturally strongly linked to the Tlingit who live on the coast . The Tagish include the Little Salmon / Carmacks , the Carcross / Tagish and the Kwanlin Dun First Nation . The Tlingit mainly include the Taku River and the Teslin First Nation . The only group of Athabascans that belongs to the Hän language group is the Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in First Nation at Dawson, to whose name the component Han Nation is sometimes added. Another group form the Kaska , to which the Ross River, Watson Lake and Upper Liard belong. The Liard First Nation in the southeast is one of these groups, which are assigned to the Athabaskan languages .

Residents born outside the Territory make up a significant proportion of the total population. They mainly include immigrants from the USA (600) and Great Britain (555) as well as from Germany (405). In total, in 2006 exactly 3,010 Yukons were born outside the territory.

towns and places

There are only a few settlement chambers in Yukon. The largest is the city of Whitehorse, where in 2016 with 25,085 inhabitants a good two thirds of the 35,874 inhabitants of the territory live. If you look at the entire metropolitan area, including places such as Carcross , Tagish , Ibex Valley or Jakes Corner, there are even 28,225 inhabitants in the metropolitan area.

The second largest city is Dawson , which was the capital until 1952, with 1,375 inhabitants (2016) and 1,319 (June 2011). Established in the gold digging period at the end of the 19th century, places like Mayo belonged to this settlement category.

Also along the Alaska Highway in the southwest are places like Klukshu , Haines Junction , Destruction Bay , Burwash Landing , Kluane Village, and Beaver Creek . Other settlements are on the road from Carmacks to Ross River (Canol) northeast of Whitehorse and on the road from Whitehorse east to Watson Lake .

There are also settlements inhabited by Indians (First Nations), sometimes only accessible via winter roads, such as Old Crow in the far north. Finally, numerous abandoned settlements are of historical importance, such as Hootalinqua , or almost abandoned, such as Champagne .

As City only White Horse is known, there are also three Towns ( Dawson , Faro , Watson Lake ) and four villages (villages) , two hamlets (hamlets) , thirteen settlements (settlements) , ten Indian reserves or settlements.

The settlements in Yukon had the following population figures according to the Canadian census by Statistics Canada from 2016:

place Residents change
Whitehorse (City) 25.085 + 7.8%
Dawson (Town) 1.375 + 4.2%
Watson Lake (Town) 790 - 1.5%
Haines Junction (Village) 613 + 3.4%
Carmacks (Village) 493 - 2.0%
Mount Lorne (Hamlet) 437 + 7.1%
Ibex Valley (Hamlet) 411 + 18.8%
Pelly Crossing (settlement) 353 + 5.1%
Faro (Town) 348 + 1.2%
Carcross (settlement) 301 + 4.2%
Ross River (Settlement) 293 - 16.8%
Tagish (settlement) 249 - 36.3%
Old Crow (settlement) 221 - 9.8%
place Residents change
Mayo (Village) 200 - 11.5%
Two and One-Half Mile Village (Indian Settlement) 188 - 7.4%
Upper Liard (settlement) 125 - 5.3%
Teslin (Village) 124 + 1.6%
Beaver Creek (Settlement) 93 - 9.7%
Burwash Landing (Settlement) 72 - 24.2%
Destruction Bay (Settlement) 55 + 57.1%
Keno Hill (Settlement) 20th - 28.6%
Champagne Landing 10 (Indian Settlement) 20th - 20.0%
Stewart Crossing (Settlement) 17th - 32.0%
Johnson's Crossing (Settlement) 10 - 33.3%



With the transfer of government power in 1979, a multi-party system was formed , consisting of Progressive Conservatives ("Progressive Conservatives"), now the Yukon Party , Yukon New Democratic Party ("New Yukon Democratic Party") and Yukon Liberal Party ("Liberal Party"). The elected Yukon Legislative Assembly consists of 18 members and employs a Prime Minister to manage the government. The Yukon New Democratic Party provided government from 1985 to 1992 under Tony Penikett and from 1996 to 2000 under Piers McDonald , the Conservatives from 1992 to 1996 under John Ostashek . The Liberals under Pat Duncan were replaced in 2002 by Dennis Fentie of the Yukon Party. He was followed in 2011 by Darrell Pasloski , also from the Yukon Party, in office. In 2016 the Liberals won the election under Sandy Silver .

Yukon sent a deputy to the lower house (Canadian House of Commons) and provides a Senator . Larry Bagnell of the Liberal Party of Canada has held the seat in the House of Commons since 2015 . The former Prime Minister of the Yukon, Pat Duncan (also Liberal Party) has been the senator since December 2018.

