HOME

TheInfoList




Yukon ( ; ; formerly called Yukon Territory and sometimes referred to as The Yukon) is the smallest and westernmost of Canada's three territories. It also is the least populated province or territory in Canada, with a population of 35,874 people as of the 2016 Census.
Whitehorse Whitehorse () is the capital and only city of Yukon, and the largest city in Northern Canada. It was incorporated in 1950 and is located at kilometre 1426 (Historic Mile 918) on the Alaska Highway in southern Yukon. Whitehorse's Downtown Whitehors ...

Whitehorse
, the territorial capital, is the largest settlement in any of the three territories. Yukon was split from the
North-West Territories The Northwest Territories (abbr. NT or NWT) is a federal territory A territory is an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, fir ...
in 1898 as the Yukon Territory. The federal government's ''Yukon Act'', which received royal assent on March 27, 2002, established Yukon as the territory's official name, though ''Yukon Territory'' is also still popular in usage and
Canada Post Canada Post Corporation (french: Société canadienne des postes), trading as Canada Post (french: Postes Canada), is a Crown corporations of Canada, Crown corporation which functions as the primary Postal administration, postal operator in Canad ...
continues to use the territory's internationally approved postal abbreviation of ''YT''. In 2021, territorial government policy was changed so that “''The'' Yukon” would be recommended for use in official territorial government materials. Though officially bilingual (English and French), the Yukon government also recognizes
First Nations The First Nations (french: Premières Nations ) are groups of Canadian indigenous peoples, who are classified as distinct from the Inuit Inuit (; iu, ᐃᓄᐃᑦ 'the people', singular: Inuk, , dual: Inuuk, ) are a group of culturally s ...
languages. At , Yukon's
Mount Logan Mount Logan () is the highest mountain A mountain is an elevated portion of the Earth's crust, generally with steep sides that show significant exposed bedrock. A mountain differs from a plateau in having a limited summit area, and is l ...

Mount Logan
, in
Kluane National Park and Reserve Kluane National Park and Reserve (; french: Parc national et réserve de parc national de Kluane) are two protected areas in the southwest corner of the territory A territory is an administrative division Administrative division, administra ...
, is the highest mountain in Canada and the second-highest on the North American continent (after
Denali Denali (; also known as Mount McKinley, its former official name) is the highest mountain peak in North America, with a summit elevation of above sea level. With a topographic prominence of and a topographic isolation of , Denali is the List ...

Denali
in the
U.S. state In the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state ...
of
Alaska Alaska (; ale, Alax̂sxax̂; ; ems, Alas'kaaq; Central Alaskan Yup'ik language, Yup'ik: ''Alaskaq''; tli, Anáaski) is a U.S. state in the Western United States, on the northwest extremity of the country's West Coast of the United State ...

Alaska
). Most of the Yukon has a
subarctic climate The subarctic climate (also called subpolar climate, or boreal climate) is a climate characterised by long, usually very cold winters, and short, cool summers. It is found on large landmasses, often away from the moderating effects of an ocean, gen ...
, characterized by long, cold winters and brief, warm summers. The
Arctic Ocean The Arctic Ocean is the smallest and shallowest of the world's five major s. It spans an area of approximately and is also known as the coldest of all the oceans. The (IHO) recognizes it as an ocean, although some call it the Arctic Medit ...

Arctic Ocean
coast has a
tundra climate In physical geography Physical geography (also known as physiography) is one of the two fields of geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the ...
. Notable rivers include the
Yukon River The Yukon River ( Gwich'in: ''Ųųg Han'' or ''Yuk Han,'' Yup'ik The Yup'ik or Yupiaq (sg & pl) and Yupiit or Yupiat (pl), also Central Alaskan Yup'ik, Central Yup'ik, Alaskan Yup'ik ( own name ''Yup'ik'' sg ''Yupiik'' dual ''Yupiit'' pl; r ...

Yukon River
as well as the Pelly, Stewart, Peel,
White White is the lightest color Color (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the Unite ...
, and Tatshenshini rivers.


Etymology

The territory is named after the
Yukon River The Yukon River ( Gwich'in: ''Ųųg Han'' or ''Yuk Han,'' Yup'ik The Yup'ik or Yupiaq (sg & pl) and Yupiit or Yupiat (pl), also Central Alaskan Yup'ik, Central Yup'ik, Alaskan Yup'ik ( own name ''Yup'ik'' sg ''Yupiik'' dual ''Yupiit'' pl; r ...

