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Yukon Heritage & Culture

21st October 2013 Print

Canada's Yukon may be home to twice as many moose than people, but the 35,000 enterprising and creative folks who live here are exceptionally talented. Yukoners celebrate a varied history and a dynamic arts culture, and our vast northern landscapes figure prominently in art and stories. From festivals to galleries to dozens of museums, historic sites, and interpretive and cultural centres, Yukon's story is brought to life for visitors in so many ways.                  

Explore the rich culture of Yukon's First Nations people

Respect for the land, its creatures and the forces of nature, combined with a storytelling tradition, form the foundations of Yukon's First Nations cultures. Explore our cultural diversity and connect with First Nations people across the territory.

The Yukon has 14 distinct First Nations, each with their own unique traditions and cultural heritage. We are trailblazers with respect to land claims negotiations and self-government.  In the Yukon you'll find an unparalleled richness of First Nation artwork, craft, storytelling, music and dance. Visit traditional carvers in their studios, listen to elders tell the stories of their people and learn about the living history of Yukon's first people.  

Yukon Culture Quest 10-day Itinerary

This meandering journey connects several First Nation communities and six impressive cultural centres. View artifacts and handcrafts, meet elders, and learn the story of Wolf and Crow. Meet talented Yukon artists in their homes and studios. Tour local galleries and learn about indigenous arts and crafts. Plan your culture quest around the Adäka Cultural Festival, held each June, and one of many celebrations of Yukon music and art.  

Days 1-2 - Inland Tlingit Traditions

Starting from Whitehorse, drive through the Southern Lakes and learn about Tagish and Inland Tlingit culture. Drop by the Carcross-Tagish First Nation carving shed in Carcross. Visit the Teslin Tlingit Heritage Centre and George Johnston Museum in Teslin. Learn about the Nisutlin Delta National Wildlife Refuge.

Days 3-4 - Southern Tutchone Roots in Kluane

Head west on the Alaska Highway to Haines Junction to visit Da K? Cultural Centre and find out about Kluane's Southern Tutchone heritage. Watch a film about Kluane National Park, and join a guided interpretive walk at Kathleen Lake. Visit the Tachäl Dhäl (Sheep Mountain) Visitor Centre the next day before driving beneath the majestic Kluane Mountain Ranges into Alaska. Then circle back across the Top of the World Highway to Dawson City.

Days 5-7 - Dawson and the Han People

Start with a visit to Dänojà Zho Cultural Centre to get your cultural bearings. Visit Tr'ochëk to learn about the traditional lifestyle of the Han people, and the challenges they faced on the arrival of thousands of prospectors. Drive a short distance up the Dempster Highway to the Tombstone Interpretive Centre. Take in one of Dawson's vibrant festivals, and tour the shops for local arts and crafts.

Day 8 - Yukon River and the Northern Tutchone

More cultural stops await, so pace yourself on the southbound leg of your quest. Return to Whitehorse on the North Klondike Highway making stops in Pelly Crossing to visit Big Jonathan House - perhaps a side trip to Fort Selkirk - and a tour of Tagé Cho Hudän Interpretive Centre in Carmacks.

Day 9-10 - Cultural Attractions in Whitehorse

Longhouses and a giant circular fire pit at Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre face the riverfront, reconnecting First Nations people to the river they were once intimately connected with. MacBride Museum offers excellent historical displays on Yukon First Nations people. Local galleries display carvings, textiles, beadwork and other traditional arts. For a unique destination, the fly-in village of Old Crow in North Yukon houses the John Tizya Cultural Centre.    

Windows On The Wild offer fly-drive packages to the Yukon from £1550 per person including return flights from London Heathrow to Whitehorse on Air Canada and 7 days 4x4 car hire. For more information, email info[at] or visit

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