We have been working on this handbook for seven years, which means there are a lot of people to thank. First and foremost, we would like to thank our current and former students who, over the years, have asked us some insightful, complex and sometimes difficult questions about Yukon’s Indigenous peoples, their histories and cultures. One source of inspiration for this book was Robert Muckle’s volume The First Nations of British Columbia: An Anthropological Overview (2014). We hope this book will complement Muckle’s as a source of contemporary information about the Indigenous peoples of Canada.
This book would not have been possible without funding provided by Yukon University and the University of British Columbia. Many colleagues have helped us through this writing journey including our fantastic book editors Jennifer Stewart, Amanda Graham, and Norman Easton. Early guidance and editorial support of this volume were provided by Darcy Cullen, Nadine Peterson and anonymous peer reviewers at UBC Press. Thank you to Lianne Charlie and Rhiannon Klein for your useful conversations on governance in Yukon. Others who provided invaluable support include Yukon University librarians Derek Yap and Aline Goncalves, the Yukon University Research Fund, Yukon Government Heritage Resources Unit and the Cultural Services Branch, Christian Thomas, Ty Heffner, Cathy Ritchie, Val Monahan, Yukon News, the Hougen family, Kevin Benson, Whitehorse Star, Megan Williams and Vuntut Gwitchin Heritage Committee, Teri-Lee Isaac and the Selkirk First Nation Heritage and Culture Department, Deanna McLeod and UBC copyright librarian, Lori Walter. The Yukon Archives are always an incredible resource; we were able to find some amazing photos of Yukoners, which we included in the handbook.
This book would not have been possible without the interviews we were able to do with Marilyn Jensen, Norman Easton, Chief David Johnny, Raymond Le Blanc, Brandon Kyikavichik, Julie Cruikshank, and the oral stories of Mrs. Angela Sidney, Mrs. Annie Ned, and Mrs. Kitty Smith. We appreciate the time that Barb Dawson, Barbra Meek, Patrick Moore, and Brittany Tuffs provided us with as well as Gillian Staveley, Jessica Alfred, Ken Coates, and Paul Nadasdy. Being able to tap into Catherine McClellan’s work helped us tremendously.
We are also grateful to the Yukon First Nation Heritage Group for spearheading the creation of the Heritage and Culture program at Yukon University. Many of the themes and readings in this handbook come from their curriculum recommendations. The President’s Advisory Committee on First Nations Initiatives at Yukon University was also an early supporter of this book.
A special thank you goes to Chief Elijah Smith and the delegates who flew to Ottawa to present Together Today for Our Children Tomorrow and to all those that came before and after who worked tirelessly to bring about new forms of governance to improve the lives of First Nation peoples in the territory.
Finally, we thank our families for their never-ending patience and support during the writing process.