Yukon River
the longest river in the Yukon. The name itself is from a contraction of the words in the Gwich'in phrase ''chųų gąįį han'', which means ''white water river'' and refers to "the pale colour" of glacial runoff in the Yukon River."Dear Sir, I have great pleasure in informing you that I have at length after much trouble and difficulties, succeedin reaching the 'Youcon', or white water River, so named by the ( Gwich'in) natives from the pale colour of its water. ..., I have the honour to Remain Your obt Servt, John Bell"
Hudson's Bay Company The Hudson's Bay Company (HBC; french: Compagnie de la Baie d'Hudson) is a Canadian, now American-owned, retail Retail is the sale of goods In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with ...
Correspondence to George Simpson from John Bell (August 1, 1845)
HBC Archives
D.5/14, fos. 212-215d, also quoted in,
In Gwich'in, adjectives, such as ''choo'' and ''gąįį''
hite Hite or HITE may refer to: *HiteJinro HiteJinro Co., Ltd. (; ) is a Distillation, distiller in South Korea, founded in 1924. It is the world's leading producer of soju, accounting for more than half of that beverage's domestic sales. It also man ...
follow the nouns that they modify. Thus, ''white water'' is ''chųų gąįį'' ater white ''White water river'' is ''chųų gąįį han'' ater white river


Geography

The territory is the approximate shape of a
right triangle A right triangle (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. Currently, American Eng ...

right triangle
, bordering the U.S. state of Alaska to the west and northwest for mostly along longitude 141° W, the
Northwest Territories The Northwest Territories (commonly abbreviated as NT or NWT; french: Territoires du Nord-Ouest) is a federal territory A territory is an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subd ...

Northwest Territories
to the east and
British Columbia ( en, Splendour without diminishment) , image_map = British Columbia in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_lang = None , Slogan = Beautiful British C ...

British Columbia
to the south. Its northern coast is on the
Beaufort Sea The Beaufort Sea (; french: Mer de Beaufort) is a marginal sea This is a list of seas of the World Ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of Saline water, salt water that covers approximately 70.8% of the surface ...

Beaufort Sea
. Its ragged eastern boundary mostly follows the divide between the Yukon Basin and the
Mackenzie River The Mackenzie River (Slavey language, Slavey: ' èh tʃʰò ''literally'' big river; Inuvialuktun: ' uːkpɑk''literally'' great river; French: ) is a river in the Canadian boreal forest. It forms, along with the Slave, Peace, and Finlay ...

Mackenzie River
drainage basin A drainage basin is any area of land where precipitation collects and drains off into a common outlet, such as into a river, bay, or other body of water. The drainage basin includes all the surface water from surface runoff, rain runoff, snowm ...

drainage basin
to the east in the Mackenzie mountains. Most of the territory is in the watershed of its namesake, the Yukon River. The southern Yukon is dotted with a large number of large, long and narrow glacier-fed alpine lakes, most of which flow into the Yukon River system. The larger lakes include
Teslin Lake Teslin Lake is a large lake spanning the border between British Columbia and Yukon, Canada. It is one of a group of large lakes in the region of far northwestern BC, east of the upper Alaska Panhandle, which are the southern extremity of the basi ...

Teslin Lake
,
Atlin Lake Atlin Lake (Tlingit language, Lingít: ''Áa Tlein'') is the largest natural lake in the Canada, Canadian Provinces and territories of Canada, province of British Columbia. The northern tip of the lake is in Yukon, as is Little Atlin Lake. However ...
,
Tagish Lake Tagish Lake is a lake A lake is an area filled with water, localized in a basin, surrounded by land Land is the solid surface of Earth that is not permanently submerged in water. Most but not all land is situated at elevations abo ...

Tagish Lake
,
Marsh Lake Marsh Lake (Mud Lake) is a widening of the Yukon River southeast of Whitehorse, Yukon, Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada. It is over 30 kilometres long and ranges from three to four kilometres wide. The co-ordinates of the lake are , and is 2,147 feet abo ...
,
Lake Laberge Lake Laberge is a widening of the Yukon River The Yukon River (Gwichʼin language, Gwich'in: ''Ųųg Han'' or ''Yuk Han,'' Central Alaskan Yup'ik language , Yup'ik: ''Kuigpak,'' Inupiaq language , Inupiaq: ''Kuukpak'', Deg Xinag language , Deg Xi ...

Lake Laberge
,
Kusawa Lake Kusawa Lake is a lake in the southern Yukon, Canada. ''Kusawa'' means "long narrow lake" in the Tlingit language. The Kusawa Lake is a lake in Canada's Yukon Territory. It is located at an altitude of and is southwest of Whitehorse near the Britis ...
and
Kluane Lake Kluane Lake is located in the southwest area of the Yukon. It is the largest lake contained entirely within Yukon at approximately , and long. Until 2016, Kluane Lake was fed by the Slims River, A'ay Chu (Slims River), which was composed of meltw ...

Kluane Lake
.
Bennett Lake Bennett Lake is a lake in the Province of British Columbia and Yukon Territory in northwestern Canada. It is just north of the border with the United States state of Alaska, near the Alaskan port of Skagway, Alaska, Skagway. The narrow-gauge W ...