See also: List of Prime Ministers of Yukon , List of Commissioners of Yukon

First Nations organizations

The Council of Yukon First Nations emerged from the Council for Yukon Indians , established in 1973 as a negotiating body for land claims . In 1980 he joined the Yukon Native Brotherhood and the Yukon Association of Non-Status Indians to form the Council for Yukon Indians . With the adoption of a new constitution, the body changed its name to Council of Yukon First Nations (CYFN). It includes eleven First Nations from the Yukon region: Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation, Champagne and Aishihik First Nations , the Teslin Tlingit Council , the First Nation of Nacho Nyak Dun , the Selkirk First Nation , the Little Salmon / Carmacks First Nation , the Tr'ondek Hwick'in First Nation , the Ta'an Kwach'an Council , the Kluane First Nation , the White River First Nation, and the Carcross / Tagish First Nation . Nine member tribes have meanwhile been able to conclude contracts on land claims and self-government.

Three other First Nations, the Liard First Nation , Kwanlin Dun First Nation and the Ross River Dena Council are not affiliated with the CYFN.

At the 2004 Annual General Meeting, four Gwich'in First Nations from the Mackenzie River Delta joined: the Tetlit Gwich'in Council , the Nihtat Gwich'in Council , the Ehdiitat Gwich'in Council and the Gwichya Gwich'in Council .

The Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development , now Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada , which is no longer responsible for most of the Yukon tribes, lists 16 First Nations and 15 reservations in Yukon. The First Nations with the number of their members are (as of April 2018):

designation registered relatives Website language
Carcross / Tagish First Nation 697 Carcross / Tagish First Nation Tlingit, Tagish
Champagne and Aishihik First Nations 913 Champagne & Aishihik First Nations Tutchone , southern
Dease River 184 Dease River First Nation, at Kaska Dena Council Kaska
First Nation of Nacho Nyak Dun 555 First Nation of Nacho Nyak Dun Tutchone , northern
Kluane First Nation 175 Kluane First Nation Tutchone , southern
Kwanlin Dun First Nation 1003 Kwanlin Dun First Nation Tagish, South Tutchone
Liard First Nation 1211 Liard First Nation Kaska
Little Salmon / Carmacks First Nation 670 Little Salmon / Carmacks First Nation Tutchone , northern
Ross River 552 Ross River Dena Council Kaska
Selkirk First Nation 652 Selkirk First Nation Tutchone , northern
Ta'an Kwach'an 273 Ta'an Kwach'an Council Tutchone , southern
Taku River Tlingit 414 Taku River Tlingit First Nation Tlingit
Teslin Tlingit Council 604 Government of the Teslin Tlingit Council Tlingit
Tr'ondek Haw'in 848 Tr'ondek Haw'in Han Nation Han
Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation 568 Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation Gwitchin
White River First Nation 152 White River First Nation Tutchone, southern


Already during the Klondike gold rush , large amounts of wood were felled for boat building, houses and tools, which left deep traces, especially near the tree line . But it was only with the use of often toxic substances for ore extraction that serious local ecological problems emerged.

The fur trading companies, first and foremost the Hudson's Bay Company, hunted fur animals so massive that species such as otters and beavers were temporarily facing extinction and could only survive through protection programs and reintroduction.

The Alaska Highway was opened to civil traffic from 1948/49. Apart from the fact that the 20,000 construction workers again brought in diseases to which the Indians were less resistant, many of them randomly shot down the game in the area. Therefore, the Kluane Game Sanctuary , the predecessor of today's national park, was set up to prevent the destruction of large game, such as the bison at the time, or the more than 500,000 animals of the caribou herd of Teslin in neighboring Alaska. Since the local Indian groups were also excluded from hunting, they could no longer provide for themselves and had to be supplied with meat by the government. An oil pipeline and an associated road, the Canol Road , which were also controversial, were built next to the Alaska Highway .

The oil extraction in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, which has been decided by the US Senate since 2005 , affects the Gwich'in indirectly, but still very strongly, because the huge, shrinking Porcupine caribou herd gives birth there to the world. In the Yukon area, too, efforts are being made to protect the caribou more, with almost all First Nations involved, but also the British Columbia Department of the Environment, the Canadian Wildlife Service and the Yukon Government's Department of Environment. The Northern Mountain Caribou Steering Committee responsible for this has existed since 2007. As early as 1997, Canada and the USA signed an agreement to protect the Porcupine herd.

The greatest public awareness, however, is global warming , which is particularly affecting the northern regions. This applies not only to the retreat of the glaciers, but also to the decreasing humidity in the already very low-precipitation area. Added to this is the thawing of the permafrost.

