Kluane First Nation government is located Burwash Landing. Being one of the smallest First Nations in the Yukon, most of its citizens live in Burwash Landing, Whitehorse, Alaska and outside of the Yukon.

Kluane First Nation
Kluane First Nation Logo
Kluane First Nation
Champagne and Aishihik First Nation
Champagne & Aishihik First Nations Logo
Champagne & Aishihik First Nation

How Times Have Changed...

Time Line of significant events in the Kluane Region

Champage & Aishihik First Nation, is one of the largest First Nations in the Yukon. Their Government is located in Haines Junction, with offices in Whitehorse. Most of their citizens live in Haines Junction, Champagne, Whitehorse and outside of the Yukon.

How Times Have Changed...

Time Line of significant events in the Kluane Region

  • 8,500 years ago - earliest evidence of people living in the area
  • 2,800 years ago - climate changes and the boreal forests of today begin to grow
  • 1,150 years ago - White River volcanic eruption. The surrounding area was covered in a thick blanket of volcanic ash. The living and movement patterns of the people change from larger groups to smaller groups covering larger areas
  • 1800s - Surging glaciers cause the flooding of the Alsek River Valley caused by sudden breakage of the glacial dam of Glacial Lake Alsek. Many villages, camps and lives were destroyed.
  • 1890s - European trading posts established in the area
  • 1898 - Klondike Gold Rush
  • 1902 – Trading Post opens in Champagne
  • 1904 – Trading Post opens in Burwash Landing
  • 1900 to 1960s – Most First Nations families still practice subsistence living by fishing, hunting, trapping out on the land and take periodic trips to the trading posts. Some First Nations men are involved in big game guiding
  • 1940s – Day schools open up for First Nation children in the Kluane area. Medical Facilities (Nursing Stations) open up in the Kluane area
  • 1942 - Alaska Highway construction
  • 1943 - establishment of the Kluane Game Sanctuary
  • 1950s – Registered traplines set up by the government
  • 1969 - White Paper: Federal Government rejects aboriginal title claims and proposes the ending of treaties
  • 1973 - “Together Today for Our Children Tomorrow” paper presented to the Federal Government
  • 1976 - establishment of Kluane National Park Reserve
  • 1993 - Champagne & Aishihik First Nations signs Final Agreement
  • 2003 - Kluane First Nation signs Final Agreement

Today: Bridging the Gap Between the First Nations & the Park

The Healing Broken Connections Project

The absence of aboriginal people from the Kluane National Park, as a result of the creation of Kluane Game Sanctuary in 1943, has been an impairment to the park’s ecological values. Parks Canada has developed a significant four year program in partnership with Kluane First Nation and Champagne and Aishihik First Nations to improve the ecological integrity of Kluane National Park and Reserve. By supporting the relationship of the First Nations people and the park as active participants and stewards speaks to the importance of people in the ecosystem of the park.

Addressing several other issues:
  • the understanding of knowledge systems that guide decisions regarding the management of the park;
  • land use outside the park that is expanding and exerting increased pressure on the ecosystems inside; and
  • respectful use of traditional knowledge.

Achieving objectives:
  • Management of traditional knowledge information of the two First Nations.
  • Reintegration of citizens of Champagne and Aishihik First Nations and Kluane First Nation to Kluane National Park and Reserve using ethnohistory work and trail recording to capture vital information. Culture camps for First Nation youth and other community gatherings in the park will contribute to the transfer of traditional knowledge. The first such culture camp, organized by Champagne and Aishihik First Nations, was held at Kathleen Lake in August 2004.
  • Building a respectful relationship with the First Nations involved in the park through joint governance of this project and the development of protocols for traditional knowledge and information sharing.
  • Communicating traditional knowledge by creating information products such as stories about the people, the land and the trails in the park and targeting various audiences to increase their awareness, understanding and support.
  • First Nations will return to the park to exercise their traditional practices. Working closely with the First Nations, Parks Canada will integrate traditional knowledge into the park ecosystem management.

March 2005, Government of Canada, Parks Canada Agency, National Parks