Bennett Lake
on the
Klondike Gold Rush The Klondike Gold Rush was a migration Migration, migratory, or migrate may refer to: Human migration * Human migration, physical movement by humans from one region to another ** International migration, when peoples cross state boundaries an ...
trail is a lake flowing into Nares Lake, with the greater part of its area within Yukon. Other watersheds in the territory include the Mackenzie River, the Peel Watershed and the AlsekTatshenshini, and a number of rivers flowing directly into the Beaufort Sea. The two main Yukon rivers flowing into the Mackenzie in the Northwest Territories are the
Liard River The Liard River of the North American boreal forest flows through Yukon Yukon ( ; ; formerly called Yukon Territory and sometimes referred to as The Yukon) is the smallest and westernmost of Canada's three territories. It also is the leas ...

Liard River
in the southeast and the Peel River and its tributaries in the northeast. Canada's highest point, Mount Logan (), is in the territory's southwest. Mount Logan and a large part of the Yukon's southwest are in
Kluane National Park and Reserve Kluane National Park and Reserve (; french: Parc national et réserve de parc national de Kluane) are two protected areas in the southwest corner of the territory A territory is an administrative division Administrative division, administra ...
, a UNESCO
World Heritage Site A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). World Heritage Sites are designated by UNESCO for h ...
. Other national parks include Ivvavik National Park and
Vuntut National Park Vuntut National Park (; french: Parc national Vuntut) is a national park A national park is a park in use for Conservation (ethic), conservation purposes, created and protected by national governments. Often it is a reserve of natural, semi-n ...
in the north. Notable widespread tree species within the Yukon are the
black spruce ''Picea mariana'', the black spruce, is a North American species of spruce tree in the Pinaceae, pine family. It is widespread across Canada, found in all 10 provinces and all 3 Canadian Arctic Lands, territories. It is the official tree of the pr ...
and
white spruceWhite spruce is a common name for several species of spruce ('' Picea'') and may refer to: * ''Picea glauca'', native to most of Canada and Alaska with limited populations in the northeastern United States * '' Picea engelmannii'', native to the R ...
. Many trees are stunted because of the short growing season and severe climate.


Climate

While the average winter temperature in the Yukon is mild by Canadian arctic standards, no other place in North America gets as cold as the Yukon during extreme cold snaps. The temperature has dropped down to three times, 1947, 1952, and 1968. The most extreme cold snap occurred in February 1947 when the abandoned town of Snag dropped down to . Unlike most of Canada where the most extreme heat waves occur in July, August, and even September, the Yukon's extreme heat tends to occur in June and even May. The Yukon has recorded three times. The first time was in June 1969 when Mayo recorded a temperature of . 14 years later this record was almost beaten when Forty Mile recorded in May 1983. The old record was finally broken 21 years later in June 2004 when the Mayo Road weather station, located just northwest of
Whitehorse Whitehorse () is the capital and only city of Yukon, and the largest city in Northern Canada. It was incorporated in 1950 and is located at kilometre 1426 (Historic Mile 918) on the Alaska Highway in southern Yukon. Whitehorse's Downtown Whitehors ...
, recorded a temperature of .


History

Long before the arrival of Europeans, central and southern Yukon was populated by First Nations people, and the area escaped
glaciation A glacial period (alternatively glacial or glaciation) is an interval of time (thousands of years) within an ice age An ice age is a long period of reduction in the temperature of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the o ...

glaciation
. Sites of
archeological Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis Analysis is the process of breaking a complex topic or substance into smaller parts in order to gain a better understanding of it. The technique h ...
significance in the Yukon hold some of the earliest evidence of the presence of human habitation in North America.Services, Cultural. Archaeology Program. Department of Tourism and Culture. nlineMarch 8, 2011. ited: April 7, 2012.http://www.tc.gov.yk.ca/archaeology.html. The sites safeguard the history of the first people and the earliest First Nations of the Yukon. The
volcanic A volcano is a rupture in the crust of a planetary-mass object A planet is an astronomical body orbit In physics, an orbit is the gravitationally curved trajectory of an physical body, object, such as the trajectory of a planet ar ...

volcanic
eruption of Mount Churchill in approximately 800 AD in what is now the U.S. state of Alaska blanketed the southern Yukon with a layer of
ash Ash or ashes are the solid remnants of fire BBQ. Fire is the rapid oxidation of a material in the exothermic chemical process of combustion, releasing heat, light, and various reaction Product (chemistry), products. Fire is hot because th ...
which can still be seen along the
Klondike Highway ) seen from Klondike Highway Image:Carmacs-bridge across Yukon River.JPG, The bridge across the Yukon River at Carmacks, Yukon, Carmacks The Klondike Highway is a highway that runs from the Alaska Panhandle through the province of British Col ...
, and which forms part of the oral tradition of First Nations peoples in the Yukon and further south in Canada. Coastal and inland First Nations had extensive trading networks. European incursions into the area began early in the 19th century with the
fur trade The fur trade is a worldwide industry dealing in the acquisition and sale of animal fur Fur is a thick growth of hair Hair is a protein filament In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organi ...
, followed by
missionaries A missionary is a member of a religious group sent into an area to promote their faith or provide services, such as education Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, value (ethics), ...