Today there are three national parks in Yukon, the Kluane (since 1943), the Ivvavik (1984) and the Vuntut National Park (1995) with a total area of ​​around 26,500 km². There are also protected areas around the 1,600  m high Mount Burgess in the northern Ogilvie Mountains, the Peel River Game Reserve on the northeast border, where Fort McPherson is also located, the Ddhaw Gro Habitat Protection Area (also McArthur Wildlife Sanctuary) around the 2,214  m high Gray Hunter Peak east of Stewart Crossing and three smaller protected areas on the edge of the Kluane. The meanwhile five Territorial Parks in the Yukon are the Tombstone with an area of ​​2,164 km², the Coal River Springs and the oldest and most northerly park in the territory, the Herschel Island - Qikiqtaruk Territorial Park , the Ni'iinlii Njik Territorial Park and the Summit Lake - Bell River Territorial Park . Three more parks are currently under construction.


The basis of life in the Yukon, which is largely unsuitable for agriculture, was initially hunting and fishing, plus the use of numerous edible plants. Some of the goods were used early on as barter goods in long-distance trade or as gifts and presents, with the development of a network of paths, the most important of which are now paved - apart from paths such as the Heritage Trail over the MacMillan Pass into the Northwest Territories.

With the fur traders of the Hudson's Bay Company and the coveted glass beads from Murano , the first indirect connection to the world economy was established . Until the 1890s, various groups of the First Nations claimed regional trade monopolies, which only collapsed with the third important industry, gold mining and the associated epidemics.

With the gold diggers, the population of the sparsely populated area suddenly rose to a height that it never reached again. This gave rise to new industries, initially in connection with gold mining, then also other raw materials. At the same time there was an extensive trade in everything the numerous men needed, in addition to a rudimentary administration and a basic set of services. However, after the end of the Klondike gold rush, the population collapsed completely, in the end barely more than 4,000 people lived in the territory.

Aerial view of Whitehorse with the airport in the background

Since the end of the major road and pipeline construction and the closure of the major mines, such as in Conrad or Keno, the public service has been by far the largest employer. It takes on around 40 percent of the approximately 12,500 employees. Whitehorse has the most employment opportunities, followed by Dawson and Watson Lake by a wide margin. The capital's airport alone handled almost 200,000 passengers in 2008.

Nevertheless, a number of raw materials companies are active in the territory, with the number of employees fluctuating greatly. Some of them seek gold and silver, such as Avino Silver & Gold Mines , Tagish Lake Gold Corp. or the Yukon Gold Corp. Others are looking for industrial metals like Jinduicheng Molybdenum Co. , which mines molybdenum and zinc , and which Yukon Zinc acquired in 2008. In many cases, these companies try to reactivate well-known deposits with improved techniques, such as Columbia Yukon Explorations Inc. , which is searching for molybdenum in Cassiar. In 2009 there were around 13 exploration companies operating in the Yukon.

Most of the businesses exist in the retail sector , followed by the hospitality industry, if only home businesses are considered. Taking into account the in-house trades, scientific and technical services - around half of the companies are those with an annual income of less than CAD 25,000 - ahead of construction and trade. Including hospitality and services, more than half of the companies can be found in these areas.

Most of the domestic workers are in the retail trade, with over 2,200 employees. The catering and food industry employed more than 1,500 people, including around 100 overnight accommodation businesses, around 800. 20 grocery stores alone employed over 420 of them, followed by five department stores with almost 220. Petrol stations employed over 160 people.

Caribou Hotel in Carcross, now a visitor information center
The Trail's Inn and Yukon Hotel in Dawson

Agricultural products for local needs are produced on only 12,500 hectares, most of which are in the Takhini Valley west of Whitehorse. There is also less farming around Dawson, Watson Lake and Mayo. 24 lakes are being filled with fish for anglers in order to protect the natural stocks or to reserve them for the catch of the Indians, who maintain their stocks themselves. The small-scale timber industry, on the other hand, with a forest area of ​​81,000 km², primarily contributes to the construction industry, which, however, fell by more than 26 percent in 2008. After all, 333 Yukoners have trapping licenses, around half of which belong to Indians.

The main energy resource is water, in addition, gas is produced in the Kotaneelee field, which is only used for export and is in decline. Since it is not processed, gas has to be imported for consumption. The expansion of renewable energies has only just begun.

