Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada
Follow in the footsteps of Yukon Francophones and discover their heritage in downtown Whitehorse.
Armed with their courage, the first Francophones set foot in the Yukon in the late 1820s. For the most part, they were coureurs de bois who had worked for the Hudson’s Bay Company where they were involved in the fur trade with the region’s First Nations.
In the 1870s, large numbers of Francophone gold prospectors, clerics and entrepreneurs decided to make a go of it as well. As a result, during the Klondike Gold Rush, French Canadians were already well established in the region, where they played an important role in the local social and political life. During the last century, high emigration following the decline of the Gold Rush, isolation and the lack of adequate infrastructure made English the language of choice, despite an ongoing Francophone presence.
After the Second World War, owing to the development of infrastructure and mining activities, Francophones gradually repopulated the territory, along with others. In the early 1980s, Yukon’s Francophones came together to protect their language rights and establish institutions and services vital to ensuring that their language and culture flourished.
Today, the Francophone community is recognized and highly visible; it is an integral part of the Yukon community.
Use the “Preload” option on your smart phone or tablet. You will be able to access the content on site with the “My tours” menu and be guided by GPS without Internet connection.
DIRECTION, RESEARCH AND WRITING
Françoise La Roche
VIDEO SHOOT AND EDITING
Economic Development Department, Government of Yukon
Government of Canada
Yann Herry, Nancy Power
Photo: Mural of Kébec, 400 ans d’histoire de la francophonie canadienne. Created by Marie-Hélène Comeau, Amber Renée Walker and Dan Benoît, 2008.