missionaries
. By the 1870s and 1880s, gold miners began to arrive. This drove a population increase that justified the establishment of a police force, just in time for the start of the
Klondike Gold Rush The Klondike Gold Rush was a migration Migration, migratory, or migrate may refer to: Human migration * Human migration, physical movement by humans from one region to another ** International migration, when peoples cross state boundaries an ...
in 1897. The increased population coming with the gold rush led to the separation of the Yukon district from the Northwest Territories and the formation of the separate Yukon Territory in 1898.


Demographics

The
2016 census Sixteen or 16 may refer to: *16 (number), the natural number following 15 and preceding 17 *one of the years 16 BC, AD 16, 1916, 2016 Films * ''Pathinaaru'' or ''Sixteen'', a 2010 Tamil film * Sixteen (1943 film), ''Sixteen'' (1943 film), a 1943 ...
reported a Yukon population of 35,874, an increase of 5.8% from 2011. With a land area of , it had a population density of in 2011, the highest among all the Canadian territories. Statistics Canada has estimated Yukon's 2021 Q3 population to be 43,095, an increase of 17.5% from the 2016 census. This is the largest percentage increase for any Canadian province or territory. Unlike in other Canadian provinces and territories,
Statistics Canada Statistics Canada (StatCan; french: Statistique Canada), formed in 1971, is the agency Agency may refer to: * a governmental or other institution Institutions, according to Samuel P. Huntington, are "stable, valued, recurring patterns of ...
uses the entire territory as a single at-large census division.


Ethnicity

According to the 2016 Canada Census the majority of the territory's population was of European descent, although it has a significant population of
First Nations The First Nations (french: Premières Nations ) are groups of Canadian indigenous peoples, who are classified as distinct from the Inuit Inuit (; iu, ᐃᓄᐃᑦ 'the people', singular: Inuk, , dual: Inuuk, ) are a group of culturally s ...
communities across the territory. The 2011 National Household Survey examined the Yukon's ethnocultural diversity and immigration. At that time, 87.7% of residents were Canadian-born and 24.2% were of Indigenous origin. The most common countries of birth for immigrants were the United Kingdom (15.9%), the Philippines (15.0%), and the United States (13.2%). Among very recent immigrants (between 2006 and 2011) living in the Yukon, 63.5% were born in Asia. As of the 2016 census, the top ten ancestries in the Yukon were:


Language

The most commonly reported mother tongue among the 33,145 single responses to the 2011 Canadian census was English at 28,065 (). The second-most common was 1,455 () for French. Among 510 multiple respondents, 140 of them () reported a mother tongue of both English and French, while 335 () reported English and a " language" and 20 () reported French and a " language". The Yukon’s ''Language Act'' "recognises the significance" of the territory’s aboriginal languages in the Yukon, and permits their use in Legislative Assembly proceedings, although only English and French are available for laws and court proceedings.


Religion

The 2011 National Household Survey reported that 49.9% of Yukoners reported having no religious affiliation, the highest percentage in Canada. The most frequently reported religious affiliation was Christianity, reported by 46.2% of residents. Of these, the most common denominations were the
Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Baptism (from the Greek language, Greek noun βάπτισμα ''báptisma'') is a Christians, Christian ...

Catholic Church
(39.6%), the
Anglican Church of Canada Anglicanism is a Western Christianity, Western Christian tradition that has developed from the practices, liturgy, and identity of the Church of England following the English Reformation. Adherents of Anglicanism are called ''Anglicans''; t ...
(17.8%) and the
United Church of Canada The United Church of Canada (french: link=no, Église unie du Canada) is a mainline Protestant The mainline Protestant churches (also called mainstream Protestant and sometimes oldline Protestant) are a group of Protestant denominations in th ...
(9.6%).


Economy

The Yukon's major industry is mining (lead,
zinc Zinc is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical element ...

zinc
, silver, gold,
asbestos Asbestos (pronounced: or ) is a naturally occurring fibrous silicate mineral Silicate minerals are rock-forming mineral In geology and mineralogy, a mineral or mineral species is, broadly speaking, a solid chemical compound with a fair ...
and copper). The government acquired the land from the
Hudson's Bay Company The Hudson's Bay Company (HBC; french: Compagnie de la Baie d'Hudson) is a Canadian, now American-owned, retail Retail is the sale of goods In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with ...
in 1870 and split it from the
Northwest Territories The Northwest Territories (commonly abbreviated as NT or NWT; french: Territoires du Nord-Ouest) is a federal territory A territory is an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subd ...