More than a quarter of the companies make their living at least partially from tourism, 128 companies practically only lived from it in 2007, whereby the tourism of the Yukon residents themselves plays almost no role. According to this structure, the proportion of seasonal workers is over 18 percent. Six visitor centers provide more than 230,000 tourists with information, in 2007 alone 329,203 visitors came, but in 2008 this number fell by 9 percent.

Tourism is based on the one hand on the national parks as well as on numerous types of use of the extensive, deserted areas, which include kayak and rafting trips, animal observation and hiking, as well as nature trails and introductions to Indian cultures. There are also cultural events, such as music festivals (Frostbite Music Festival or Dawson Music Festival), but also increasingly the historical relics of the gold rush, especially in and around Dawson, but also historical railways. Finally, there are the numerous legacies from the construction phase of the Alaska Highway , such as vehicles and construction machinery, which are well preserved in the dry climate. 14 First Nations have come together in their own association to promote tourism, which also includes various cultural organizations. Almost all First Nations have cultural centers that feature artifacts, photographs, and literature on regional culture and history.

On March 19, 2009, against the backdrop of the global economic crisis , the government in Whitehorse decided on an economic stimulus plan worth more than one billion CAD. Of this, 56 million are earmarked for road construction and 160 million for the hydropower project near Mayo. The majority of the money does not come from the territory, but is contributed by the Canadian government in Ottawa .

The unemployment rate was 7.3% in July 2009 and 6.3% in October, compared with 5% a year earlier. The total number of employees was around 16,600 in 2009, a year earlier this number was around 17,000.


Alaska Highway near Whitehorse
Bridge between Watson Lake and Whitehorse
White Pass and Yukon Railway train

Most visitors arrive in the Yukon by air from Whitehorse Airport or by car from British Columbia or Alaska. Whitehorse is located at kilometer 1476 of the Alaska Highway , around 105 km north of the British Columbia border. Greyhound operates bus services from Edmonton and Vancouver , and Gray Line of Alaska and other operators have services to Skagway , Tok , Anchorage , Fairbanks and Haines in Alaska.

Yukon was made accessible to road traffic by the construction of the Alaska Highway , which was mainly carried by river boats until the 1950s. Major road links, and the few that are partially paved, include the Klondike Highway , which connects Skagway to Dawson, the Dempster Highway , which runs from Dawson to Inuvik on the Mackenzie River , the Robert Campbell Highway , which connects Watson Lake and Carmacks , and Atlin Road , which connects Atlin to the Alaska Highway. Then there is Canol Road eastwards from Whitehorse.

The airport in Whitehorse (since December 2008 Erik Nielsen Whitehorse International Airport ) is located east of the city on the Alaska Highway. Several planes fly there from Vancouver every day. There are also regular connections from Juneau , Anchorage and Fairbanks in Alaska and from Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories. In summer there is a direct connection from Frankfurt to Whitehorse twice a week . There are 31 airfields available within the territory.

For traffic within the Yukon, in addition to airplanes and sleds, be they powered by engines or sled dogs, there are mainly buses, cars and a railway line. This is the White Pass and Yukon Railway , which connects Whitehorse and Skagway. It was originally intended to connect Skagway and Fort Selkirk , but this was unprofitable in view of the collapse of the population after the gold rush and was abandoned. A tourist train runs from Skagway to Carcross again today. At the time of the gold rush, there were also some mine railways around Dawson .


According to the origin of the immigrants and the cultures of the Indians, the Yukon culture is shaped by two large groups, the European in the broadest sense, including immigrants from the USA, and that of the First Nations . The general language of communication is English.

Linguistic diversity

While recognizing the importance of indigenous languages, Yukon Law only prescribes English and French for legal texts, judicial proceedings, and Legislative Assembly acts .

The 2006 census found 29,940 native language responses that contained only one language. In addition, there were 255 people with several details. The most frequent statements were:

1. English 25,655 85.69%
2. French 01.105 03.69%
3. German 00.775 02.59%
4th Athapaskan languages 00.650 02.17%
5. Chinese 00.260 00.87%
6th Tagalog 00.145 00.48%
7th Dutch 00.140 00.47%
8th. Spanish 00.130 00.43%
9. Vietnamese 00.105 00.35%
10. Hungarian 00.080 00.27%
11. Punjabi 00.080 00.27%
12. Tlingit 00.070 00.23%
13. Inuktitut 00.060 00.20%
14th Russian 00.055 00.18%

The vast majority of non-Indian speakers, however, live in Whitehorse. Outside of this city the situation is very different. Eight language groups dominate here. These are Tutchone in the center (Northern Tutchone) and in the southwest (Southern Tutchone), with foothills of the Tlingit and Upper Tanana, which are mainly found in Alaska and British Columbia, then Tagish, plus Kaska in the southeast. In the north, however, Han and Gwich'in dominate. A number of language programs endeavor to preserve and spread the languages.

