Logo banner.

The Yukon's Living Heritage

The Yukon’s heritage comes alive on the land. When you leave a find in place, you contribute to the ongoing story of our living heritage.

We're all stewards of the Yukon’s living heritage.

What's a heritage resource?

A heritage resource is a broad term that covers a range of both tangible and intangible things.

The most obvious type of heritage resource is an artifact. Artifacts are abandoned objects of archaeological or historical interest. They're generally older than 45 years. They include such things as a fish wheel, an arrowhead, placer workings, tin cans or bottles or a log building.

Image of wagon wheels.

Heritage resources also include landscape features. Landscape features can give us clues about our past.

For example:

  • a series of bent trees might be an historic trail marker;
  • a ground depression might reveal a possible burial site; and
  • a ground outline or berm could highlight the traces of a past building.

Heritage resources are not always physical. They also encompass stories of a specific place or time. First Nations have passed down such stories through generations. In time, they so inhabit a location and its People that they become a part of that place’s living heritage.

Hunting blind.

When you make a find, what should you do?

The simple answer is leave it in place. When you discover something that looks like it may have heritage value, leave it where you found it.

Wherever you are in the Yukon, you are on a First Nation’s traditional territory. Each First Nation, together with the Yukon government, is working to honour and protect the ongoing story of Yukon’s living heritage.

See the map of Traditional Territories of Yukon First Nations.

Share your find with us by emailing [email protected] or by phoning 867-471-0950.

Traditional territories of Yukon First Nations.

Report your finding.

Why should you leave heritage finds on the land?

When heritage finds are left in place, they add to our living story as Yukoners.

They add to our personal experience.

Our enjoyment of the Yukon landscape is enhanced when we experience connections to remnants in the exact place that history happened. Heritage resources left in context help inform important historical research.

They connect us to our collective Yukon identity.

Heritage resources lend a “sense of place” to our landscapes that reflect our culture and history as Yukoners. This is lost when someone takes objects for themselves or for private collections.

They enrich Yukon First Nations’ culture.

Ancient belongings found on the landscape form part of a larger heritage that is lived by First Nations people. These belongings cannot be understood out of context. They are tied to kinship, cultural practices, oral histories, travel patterns and ways of life. These all contribute to Yukon’s cultural landscape.

They tell the story of newcomer history.

Historical industrial artifacts, such as mining equipment, tell an important story about the influx of newcomers to Indigenous lands. They are markers of historical economic activities within the Yukon. When you leave themin place, they can be interpreted within their geographic and historical context.

Textured background.

Heritage legislation

There are Yukon and First Nations government laws which state that artifacts may not be removed.
Learn about heritage legislation

The Heritage Working Group

This initiative was created by the Heritage Working Group – a collaboration on heritage management between representatives from 11 self-governing Yukon First Nations, the Council of Yukon First Nations (CYFN) and the Government of Yukon.

Give us your feedback