Northwest Territories
in 1898 to fill the need for local government created by the population influx of the gold rush. Thousands of these prospectors moved to the territory, ushering a period of Yukon history recorded by authors such as and
Jack London John Griffith London (born John Griffith Chaney; January 12, 1876 – November 22, 1916) was an American novelist, journalist and social activist. A pioneer of commercial fiction and American magazines, he was one of the first American authors ...
. The memory of this period and the early days of the
Royal Canadian Mounted Police The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP; french: Gendarmerie royale du Canada; french: GRC, label=none), often known as the Mounties, are the federal and national police service of Canada, providing law enforcement at the federal level. The ...

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
, as well as the territory's scenic wonders and outdoor recreation opportunities, makes tourism the second most important industry in the territory. Manufacturing, including furniture, clothing, and handicrafts, follows in importance, along with
hydroelectricity Hydroelectricity, or hydroelectric power, is electricity produced from hydropower Hydropower (from el, ὕδωρ, "water"), also known as water power, is the use of falling or fast-running water Water (chemical formula H2O) is ...
. The traditional industries of
trapping Animal trapping, or simply trapping, is the use of a device to remotely catch an animal. Animals may be trapped for a variety of purposes, including food, the fur trade The fur trade is a worldwide industry dealing in the acquisition a ...
and fishing have declined. As of 2012, the government sector directly employs approximately 6,300 out of a labour force of 20,800, on a population of 27,500. On May 1, 2015, the Yukon modified its Business Corporations Act,gov.yk.ca: "Business Corporations Act"
, May 1, 2015
gov.yk.ca: "O.I.C. 2015/06 Business Corporations Act"
, May 1, 2015
gov.yk.ca: "O.I.C. 2015/07 Societies Act"
, May 1, 2015
in an effort to attract more benefits and participants to its economy. One amendment to the BCA lets a proxy be given for voting purposes. Another change will allow directors to pursue business opportunities declined by the corporation, a practice off-limits in most other jurisdictions due to the inherent potential for conflicts of interest.cbc.ca: "Go north, not west: Yukon lures businesses with new company rules"
May 1, 2015
One of the changes will allow a corporation to serve as a director of a subsidiary registered in Yukon.theglobeandmail.com: "Yukon's move to draw corporations worries shareholders coalition"
June 18, 2015
The legislation also allows companies to add provisions in their articles of incorporation giving directors blanket approval to sell off all of the company's assets without requiring a shareholder vote. If provided for by a unanimous shareholders agreement, a corporation is not required to have directors at all.deallawwire.com: "Changes of note to the Yukon Business Corporations Act"
, June 2, 2015
There is increased flexibility regarding the location of corporate records offices, including the ability to maintain a records office outside of Yukon so long as it is accessible by electronic means.


Tourism

The Yukon's tourism motto is "Larger than life". The Yukon's tourism relies heavily on its natural environment, and there are many organized
outfitter An outfitter is a shop or person that sells specialized clothes (an '' outfit'' is a set of clothing). More specifically, it is a company or individual who provides or deals in equipment and supplies for the pursuit of certain activities. In North ...
s and
guide A guide is a person who leads travelers, sportsmen, or Tourism, tourists through unknown or unfamiliar locations. The term can also be applied to a person who leads others to more abstract goals such as knowledge or wisdom. Travel and recreation ...

guide
s available for activities such as but not limited to
hunting Hunting is the practice of seeking, pursuing and capturing or killing wildlife Wildlife traditionally refers to undomesticated animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular A multicellular organism is an organism ...

hunting
,
angling Angling is a method of fishing Fishing is the activity of trying to catch fish Fish are , , -bearing animals that lack with . Included in this definition are the living , s, and and as well as various extinct related groups. Arou ...

angling
,
canoe A canoe is a lightweight narrow vessel, typically pointed at both ends and open on top, propelled by one or more seated or kneeling paddlers facing the direction of travel and using a single-bladed paddle A paddle is a tool used for pushin ...

canoe
ing/
kayak A kayak is a small, narrow watercraft Watercraft, also known as water vessels or waterborne vessels, are vehicles A vehicle (from la, vehiculum) is a machine A machine is any physical system with ordered structural and functional pr ...

kayak
ing,
hiking Hiking is a long, vigorous walk Walking (also known as ambulation) is one of the main gaits of terrestrial locomotion among legged animals. Walking is typically slower than running and other gaits. Walking is defined by an 'inverted pendu ...

hiking
,
skiing Skiing is the use of ski A ski is a narrow strip of semi-rigid material worn underfoot to glide over snow. Substantially longer than wide and characteristically employed in pairs, skis are attached to ski boot Ski boots are used in to p ...

skiing
,
snowboarding Snowboarding is a recreational and competitive activity that involves descending a snow-covered slope while standing on a snowboard Snowboards are boards where both feet are placed, and most times secured, to the same board, which are wider ...