Influences of Indian cultures

The influence of the indigenous people in Yukon is noticeable in many ways and has increased significantly in the last few decades. They are not only more active in the field of tourism, but have also become the initiators of internationally recognized cultural performances. These include, for example, the Yukon International Storytelling Festival , which was established in 1988 and was initiated by Angela Sidney (1902–1991), who was one of the Tagish. The participants represent the storytelling arts of all continents.

Education and Research

Besides schools, there is only one higher education facility in Yukon, Yukon College in Whitehorse. Its predecessor, the Yukon Vocational and Technical Training Center , came into being with the progressive development of the territory as a raw material supplier in the early 1960s. In 1977 the college partnered with the University of British Columbia . Yukon College was established on this basis in 1983. In 1988 the college moved into new buildings on Yukon Place in the Takhini district in eastern Whitehorse. There is now a cooperation with the University of the Arctic , which is dedicated to the cultures around the North Pole and which was founded in 2001, and with the University of Regina , the university in the provincial capital of Saskatchewan . Therefore, the college offers a Bachelor of Circumpolar Studies , a degree that takes into account Northern Canada, Alaska, and Northern Russia . There is also an archive (Yukon Archives) and an arts center (Arts Center) in the buildings.

For the indigenous peoples, the college offers the First Nations Executive Development Program and the Yukon College's Environmental Officer Training Program . These programs are designed to train administrative and management staff and protect the environment. The latter is to be promoted more in this way in consultation with the respective tribes and also to reach groups that live in remote areas.

In addition to the teaching facilities, there are four government libraries: Yukon Energy, Mines & Resources Library , Yukon Environment , Yukon Public Law and Yukon Staff Development Library . Depending on their focus, they offer collections on the areas of raw materials and energy, the environment, public law and the training of public servants, some of which are also accessible outside of Whitehorse. There are also the Yukon Public Libraries , which have 15 locations, and the Yukon Archives Library in Whitehorse.


Entrance to the Yukon Beringia Interpretive Center
Whitehorse Transport Museum

Most of the museums are in Whitehorse. While the Yukon Beringia Interpretive Center at the airport is dedicated to early history and that of the First Nations, four museums deal with the so-called pioneering era.

The Yukon Transportation Museum (also at the airport) focuses on traffic engineering, the Copperbelt Mining Railway and Museum , northwest of Whitehorse , which maintains a railway and a museum, on the decades of copper mining , the Old Log Church Museum (Downtown Whitehorse) Provides missionary and ecclesiastical history in a Whitehorse founding church.

The actual historical museum, however, is the extensive MacBride Museum for the history of the Yukon, which is located in the core city (Downtown) of Whitehorse.

Dawson City Museum, also the seat of the Historical Society
Dänojà Zho cultural center of Tr'ondek Hendung'in, Hans-Jürgen Hübner, around Dawson, 2009

Other museums are located in Dawson (the Dawson City Museum and Historical Society and the Dänojà Zho Cultural Center of the local Tr'ondek Haw'in First Nation ), Keno (Keno City Mining Museum) , Watson Lake (Northern Lights Center) . There is also the Oblate Church in Burwash Landing, which has a school, and the missionary's apartment, which is between the school and the church. Outside the capital, in addition to the First Nations cultural centers, the George Johnston Museum near Teslin and the Kluane Museum of Natural History in Burwash Landing should be mentioned.

There are also several interpretive centers , a mixture of museum and teaching facility for visitors. These can be found in numerous parks, especially in the national parks, in some places such as Beaver Creek or the Tagé Cho Hudän Interpretive Center in Carmacks.

Newspapers, radio, television

The first newspaper in the Canadian territory appeared as early as 1752, but most of them depended on parties, mostly as organs of certain political leaders, today they are mostly part of large conglomerates of the media industry. The Yukon market is too small for this. The main newspaper here is the Whitehorse Star . There are also l'aurore boréale , the only French paper, and, produced by volunteers, The Klondike Sun from Dawson.

