The White River First Nation Peoples of Beaver Creek

Beaver Creek is home to White River First Nation, the most westerly community in Canada bordering on Alaska, U.S.A. Our two traditional languages – Northern Tutchone and Upper Tanana – are spoken by Elders and taught to youth. We maintain ties to our relatives in the Yukon and Alaska. Before the Alaska Highway our people travelled freely back and forth with no barriers and shared resources across the region.

Connections among people in these lands extend back through countless generations, demonstrated at the Little John archaeology site a few kilometres north of town. Bone, copper, obsidian and ochre artifacts date to 14,000 years before present, a significant source for telling the story of early human occupations in our Traditional Territory.

Our people lived off this land, travelling in small family groups. In the past century, we were affected by outside historical events. Government surveyors cut lines through the forest in the early 1900s to mark the boundary. Our village at Snag served as an airfield during WWII and recorded the coldest temperature in Canadian history at -63°C. The Alaska Highway brought continuous traffic across our lands and the establishment of Beaver Creek.

Through profound changes, our people have continued to follow traditional pursuits. Hunting, fishing, trapping, berry picking, and mushroom and root harvesting provide nutritious foods. We also administer heritage, wildlife and social programs through our First Nation government, headquartered in Beaver Creek.

We invite you to visit our piece of Paradise, where winter brings clear night skies – perfect for seeing northern lights – and summer flowers provide a warm welcome to cheer your drive.

Growing up in the bush was so much fun

I was born at Marilyn Lake about 15 minutes away from the Alaska Highway. Growing up in the bush was so much fun with Mom, Grandma, and my sister Bessie. I wish that bad thing hadn’t happened to me [residential school] because I would’ve stayed there. We had no fear of bears, nothing. I wanted to move back to Daddy’s place. Live on the land so my kids could learn too. I want my grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great great grandchildren to be proud to be First Nation. Be proud of who you are and be proud to be White River First Nation.
Elder Marilyn John

Points of interest in Beaver Creek

  1. Beaver Creek Visitor Information Centre - Explore our history and make this either your first or last stop in our border town, depending upon which way you are travelling.
  2. Far West Plaza - Stroll the community walkway that celebrates Canada’s most westerly community. see many features including the Church of Our Lady of Grace established in 1962.
  3. Culture Camps - Keep your eyes open for signs announcing details of the various culture camps our First Nation hosts throughout the year.
  4. Bordertown Garage And Museum - Step into the past at this hidden gem. Browse the buildings and discover an extensive collection of Alaska Highway and gold rush-era memorabilia.
  5. Community Greenhouse - Catch a glimpse into the growing movement to enhance our northern food security. Stop by our summer greenhouse and see northern food production in action.

The Yukon First Nations Culture and Tourism Association (YFNCT) is a non-profit, stakeholder-based organization that is committed to growing and promoting vibrant and sustainable arts/culture and tourism sectors.

Yukon First Nations Culture and Tourism Association
1-1109 Front Street (White Pass Building)
Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A-5G4

Phone 867.667.7698

Email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)