snowboarding
,
ice climbing Ice climbing is the activity of ascending inclined ice formations. Usually, ice climbing Climbing is the activity of using one's hands, feet, or any other part of the body to ascend a steep topographical object. It is done for locomotion, ...

ice climbing
, and
dog sled A dog sled or dog sleigh is a sled A sled, sledge, or sleigh is a land vehicle that slides across a surface, usually of ice or snow. It is built with either a smooth underside or a separate body supported by two or more smooth, relatively na ...

dog sled
ding. These activities are offered both in an organized setting or in the
backcountry In the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, sta ...
, which is accessible by air or
snowmobile A snowmobile, also known as a Ski-Doo, snowmachine, sled, motor sled, motor sledge, skimobile, or snow scooter, is a motorized vehicle designed for winter travel and recreation on snow Snow comprises individual ice Ice is water ...

snowmobile
. The Yukon's festivals and sporting events include the Adäka Cultural Festival, Yukon International Storytelling Festival, and the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous. The Yukon's latitude enables the view of Aurora (astronomy), aurora borealis. The Yukon Government maintains a series of territorial parks including, parks such as Herschel Island Qikiqtaruk Territorial Park, Tombstone Territorial Park, and Fishing Branch Ni'iinlii'njik Park. Coal River Springs Territorial Park) Parks Canada, a federal agency of the Government of Canada, also maintains three National Parks of Canada, national parks and reserves within the territory,
Kluane National Park and Reserve Kluane National Park and Reserve (; french: Parc national et réserve de parc national de Kluane) are two protected areas in the southwest corner of the territory A territory is an administrative division Administrative division, administra ...
, Ivvavik National Park, and
Vuntut National Park Vuntut National Park (; french: Parc national Vuntut) is a national park A national park is a park in use for Conservation (ethic), conservation purposes, created and protected by national governments. Often it is a reserve of natural, semi-n ...
. The Yukon is also List of National Historic Sites of Canada in Yukon, home to 12 National Historic Sites of Canada. The sites are also administered by Parks Canada, with five of the 12 sites being located within national parks. The territory is host to List of museums in Yukon, a number of museums, including the Copperbelt Railway & Mining Museum, the SS Klondike, SS ''Klondike'' boat museum, the Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre in Whitehorse; as well as the Keno City Mining Museum in Keno City. The territory also holds a number of enterprises that allows tourists to experience pre-colonial and modern cultures of Yukon's First Nations and Inuit peoples.


Culture

The Yukon has a wide array of cultural and sporting events that attract artists, local residents, and tourists. Annual events include the Adäka Cultural Festival, Dawson City Music Festival, Yukon International Storytelling Festival, Yukon Quest dog sled race, Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous, as well as Klondike Gold Rush memorials. and the Northern Lights Centre. The Yukon’s Aboriginal culture is also strongly reflected in such areas as winter sports, as in the Yukon Quest sled dog race. The modern comic-book character Yukon Jack depicts a heroic aboriginal persona. Similarly, the territorial government also recognizes that First Nations and Inuit languages plays a part in cultural heritage of the territory; these languages include Tlingit language, Tlingit, and the less common Tahltan, as well as seven Athapaskan languages, Upper Tanana, Gwich'in, Hän people, Hän, Northern Tutchone, Southern Tutchone, Kaska language, Kaska, and Tagish, some of which are rare.


Arts

Notable Yukon artists include Jim Robb (painter), Jim Robb and Ted Harrison, whose paintings have become iconic for their depictions of historic and contemporary life and culture in the Yukon. With the
Klondike Gold Rush The Klondike Gold Rush was a migration Migration, migratory, or migrate may refer to: Human migration * Human migration, physical movement by humans from one region to another ** International migration, when peoples cross state boundaries an ...
, a number of folk music, folk songs from the Yukon became popular, including "Rush to the Klondike" (1897, written by W. T. Diefenbaker), "The Klondike Gold Rush", "I've Got the Klondike Fever" (1898) and "La Chanson du Klondyke". A notable cultural and tourist feature is the legacy of the
Klondike Gold Rush The Klondike Gold Rush was a migration Migration, migratory, or migrate may refer to: Human migration * Human migration, physical movement by humans from one region to another ** International migration, when peoples cross state boundaries an ...
(1897–1899), which inspired contemporary writers of the time such as
Jack London John Griffith London (born John Griffith Chaney; January 12, 1876 – November 22, 1916) was an American novelist, journalist and social activist. A pioneer of commercial fiction and American magazines, he was one of the first American authors ...
, , and Jules Verne, and which continues to inspire films and games, such as Mae West's ''Klondike Annie'' and ''The Yukon Trail'' .