In 1928 there were already 60 radio stations in Canada, but CFWH (CF Whitehorse) did not start broadcasting until 1951, CBDB Watson Lake followed in 1959, Elsa and Mayo received their own transmitters in 1960 and 1961, Beaver Creek and Teslin followed in 1963 and 1964 Swift River and 1975 Ross River, 1987 Atlin and other locations. In 1984 Northern Native Broadcasting Yukon (NNBY) received a license to broadcast radio programs in indigenous languages. The station with the abbreviation CHON-FM belongs to all First Nations in the Yukon. In addition to the CBC, two broadcasters from Whitehorse are broadcasting today, the CHON-FM and, since 1969, the CKRW-FM (Klondike Broadcasting Co. Ltd.). In addition, the one-man operation CFET-AM run by Robert G. Hopkins has existed in Tagish since 1997. He has also been broadcasting two hours a day in Estonian since 2005.

There has been television in Canada since 1952, with the CBC being the most important broadcaster. In 1961 a second network was created, the private network CTV , and in 1968 cable television . CBC / North initially operated a television station in Yellowknife, and since 1967 prefabricated productions have been flown to the north, a process known as the Frontier Coverage Package . From 1968 Whitehorse was the second broadcasting station in the north. Own programs such as Focus North did not emerge until the 1980s. There is also CFTS-TV in Teslin.

Internet access has been in place since January 1995, and YKnet Inc. was the first provider in the province. Yukon News provides news in this way.


The small number of inhabitants and also the climate allow only a modest development of the widespread sports in Canada, but dog sled races - especially the Yukon Quest - and the biannual Arctic Winter Games are important. The latter was first contested in 1970 by 710 athletes from Alaska, the Northwest Territories and the Yukon. North Québec and North Alberta followed, and the existing Indian competitions also followed. In 1992 the Russian oblasts of Magadan and Tyumen and Greenland were added when the Games were held in Whitehorse. They took place there in 2000 as well. The last games took place in 2008 in Yellowknife, 2010 in Grande Prairie , Alberta, 2012 in Whitehorse, 2014 in Fairbanks and 2016 in South Slave / Hay River in the Northwest Territories. The disciplines include a. Dog sledding, Inuit-style wrestling, head-pull and snowshoe races .


  • Catharine McClellan: My Old People Say. An Ethnographic Survey of Southern Yukon Territory (2 volumes). Canadian Museum of Civilization, Ottawa 1975, ISBN 978-0-660-17846-2 .
  • Catharine McClellan et al. a .: Part of the Land, Part of the Water. A History of the Yukon Indians. Douglas and McIntyre, Vancouver 1987, ISBN 978-0-88894-553-2 .
  • Ken S. Coates: Best Left as Indians. Native-White Relations in the Yukon Territory, 1840-1973. McGill-Queen's University Press, Montreal / Kingston 1991, paperback 1993.
  • Ken S. Coates, William R. Morrison: Land of the Midnight Sun: A History of the Yukon. Hurtig Publishing, Edmonton 1988, revised: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2005.
  • Kenneth Coates, William Robert Morrison: Strange things done. Murder in Yukon history. McGill-Queen's University Press, 2004.
  • Frederick Hadleigh West (Ed.): American Beginnings. The Prehistory and Paleoecolgy of Beringia. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago 1996.
  • William J. Cody: Flora of the Yukon Territory. 1st edition. National Research Press, Ottawa 1996 (2nd ed. 2000).
  • Pamela Helen Sinclair: Birds of the Yukon Territory. University of British Columbia Press, 2003.

