First Nations Programs & Partnerships

First Nations people have lived in the Yukon since time immemorial. Evidence of what may be the oldest remains of human habitation in North America has been found in northern Yukon. The connection to the land and its resources continues to be vitally important.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many First Nations are there in the Yukon and how many First Nations language groups?

There are 14 First Nations in the Yukon and 8 language groups from two major language families, Athapaskan and Tlingit. Of these language groups most Yukon First Nations identify themselves with one of the following:

  • Northern Tutchone
  • Southern Tutchone
  • Gwich'in
  • Hän
  • Upper Tanana
  • Tagish
  • Kaska
  • Inland Tlingit

The 14 Yukon First Nations are:

  • White River First Nation
  • Kluane First Nation
  • Champagne & Aishihik First Nations
  • Kwanlin Dün First Nation
  • Ta’an Kwäh än Council
  • Carcross/Tagish First Nations
  • Selkirk First Nation
  • Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation
  • Teslin Tlingit Council
  • Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation
  • Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation
  • First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun
  • Ross River Dene Council
  • Liard First Nations

When did First Nation People first inhabit the Yukon?

In the southern Yukon, Crow created the world and people as conveyed in Yukon First Nation narratives.

What are the foundations of Yukon First Nations culture?

Respect for the land, its animals and the forces of nature, combined with a rich oral tradition, form the foundations of the Yukon First Nations language and culture.

What is the social organization of First Nations people in the Yukon?

For most traditional Yukon First Nations social and political organization is based on two clans, Crow and Wolf Clan membership is matriarchal.

What is the central political body for First Nations people of the Yukon?

The Council of Yukon First Nations (CYFN)

Who is Crow?

According to oral tradition, the Yukon First Nation peoples have lived in this land since Crow, who made the world and set it in order.

What is the basis of Yukon First Nation spirituality?

Yukon First Nations possess a strong spirituality based on an ancient oral tradition and an inherent respect for the land, the forces of nature and the animals and plants they share and continue to share with them.

What is unique about Yukon First Nations artwork?

Many Yukon First Nations people are gifted artists and artisans, drawing from traditional practices and materials, yet using certain contemporary approaches.

What is a "potlatch?

Potlatch is a word from the Chinook trade jargon that means to give. In SOuthern Yukon the First Nations hold two types of potlactchs: funeral and memorial. Find out what kinds of potlatches are held in your community.

~ Mask © Yukon Goverment