Government

Executive power in the Yukon is formally vested in the Commissioner of Yukon, Territorial Commissioner, who plays an analogous role to that of a provincial lieutenant governor. As guarantor of responsible government in the territory, the Commissioner generally acts on the advice of the Premier of Yukon, who commands the confidence of the elected Legislative Assembly of Yukon, Legislative Assembly. Unlike lieutenant governors, commissioners are not direct representatives of the Monarchy of Canada, Queen but are instead appointed by the federal government. The Yukon has numerous political parties and candidates who stand for election to the 19 seats in the Yukon Legislative Assembly. Those elected to the legislature are known as Member of the Legislative Assembly, members of the Legislative Assembly and may use the post nominal letters "MLA". The three parties presently represented are the centre-leaning Yukon Liberal Party (8 seats) – who currently form government, the centre-right leaning Yukon Party (8), and the centre-left leaning Yukon New Democratic Party (3). The 9th and current premier of Yukon is Sandy Silver, who represents the electoral district of Klondike as its MLA. Silver took office following the 2016 Yukon general election, where his Liberals won a majority government. After the 2021 Yukon general election, the Liberals were reduced to a minority government, though they were able to continue governing due to a formal agreement with the NDP.


Local government

The vast majority of Yukon's land mass is Unorganized Yukon, unorganized, with no defined municipal or otherwise supralocal level of government like in other parts of Canada. For most individuals in the Yukon though, local level governance is provided by List of municipalities in Yukon, municipalities. The Yukon's eight municipality, municipalities cover only of the territory's land mass but are home to of its population. Municipal governments are created by the Yukon Government in accordance with the ''Municipal Act'' of 2001. Municipal governments provide "jurisdiction services, facilities, or things that a local government considers necessary or desirable for all or part of its community". Classifications of municipalities under the ''Municipal Act'' include city, cities and towns.
Whitehorse Whitehorse () is the capital and only city of Yukon, and the largest city in Northern Canada. It was incorporated in 1950 and is located at kilometre 1426 (Historic Mile 918) on the Alaska Highway in southern Yukon. Whitehorse's Downtown Whitehors ...
is the capital of the Yukon and its only city. The remaining seven municipalities are towns, of which four were villages that were continued as towns upon adoption of the 2001 ''Municipal Act''. The usage is somewhat confusing: according to the Municipal Act of 2001 villages are legally given the status of towns, but may call themselves villages in English. In French they are called villages, and the French word ville, which means town is not used for them. Instead larger settlements are called ville and even bigger ones grande ville, apart from Dawson which is called a cité, and in English is also called a city. Keno City, though unincorporated, also bears city in its name.


History

In the 19th century, the Yukon was a segment of North-Western Territory that was administered by the
Hudson's Bay Company The Hudson's Bay Company (HBC; french: Compagnie de la Baie d'Hudson) is a Canadian, now American-owned, retail Retail is the sale of goods In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with ...
, and then of the Northwest Territories administered by the federal Canadian government. It only obtained a recognizable local government in 1895 when it became a separate Districts of the Northwest Territories, district of the Northwest Territories. In 1898, it was made a separate territory with its own commissioner and an appointed Territorial Council. Prior to 1979, the territory was administered by the Commissioner#Canadian territories, commissioner who was appointed by the federal Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (Canada), Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. The commissioner had a role in appointing the territory's ''Executive Council'', served as chair, and had a day-to-day role in governing the territory. The elected ''Territorial Council'' had a purely advisory role. In 1979, a significant degree of power was Devolution, devolved from the commissioner and the federal government to the territorial legislature which, in that year, adopted a party system of responsible government. This change was accomplished through a letter from Jake Epp, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, rather than through formal legislation. In preparation for responsible government, political parties were organized and ran candidates to the Yukon Legislative Assembly for the first time in 1978. The Yukon Party, Progressive Conservatives won these elections and formed the first party government of Yukon in January 1979. The Yukon New Democratic Party (NDP) formed the government from 1985 to 1992 under Tony Penikett and again from 1996 under Piers McDonald until being defeated in 2000. The conservatives returned to power in 1992 under John Ostashek after having renamed themselves the Yukon Party. The Yukon Liberal Party, Liberal government of Pat Duncan was defeated in elections in November 2002, with Dennis Fentie of the Yukon Party forming the government as Premier (Canada), premier. The ''Yukon Act'', passed on April 1, 2003, formalized the powers of the Yukon Government and devolved additional powers to the territorial government (e.g., control over land and natural resources). As of 2003, other than criminal prosecutions, the Yukon Government has much of the same powers as provincial governments, and the other two territories are looking to obtaining the same powers.


Federal representation

At the federal level, the Yukon is represented in the Parliament of Canada by one member of Parliament (MP) and one Senate of Canada, senator. MPs from Canadian territories are full and equal voting representatives and residents of the territory enjoy the same rights as other Canadian citizens. One Yukon MP, Erik Nielsen, served as Deputy Prime Minister of Canada, Deputy Prime Minister under Brian Mulroney, while another, Audrey McLaughlin, was the leader of the federal New Democratic Party (Canada), New Democratic Party (NDP) from 1989 to 1995.