Web links

Wiktionary: Yukon Territory  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Yukon (Territory)  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d Yukon Territory. Census 2016. In: Statistics Canada . August 9, 2019, accessed on September 17, 2019 .
  2. ^ According to Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada , Yukon .
  3. These are the so-called Intermontane Volcanic Islands .
  4. The Omineca Episode (180-115 million years ago) , Burke Museum , Seattle
  5. World Heritage: Canada, Yukon and British Columbia ( fr ( Memento of August 5, 2011 in the Internet Archive ), en ( Memento of August 5, 2011 in the Internet Archive ))
  6. Permafrost. Ed. Yukon Government, Energy, Mines and Resources ( Memento from July 5, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 168 kB).
  7. Canadian Mountain Encyclopedia ( Memento of February 3, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  8. Yoke Mountain, Yukon Territory
  9. Tombstone Mountain, Yukon Territory
  10. Mount Monolith, Yukon Territory
  11. Mount Patterson, Yukon Territory
  12. Climate values ​​and diagrams can be found here: Climate diagrams worldwide. Yukon
  13. ^ Weather Facts and Trivia, CBC
  14. climate data, for example, provides the Canadian Environmental Protection Agency ( station Results - 1981-2010 Climate Normals and Averages -. Yukon Government of Canada, accessed on 26 March 2017 (English). )
  15. For the current weather, but also for historical weather data, cf. Weather data Yukon ( fr / en ).
  16. On flora see A. Andre and A. Fehr: Gwich'in Ethnobotany , Gwich'in Social and Cultural Institute and Aurora Research Institute 2002; W. J. Cody: Flora of the Yukon Territory , NRC Research Press, 1996; J. Trelaway: Wild Flowers of the Yukon, Alaska and Northwestern Canada , Harbor Publishing, 2003.
  17. ^ Taiga Cordillera
  18. ^ William J. Cody: Flora of the Yukon Territory . 2nd Edition. NRC Research Press, Ottawa 2000, ISBN 0-660-18110-X , pp. ix (English): “This flora contains treatments of 1112 species representing 80 families of vascular plants that have been found in the Yukon Territory.”
  19. A similar number is given for Norway , 1300 species of seed plants and ferns.
  20. A map of the migration areas of the caribou herds can be found here ( Memento from March 30, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 8.9 MB). The search for natural resources on the Peel River was postponed for a year in February 2010 ( Conservation groups welcome Yukon decision to halt new industrial exploration in Peel watershed , Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, February 5, 2010 ).
  21. Squanga Lake Area Research Report, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, 2000, p. 14
  22. Yukon Bats. Whitehorse 2007, ISBN 1-55362-266-9 .
  23. Thomas S. Jung: Estimating little brown bat (myotis lucifugus) colony size in Southern Yukon: A mark-recapture approach , Environment Yukon, 2013.
  24. Rachel Diane Shively, Perry S. Barboza, Patricia Doak, Thomas S. Jung: Increased diet breadth of little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus) at their northern range limit: a multi-method approach. In: Canadian Journal of Zoology (2017).
  25. SA Alexander u. a .: Birds of the Yukon. University of British Columbia Press, 2003.
  26. HV Danks, JA Downes: Insects of the Yukon. Biological Survey of Canada, 1997.
  27. For the special features of archaeological sites in Yukon, cf. Ruth Gotthardt: Handbook for the Identification of Heritage Sites and Features , p. 1 (PDF; 3.3 MB).
  28. On the other hand, the possibly human-worked mammoth bones of Old Crow, which are around 26,000 to 27,000 years old, are controversial . Cf. (PDF): J. Cinq-Mars, On the significance of modified mammoth bones from eastern Beringia ( Memento of August 3, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) (originally in: The World of Elephants - International Congress, Rom 2001, 424 –428; PDF; 399 kB) (archive.org, August 3, 2008).
  29. A description is provided by Désdélé Méné The Archeology of Annie Lake
  30. ^ Yukon Territory Act, 1898 (Eng.). In his work Showing the Flag , WR Morrison was able to show that one of the reasons for the split from the Northwest Territories was a conflict over income from alcohol sales between the Northwest Territories and the Yukon Commissioner JM Walsh . The Mounted Police and Canadian Sovereignty in the North, 1894-1925 , University of British Columbia Press, Vancouver 1985.
  31. ^ Coates, Table 28, p. 181.
  32. ^ Coates, p. 163.
  33. ^ Coates, p. 163.
  34. ^ Coates, Table 26, p. 167.
  35. ^ Coates, p. 94.
  36. ^ Coates, Table 7, p. 74.
  37. ^ Coates, p. 101.
  38. ^ Coates, p. 234.
  39. ^ According to: Residential School Settlement. List of Residential Schools . In total, there are 18 institutions that are eligible for reparation payments on the part of the institutions involved (cf. Decisions (PDF; 268 kB)), lists all schools in Canada according to provinces and territories.
  40. ^ Coates, 213 f.
  41. ^ Yukon Land Claims. Yesterday to Tomorrow
  42. A map of the traditional territories can be found here ( Memento from July 24, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 5.9 MB).
