Grade levels: 6-10

Lesson Objective: The Learner Will Be Able To:
  1. Describe some basic ideas regarding First Nations in the Yukon.
  2. Describe the languages and language families of First Nations in the Yukon.
  3. Learn about respectful appreciation of diversity.


  • Computers with internet access
  • Copies of attached worksheets
  • Map of the Yukon. If you can, contact the Native Language Centre at Yukon College to obtain a map of the Yukon showing traditional language groupings in the Yukon. There is also a copy of this map online, at the Native Language Centre website.
  • Reference Materials, such as:

McClellan, Catharine
1975: My Old People Say. An Ethnographic Survey of Southern Yukon Territory. 2 parts. [National Museum of Man Publications in Ethnology, Nos. 6(1) and 6(2).] National Museums of Canada, Ottawa.

1987 A History of the Yukon Indians. Part of the Land, Part of the Water. With Lucie Birckel, Robert Bringhurst, James A. Fall, Carol McCarthy and Janice R. Sheppard. Douglas & McIntyre, Vancouver

Robinson, Harry
Robinson, Harry, Edited by Wendy Wickwire:
1989: Write It on Your Heart: The Epic World of an Okanagan Storyteller Talonbooks/ Northwestern University Press. 1989.

Sturtevant, William, General Editor
1981 Handbook of North American Indians. Volume 6. Subarctic. June Helm, Volume Editor. Smithsonian Institution, Washington.

*There are many great resources available. I suggest talking to your local librarian, or college or university anthropology and First Nations studies offices, or do a web-search. You may specifically ask for materials regarding creation stories of different First Nations, such as Raven and the First Men, from Haida Gwaii.

Lesson Process:
1. Introduce the section by having students look at the map of the Yukon’s language groups/traditional territories. Explain that these areas often overlapped, as First Nations were nomadic, and moved around according to a seasonal cycle. Sometimes they shared areas of land, sometimes not.

2. Students complete the worksheet attached using the “First Nation’s Introduction” section of the Virtual Museum of Canada Mount Logan: Canadian Titan website to introduce themselves to the First Nations in the Mount Logan area.

3. In any remaining time, students share the answers they have written on their worksheets and discuss. Model respectful appreciation of diversity.

First Nations Introduction Worksheet

Go to the website and navigate to the section “First Nations”. Click on the section “Yukon First Nations”. Use the information on the site to complete the following worksheet.

1. How many First Nations are there in the Yukon? What are their names?

2. How many First Nations languages are there in the Yukon?

3. What are the names of the two major language groups to which these languages belong?

4. What are the names of the different dialects?

First Nations in the Kluane Park Area

5. What are the names of the two First Nations whose traditional territory overlapped within the boundaries of what is called Kluane Park today?

6. Describe the ancestry/descent of most First Nations people from the Kluane Park area:

7. What is the traditional language of this area called? Is it being spoken today?

8. Briefly describe the lifestyle of the Kluane and Champagne & Aishihik people as it is introduced on the website:

9. What happened during and after the year 1898 to change the way of life of the First Nations in the Kluane Park area?

10. What were some of the effects of this event on the First Nations people?

11. What happened in 1942 to change the lives of the First Nations people in this area?

12. What were some of the effects of this event?

13. What were the effects of the creation of Kluane Game Sanctuary in 1943?