First Nations

A substantial minority of the territory's population is
First Nations The First Nations (french: Premières Nations ) are groups of Canadian indigenous peoples, who are classified as distinct from the Inuit Inuit (; iu, ᐃᓄᐃᑦ 'the people', singular: Inuk, , dual: Inuuk, ) are a group of culturally s ...
. An Yukon Land Claims, umbrella land claim agreement representing 7,432 members of 14 different First Nations was signed with the federal government in 1993. Eleven of the 14 Yukon First Nations have negotiated and signed comprehensive land claim and self-government agreements. The 14 First Nations speak eight different languages. The territory once had an Inuit settlement, located on Herschel Island off the
Arctic Ocean The Arctic Ocean is the smallest and shallowest of the world's five major s. It spans an area of approximately and is also known as the coldest of all the oceans. The (IHO) recognizes it as an ocean, although some call it the Arctic Medit ...

Arctic Ocean
coast. This settlement was dismantled in 1987 and its inhabitants relocated to the neighbouring Northwest Territories. As a result of the Inuvialuit Final Agreement, the island is now a territorial park and is known officially as Qikiqtaruk Territorial Park, Qikiqtaruk being the name of the island in Inuvialuktun.


Transportation

Before modern forms of transportation, the rivers and mountain passes were the main transportation routes for the coastal Tlingit people trading with the Athabascans of which the Chilkoot Pass and Dalton Trail, as well as the first Europeans.


Air

Erik Nielsen Whitehorse International Airport serves as the air transport infrastructure hub, with scheduled direct flights to Vancouver, Victoria, British Columbia, Victoria, Kelowna, Calgary, Edmonton, Yellowknife, Inuvik, Ottawa, Dawson City, Old Crow, Yukon, Old Crow, Juneau and Frankfurt (pre-COVID). Erik Nielsen Whitehorse International Airport, Whitehorse International Airport is also the headquarters and primary hub for Air North, Yukon's Airline. Every Yukon community is served by an List of airports in Yukon, airport or community aerodrome. The communities of Dawson City and Old Crow have regularly scheduled service through Air North. Air charter businesses exist primarily to serve the tourism and mining exploration industries.


Rail

The railway ceased operation in the 1980s with the first closure of the Faro, Yukon, Faro mine. It is now run during the summer months for the tourism season, with operations between Carcross, Yukon, Carcross and Skagway, Alaska. The Alaska-Alberta Railway Development Corporation (A2A) is planning to construct a new railway line that would cross the Yukon, connecting Watson Lake and possibly Carmacks but not Whitehorse.


Roads

Today, major land routes include the Alaska Highway, the
Klondike Highway ) seen from Klondike Highway Image:Carmacs-bridge across Yukon River.JPG, The bridge across the Yukon River at Carmacks, Yukon, Carmacks The Klondike Highway is a highway that runs from the Alaska Panhandle through the province of British Col ...
(between Skagway and Dawson City), the Haines Highway (between Haines, Alaska, and Haines Junction, Yukon, Haines Junction), and the Dempster Highway (linking Inuvik, Northwest Territories to the Klondike Highway, and the only road access route to the
Arctic Ocean The Arctic Ocean is the smallest and shallowest of the world's five major s. It spans an area of approximately and is also known as the coldest of all the oceans. The (IHO) recognizes it as an ocean, although some call it the Arctic Medit ...

Arctic Ocean
, in Canada), all paved except for the Dempster. Other highways with less traffic include the Robert Campbell Highway linking Carmacks, Yukon, Carmacks (on the Klondike Highway) to Watson Lake, Yukon, Watson Lake (Alaska Highway) via Faro and Ross River, Yukon, Ross River, and the Silver Trail linking the old silver mining communities of Mayo, Elsa, Yukon, Elsa and Keno City, Yukon, Keno City to the Klondike Highway at the Stewart River bridge. Air travel is the only way to reach the far-north community of Old Crow.


Waterways

From the Gold Rush until the 1950s, riverboats plied the Yukon River, mostly between Whitehorse and Dawson City, with some making their way further to Alaska and over to the Bering Sea, and other tributaries of the Yukon River such as the Stewart River (Yukon), Stewart River. Most of the riverboats were owned by the British-Yukon Navigation Company, an arm of the White Pass and Yukon Route, which also operated a narrow gauge railway between Skagway, Alaska, and Whitehorse.


See also

* Outline of Yukon


Notes


References


Further reading

* * * * * * *


External links


Government of Yukon

Yukon Attraction & Service Guides
* {{Authority control Yukon, 1898 establishments in Canada Census divisions of the Canadian territories Beaufort Sea States and territories established in 1898 1898 establishments in Yukon Beringia