  43. ^ Bill C-39 The Yukon Act , Parliamentary Research Branch, government website
  44. a b Yukon Territory. Census 2006. In: Statistics Canada . August 20, 2019, accessed September 17, 2019 .
  45. a b Yukon Territory. Census 2011. In: Statistics Canada . May 31, 2016, accessed on September 17, 2019 .
  46. Statistics Canada ( Memento from January 27, 2011 on WebCite )
  47. Ken S. Coates: Best Left as Indians. Native-White Relations in the Yukon Territory, 1840-1973. McGill-Queen's University Press, Montreal / Kingston 1991, Paperback 1993, p. 74, Table 8.
  48. Yukon Territory. Census 2001. In: Statistics Canada . July 2, 2019, accessed on September 17, 2019 .
  49. ↑ In 2009 the population was exactly 34,157 (Yukon Bureau of Statistics. Population Report, June 2009). Accordingly, in June 2008 there were 33,294, in June 2007 32,212. However, these are updates, not counts. The 2011 census found 260 fewer inhabitants ( Yukon Bureau of Statistics (PDF; 306 kB)).
  50. ^ Immigrant Status and Period of Immigration (8) and Place of Birth .
  51. ^ Whitehorse Community Profile. Census 2016. In: Statistics Canada . August 9, 2019, accessed on July 21, 2020 .
  52. ^ Whitehorse Census agglomeration. Census 2016. In: Statistics Canada . August 9, 2019, accessed on July 21, 2020 .
  53. ^ Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, provinces and territories, and census subdivisions (municipalities), 2016 and 2011 censuses. In: Statistics Canada . February 20, 2019, accessed on July 21, 2020 .
  54. 39th or 1st session of the Canadian Parliament between April 3, 2006 and September 14, 2007 ( Memento of December 3, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
  55. As of October 2017 ( List of First Nations , limited to Yukon)
  56. Carcross Reserve 4.
  57. 189 of them belong to the Aishihik, 724 to the Champagne.
  58. Your reservations are in British Columbia: Dease River 1 to 4.
  59. They also live partially in British Columbia: Blue River 1, Dease River 2 and 3, Horse Ranch Pass 4, Liard River 3, McDames Creek 2, Mosquito Creek 5, Muddy River 1, One Mile Point 1.
  60. Lake Laberge 1
  61. You own reservations in British Columbia: Alkhili 2, Atlin-Teslin Indian Cemetery 4, Five Mile Point 3, Jennings River 8, McDonald Lake 1, Silver Salmon Lake 5, Taku 6, Teslin Lake 7 and 9, unnamed 10.
  62. S. Teslin Post 13
  63. Not to be confused with the mountain of the same name, 2599  m high in British Columbia.
  64. A map can be found here (PDF; 560 kB): Tombstone Territorial Park ( Memento of October 27, 2006 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 570 kB)
  65. This and the following, unless otherwise noted, from: Yukon Economic Review 2008, March 3, 2009 ( Memento of March 4, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 420 kB)
  66. Passenger statistics of the airport
  67. This and the following from (PDF; 576 kB): Yukon Bureau of Statistics, Business Survey 2008, December 2008 (PDF; 588 kB)
  68. A map of the registered trapping concessions can be found here ( Memento from July 24, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 1.1 MB)
  69. ↑ For more information on cultural basics, visit the Yukon First Nations Tourism Association website
  70. Record spending in Yukon budget, Fentie tells business crowd , CBC News, March 18, 2009 and Budget Address 2009–2010 presented by Premier Dennis Fentie , March 19, 2009 (PDF 128 kB).
  71. ^ Government of Yukon, Economic Statistics ( Memento August 18, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
  72. Aerodromes Listings ( Memento from December 7, 2009 on WebCite ) (PDF; 38 kB). A map of the places can be found here ( Memento from December 7, 2009 on WebCite ) (PDF; 141 kB).
  73. ^ Language Act, Statues of the Yukon (2002) , (PDF; 104 kB)
  74. Detailed Mother Tongue, Yukon Territory / Territoire du Yukon
  75. The list of the 2007–2008 Yukon Native Language Programs ( Memento from May 24, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 64 kB) listed 21 language courses that took place in 2007.
  76. ^ Yukon College website
  77. ^ Public Libraries Directory
  78. ^ Yukon Public Libraries & Yukon Archives Library Collections
  79. See Copperbelt Railway & Mining Museum ( Memento from February 15, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
  80. Largely based on: Newspapers ( English, French ) In: The Canadian Encyclopedia . April 3, 2015. and Susan Harada, Frank W. Peers: Radio and Television Broadcasting ( English, French ) In: The Canadian Encyclopedia . 3rd April 2015.
  81. ^ Whitehorse Daily Star
  82. l'aurore boreal
  83. The Klondike Sun .
  84. Radio Station Listings ( Memento of August 13, 2010 in the Internet Archive ), archive.org August 13, 2010.
  85. Northern Native Broadcasting ( Memento of August 13, 2010 in the Internet Archive ), archive.org, August 13, 2010.
  86. A list of radio stations can be found here: Radio Stations Listings, Yukon ( Memento of August 13, 2010 in the Internet Archive ).
  87. ^ CBC North .
  88. Internet Services, Yukonweb .
  89. ^ Yukon News .
  90. ^ Arctic Winter Games .
This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on April 22, 2009 .

Coordinates: 64 ° 1 ′  N , 135 ° 46 ′  W