Yukon Cultural Groups

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Online Records[edit | edit source]

  • Francophone Yukoners: This database provides an index to 2495 francophone Yukoners who lived and worked in the Yukon from 1825-1950. The Association franco-yukonnaise published the book 'Empreinte: la presence francophone au Yukon (1825-1950)' in 1997. The book includes brief profiles of some of the people listed in it. The database provides access to the print copy by name and page on which the person is listed. Can be searched by surname, given name, page and call number." Yukon Archives has a print copy of 'Empreinte: la presence francophone au Yukon (1825-1950)', located at 929.371 91 Empr (2 vol. set). See WorldCat for other locations of this book.

Ethnicity[edit | edit source]

According to the 2006 Canada Censusthe majority of the territory's population was of European descent, although it has a significant population of First Nations communities across the territory. The 2011 National Household Survey examined 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 Yukon, 63.5% were born in Asia. The top ten ancestries were:[1]

Rank Ethnic group Population
1 English 8,795
2 North American First Nations 7,705
3 Scottish 7,000
4 Canadian 6,075
5 Irish 5,735
6 German 4,835
7 French 4,330
8 Ukrainian 1,620
9 Dutch (Netherlands) 1,475
10 Norwegian 1,340

Filipino[edit | edit source]

  • The northern territories of Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut have a Filipino community of almost 3,000 despite an extremely cold climate. The Filipino community has grown steadily from 735 in 2001. Filipinos in the Yukon Territory are the second-largest minority group to the Chinese with a community of 1,310 living there.[2]
  • Filipino community in Yukon poised for growth with new government deal

FirstNations[edit | edit source]

The population of indigenous people of the Yukon prior to arrival of Europeans is uncertain. The number at the beginning of the nineteenth century most likely lies between 7000 and 9000 or more. By 1830, there were approximately 4700 indigenous people living in the Yukon. Inhabited by six principle tribes: the Gwich'in, the Hän, the Kaska, the Tagish, the Northern and Southern Tutchone, and the Teslin, there are also Métis, though unrecognized politically, and Inuvialuit who maintain connections to certain territories of Yukon.

The Gwich'in homeland encompasses the basins of the Peel River and the Porcupine River. Relatives of the Gwich'in, the Hän, live at the middle reach of the Yukon River at the border with Alaska. The Northern Tutchone inhabit central Yukon in the basins of the Pelly River and Stewart River. There live the Kaska in the Southeast, in a basin of the Liard River. And, in the South, near lakes in the upper course of Yukon there live the Tagish, who are related to the Kaska. In the Southwest are the Southern Tutchone and, in the river heads of the White River, are the Upper Tanana. In the south, along the Teslin River, are continental Tlingit (Teslin).[3]

Métis[edit | edit source]

The Gwich'in homeland encompasses the basins of the Peel River and the Porcupine River. Relatives of the Gwich'in, the Hän, live at the middle reach of the Yukon River at the border with Alaska. The Northern Tutchone inhabit central Yukon in the basins of the Pelly River and Stewart River. There live the Kaska in the Southeast, in a basin of the Liard River. And, in the South, near lakes in the upper course of Yukon there live the Tagish, who are related to the Kaska. In the Southwest are the Southern Tutchone and, in the river heads of the White River, are the Upper Tanana. In the south, along the Teslin River, are continental Tlingit (Teslin).[4]


  • The Métis are a multi ancestral indigenous group whose homeland is in Canada and parts of the United States between the Great Lakes region and the Rocky Mountains. The Métis trace their descent to both Indigenous North Americans and European settlers (primarily French). Not all people of mixed Indigenous and Settler descent are Métis, as the Métis are a distinct group of people with a distinct culture and language. Since the late 20th century, the Métis in Canada have been recognized as a distinct Indigenous people under the Constitution Act of 1982 and have a population of 587,545 as of 2016.
  • During the height of the North American fur trade in New France from 1650 onward, many French and British fur traders married First Nations and Inuit women, mainly Cree, Ojibwa, or Saulteaux located in the Great Lakes area and later into the north west.
  • The majority of these fur traders were French and Scottish; the French majority were Catholic.
  • These marriages are commonly referred to as marriage à la façon du pays or marriage according to the "custom of the country."
  • At first, the Hudson's Bay Company officially forbade these relationships. However, many Indigenous peoples actively encouraged them, because they drew fur traders into Indigenous kinship circles, creating social ties that supported the economic relationships developing between them and Europeans. When Indigenous women married European men, they introduced them to their people and their culture, taught them about the land and its resources, and worked alongside them. Indigenous women paddled and steered canoes, made moccasins out of moose skin, netted webbing for snowshoes, skinned animals and dried their meat.
  • The children of these marriages were often introduced to Catholicism, but grew up in primarily First Nations societies. As adults, the men often worked as fur-trade company interpreters, as well as fur trappers in their turn.
  • Many of the first generations of Métis lived within the First Nations societies of their wives and children, but also started to marry Métis women.
  • By the early 19th century, marriage between European fur traders and First Nations or Inuit women started to decline as European fur traders began to marry Métis women instead, because Métis women were familiar with both white and Indigenous cultures, and could interpret.[5]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Yukon", in Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yukon#Ethnicity, accessed 4 January 2021.
  2. "Filipino", in Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filipino_Canadians#Yukon, accessed 4 January 2021.
  3. "Indigenous peoples of Yukon", in Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indigenous_peoples_of_Yukon, accessed 4 January 2021.
  4. "Indigenous peoples of Yukon", in Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indigenous_peoples_of_Yukon, accessed 4 January 2021.
  5. "Métis Nation", Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%A9tis, accessed 25 October 2020.