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Dakéyi (Our Country) – Heritage Sites, Place Names

Our traditional culture is based on the subsistence ways of our ancestors, and known for its close ties to dakéyi, our beautiful homeland. Much of our peoples’ history is out-on-the-land, tied to the old settlements and camps, the places where families have raised their children and harvested for countless generations.

A large map showing our traditional settlements and many of our old foot trails can be found on the floor at the Da Kų Cultural Centre.

Language, Culture and Heritage Department staff work with Elders and other knowledgeable community members to document and protect our land-based history. A database of traditional grave sites is maintained, as is a record of aboriginal language toponyms (place names) for our Traditional Territory. Efforts to have our traditional place names recognized as official Yukon geographic names are ongoing.

Our staff work closely with our Lands and Resources Department to document trails and travel routes, as well as heritage sites and structures. We seek support for stabilizing heritage structures identified by our community as being of priority. We also work with our Citizens to identify landscape features and areas that are important for heritage reasons, and we seek the assistance of technical specialists such as conservators and archaeologists, who can help us learn more about different aspects of our heritage. For more information, please contact the Heritage Resource Officer.

The Language, Culture and Heritage department also works to ensure that our heritage concerns are addressed in land development activities participating in the development assessment process (YESAA). We deal with other governments (Yukon, British Columbia, Canada), working to ensure that Champagne and Aishihik heritage is managed with respect to CAFN values.

Wherever possible, we encourage our Citizens to continue to take care of (steward) their special heritage places out-on-the-land as their families have done for many generations. The best way to take care of these special places is to keep them alive by using them, and by passing on their stories connected to these places to the next generation.