Learn about subsistence harvest rights in the Yukon

Subsistence harvest rights are the rights of Indigenous Peoples to do the following for food or traditional purposes:

  • hunt;
  • gather;
  • fish; and
  • trap.

These rights are protected under the Canadian Constitution and Final Agreements.

An Indigenous person hunting, fishing or trapping under subsistence harvest rights does not need a licence to do so.

However, an Indigenous person needs a licence to harvest fish and wildlife if:

  • they hunt an introduced species like elk and wood bison;
  • they're harvesting for commercial purposes, such as commercial trapping; or
  • they're harvesting in areas where they do not have subsistence harvest rights.

Read more about subsistence harvest rights in the Yukon.

View the insert map.

Who has subsistence harvest rights in the Yukon

  • Yukon First Nations with Final Agreements
  • Tetlit Gwich’in
  • Inuvialuit
  • Yukon and transboundary First Nations or other Indigenous groups with asserted traditional territory in the Yukon

Find out more about Yukon First Nations and transboundary Indigenous groups.

Where do subsistence harvest rights apply

Subsistence harvest rights generally only apply within certain areas, such as a First Nation's Traditional Territory or asserted traditional territory. In some cases, a Yukon First Nations person can get permission from another Yukon First Nation to exercise subsistence harvest rights in their Traditional Territory.

Outside of these areas, an Indigenous person will need a hunting, fishing or trapping licence and follow the rules that apply for licensed harvest.

Find maps of Indigenous traditional territories and Settlement Lands.

Selling products made from wildlife taken under subsistence harvest rights

You can give, barter trade or sell items made from wildlife taken under subsistence harvest rights as long as:

  • the products are traditionally produced handicrafts, artwork and tools; 
  • the scale of production is small; and
  • transactions are limited to other Yukon subsistence harvest rights holders.

You do not need a permit to sell these items.

You'll need a permit or licence in advance to sell non-edible parts from:

  • wildlife you took under subsistence harvest rights, such as antlers, horns, capes and pelts; and
  • furbearers, whether you took them for subsistence harvest or for commercial purposes.

Find out about licensed buying, selling and exporting of wildlife parts.

Certain wildlife parts are restricted under federal law and you cannot use these to make manufactured products:

  • raptor feathers
  • black bear or grizzly bear gall bladders and paws
  • any part of a carcass from specially protected wildlife such as gyrfalcons, peregrine falcons and trumpeter swans.