The 19th century was a time of change in the Yukon. Previous to this, our people encountered the occasional explorer, fur trader and missionary but nothing compared to the impact felt when the Gold Rush of 1898
occurred in the Klondike, the homelands of the Tr'ondek Hwech'in
. Forty thousand white prospectors swooped into the Yukon during the Gold Rush, all seeking the opportunity to strike it rich. They made their way from the southern Yukon through Tagish
, Southern Tutchone
, Northern Tutchone
and Tr'ondek Hwech'in
territories. Life was never the same again for Yukon First Nations and they learned to adapt and change in order to survive in this new way of life. When the gold seekers left, the Yukon was left alone and was of no interest to anyone other than our people until the next great force of change, known as World War II occurred.