Chapter 4 – Yukon First Nations’ Relationship with Newcomers

Suggested Readings

For an in-depth discussion of the history of Yukon Land Claims see the four-part Nedaa video series The Long Journey Home (produced by Northern Native Broadcasting for Council of Yukon First Nations, 1997). Together Today for Our Children Tomorrow: A Statement of Grievances and an Approach to Settlement by the Yukon Indian People (Charters Publishing, 1977) is a foundational document in the Yukon land claim. A collection of Indigenous people’s perspectives on illness and going to Indian Hospitals can be found in Laurie Meijer Drees Healing Histories (The University of Alberta Press, 2012). To read Indigenous oral accounts of the Klondike gold rush see Julie Cruikshank, Angela Sidney, Kitty Smith and Annie Ned’s Life Lived Like a Story (The University of British Columbia, 1990). For a discussion of early interactions between Selkirk First Nation people and newcomers see Fort Selkirk: Early Contact Period Interaction Between the Northern Tutchone and the Hudson’s Bay Company in Yukon (Castillo, Government of the Yukon, 2012). The film, I, Nuligak, An Inuvialuit History of First Contact, provides a biographical account of an Indigenous man’s life during the whaling trade at the turn of the 20th century (White Pine Pictures, 2006). A historical account of Yukon can be found in Ken Coates and William Morrison’s Land of the Midnight Sun: A History of the Yukon (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2005). Ken Coates provides a detailed historical account of interactions between Indigenous peoples and newcomers to Yukon during the 20th century in Best left as Indians (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1993). To better understand the Indian Act see the book 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act: Helping Canadians Make Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples a Reality (2018). Written by Indigenous scholar Bob Joseph, this book is a guide to understanding the legal document. For an oral history account of the Vuntut Gwitchin people in their own words see People of the Lakes: Stories of Our Van Tat Gwich’in Elders / Googwandak Nakhwach’anjòo Van Tat Gwich’in (Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation and Shirleen Smith, The University of Alberta Press, 2009). For an ethnographic and ethnohistorical overview of the Han peoples of the upper Yukon River basin see Craig Mishler and William Simeone’s Han, People of the River/Han Hwech’in: An Ethnography and Ethnohistory (University of Alaska Press, 2004). I Was Born Under a Spruce Tree by Champagne and Aishihik First Nation elder JJ Van Bibber describes the author’s life along the Yukon and Pelly Rivers, prospecting, fishing and lumbering (Talus Publishing Group, 2012).

The social effects of big game hunting in Yukon are found in Yukon Wildlife: A Social History (The University of Alberta Press, 1985).  An important group of conference papers describing the effects of the Alaska Highway on communities in the north during the mid-20th century, including Yukon First Nations communities, see The Alaska Highway: Papers of the 40th Anniversary Symposium (University of British Columbia Press, 1985).

For a national perspective on residential schools and the sixties scoop and how they have been viewed by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission see The Sleeping Giant Awakens: Genocide, Indian Residential Schools, and the Challenge of Conciliation (MacDonald 2019). The films, Mission School Syndrome and Healing the Mission School Syndrome provide stories of residential school survivors and their experiences during and after their time living in Yukon residential schools (Northern Native Broadcasting, 1992 and 1995 respectively). Tlingit filmmaker, Duane Gastant Aucoin’s film, My Own Private Lower Post describes one man’s journey to understanding his mother’s time at the Lower Post Indian Residential School (Filmwest Associates, 2008). In their own words, Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in citizens who survived residential school share their stories in, Tr’ëhuhch’in Näwtr’udäh’ą: Finding Our Way Home (Clarke et al. and Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Publication, 2009). For a Canada wide discussion on the history of residential schools see A Knock on the Door: The Essential History of Residential Schools from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (2016).


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ECHO: Ethnographic, Cultural and Historical Overview of Yukon's First Peoples Copyright © 2020 by Victoria Elena Castillo; Christine Schreyer; and Tosh Southwick is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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