Yukon (Canada)

2017-04-11 09:46:20 , Source : The Government Website of Shaanxi Province

Yukon is the smallest and westernmost of Canada's three federal territories (the other two are the Northwest Territories and Nunavut). The territory has the smallest population of any province or territory in Canada, with 35,874 people. Whitehorse is the territorial capital and Yukon's only city.

The territory was split from the Northwest Territories in 1898 and was named the "Yukon Territory". The federal government's Yukon Act, which received royal assent on March 27, 2002, established "Yukon" as the territory's official name, though "Yukon Territory" is also still popular in usage and Canada Post continues to use the territory's internationally approved postal abbreviation of YT. Though officially bilingual (English and French), the Yukon Government also recognizes First Nations languages.

At 5,959 m (19,551 ft), Yukon's Mount Logan, in Kluane National Park and Reserve, is the highest mountain in Canada and the second-highest on the North American continent (after Denali in the U.S. state of Alaska). Most of Yukon has a subarctic climate, characterized by long cold winters and brief warm summers. The Arctic Ocean coast has a tundra climate.

Notable rivers include the Yukon River, after which the territory was named, as well as the Pelly, Stewart, Peel, White and Tatshenshini rivers.

History

Long before the arrival of Europeans, central and southern Yukon was populated by First Nations people, and the area escaped glaciation. Sites of archeological significance in Yukon hold some of the earliest evidence of the presence of human occupation in North America. The sites safeguard the history of the first people and the earliest First Nations of the Yukon.

The volcanic eruption of Mount Churchill in approximately 800 AD in what is now the U.S. state of Alaska blanketed southern Yukon with a layer of ash which can still be seen along the Klondike Highway, and which forms part of the oral tradition of First Nations peoples in Yukon and further south in Canada.

Coastal and inland First Nations had extensive trading networks. European incursions into the area only began early in the 19th century with the fur trade, followed by missionaries. By the 1870s and 1880s gold miners began to arrive. This drove a population increase that justified the establishment of a police force, just in time for the start of the Klondike Gold Rush in 1897. The increased population coming with the gold rush led to the separation of the Yukon district from the Northwest Territories and the formation of the separate Yukon Territory in 1898.

Economy

Yukon's historical major industry was mining (lead, zinc, silver, gold, asbestos and copper). The government acquired the land from the Hudson's Bay Company in 1870 and split it from the Northwest Territories in 1898 to fill the need for local government created by the population influx of the gold rush.

Thousands of these prospectors flooded the territory, creating a colourful period recorded by authors such as Robert W. Service and Jack London. The memory of this period and the early days of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, as well as the territory's scenic wonders and outdoor recreation opportunities, make tourism the second most important industry.

Manufacturing, including furniture, clothing, and handicrafts, follows in importance, along with hydroelectricity. The traditional industries of trapping and fishing have declined. Today, the government sector is by far the biggest employer in the territory, directly employing approximately 5,000 out of a labour force of 12,500, on a population of 36,500.

On 1 May 2015, Yukon modified its Business Corporations Act, in an effort to attract more benefits and participants to its economy. One amendment to the BCA lets a proxy be given for voting purposes. Another change will allow directors to pursue business opportunities declined by the corporation, a practice off-limits in most other jurisdictions due to the inherent potential for conflicts of interest. One of the changes will allow a corporation to serve as a director of a subsidiary registered in Yukon. The legislation also allows companies to add provisions in their articles of incorporation giving directors blanket approval to sell of all of the company’s assets without requiring a shareholder vote. If provided for by a unanimous shareholders agreement, a corporation is not required to have directors at all. There is increased flexibility regarding the location of corporate records offices, including the ability to maintain a records office outside of the Yukon so long as it is accessible by electronic means.

Tourism

Yukon's tourism motto is "Larger than life". Yukon's major appeal is its nearly pristine nature. Tourism relies heavily on this, and there are many organized outfitters and guides available to hunters and anglers and nature lovers of all sorts. Sports enthusiasts can paddle lakes and rivers with canoes and kayaks, ride or walk trails, ski or snowboard in an organized setting or access the backcountry by air or snowmobile, climb the highest peaks in Canada or take a family hike up smaller mountains, or try ice climbing and dog sledding. There are also various festivals and sporting events such as the Yukon International Storytelling Festival and Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous.

There are many opportunities to experience pre-colonial lifestyles by learning about Yukon's First Nations. Wildlife and nature observation is exceptional and a wide variety of large mammals, birds, and fish are easily accessible, whether or not within Yukon's many territorial parks (Herschel Island Qikiqtaruk Territorial Park, Tombstone Territorial Park, Fishing Branch Ni'iinlii'njik Park, Coal River Springs Territorial Park) and national parks (Kluane National Park and Reserve, Vuntut National Park, Ivvavik National Park) and reserves, or nearby Liard River Hot Springs Provincial Park in British Columbia.

The latitude enables the view of aurora borealis in Yukon.

Arts and culture

Although English is the main language used in the territory, as evidenced by the census, the Government of Yukon recognizes several aboriginal languages as part of the cultural heritage of the territory: the Tlingit, and the less common Tahltan, as well as seven Athapaskan languages, Upper Tanana, Gwitchin, Hän, Northern Tutchone, Southern Tutchone, Kaska and Tagish, some of which are rare. As noted above, the "aboriginal identity population" makes up a relatively small part of the total population, accounting for about 25 percent. Notwithstanding, the aboriginal culture is strongly reflected in such areas as winter sports, as in the Yukon Quest sled dog race. The modern comic-book character Yukon Jack depicts a heroic aboriginal persona. By far the strongest cultural and tourism aspect of Yukon, however, is the legacy of the Klondike Gold Rush (1897–1899), which inspired such contemporary writers at the time as Robert W. Service, Jack London and Jules Verne and which continues to inspire films and games from Mae West's Klondike Annie to The Yukon Trail (see Cultural legacy of the Klondike Gold Rush). Notable residents have included Leslie Nielsen, Erik Nielsen and Pierre Berton.

Events and festivals

Yukon also has a wide array of cultural and sporting events and infrastructures that attract artists, participants and tourists from all parts of the world; Yukon International Storytelling Festival, Dawson City Music Festival, Yukon Quest, Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous, the Adäka Cultural Festival, the Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre, Northern Lights Centre, Klondike Gold Rush memorials and activities, Takhini Hot Springs, and the Whitehorse fish ladder.

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