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About Yukon, OK
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 the Yukon hold some of the earliest evidence of the presence of human habitation 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 the 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 the Yukon and further south in Canada.
Coastal and inland First Nations had extensive trading networks. European incursions into the area 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.
The territory is the approximate shape of a right triangle, bordering the U.S. state of Alaska to the west and northwest for 1,210 kilometres (752 mi) mostly along longitude 141° W, the Northwest Territories to the east and British Columbia to the south. Its northern coast is on the Beaufort Sea. Its ragged eastern boundary mostly follows the divide between the Yukon Basin and the Mackenzie River drainage basin to the east in the Mackenzie mountains.
Most of the territory is in the watershed of its namesake, the Yukon River. The southern Yukon is dotted with a large number of large, long and narrow glacier-fed alpine lakes, most of which flow into the Yukon River system. The larger lakes include Teslin Lake, Atlin Lake, Tagish Lake, Marsh Lake, Lake Laberge, Kusawa Lake and Kluane Lake. Bennett Lake on the Klondike Gold Rush trail is a lake flowing into Nares Lake, with the greater part of its area within Yukon. Other watersheds in the territory include the Mackenzie River, the Peel Watershed and the Alsek–Tatshenshini, and a number of rivers flowing directly into the Beaufort Sea. The two main Yukon rivers flowing into the Mackenzie in the Northwest Territories are the Liard River in the southeast and the Peel River and its tributaries in the northeast.
Canada's highest point, Mount Logan (5,959 m or 19,551 ft), is in the territory's southwest. Mount Logan and a large part of the Yukon's southwest are in Kluane National Park and Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Other national parks include Ivvavik National Park and Vuntut National Park in the north.
Notable widespread tree species within the Yukon are the black spruce and white spruce. Many trees are stunted because of the short growing season and severe climate.
While the average winter temperature in the Yukon is mild by Canadian arctic standards, no other place in North America gets as cold as the Yukon during extreme cold snaps. The temperature has dropped down to −60 °C (−76 °F) three times, 1947, 1952, and 1968. The most extreme cold snap occurred in February 1947 when the abandoned town of Snag dropped down to −63.0 °C (−81.4 °F).
Unlike most of Canada where the most extreme heat waves occur in July, August, and even September, the Yukon's extreme heat tends to occur in June and even May. The Yukon has recorded 36 °C (97 °F) three times. The first time was in June 1969 when Mayo recorded a temperature of 36.1 °C (97 °F). 14 years later this record was almost beaten when Forty Mile recorded 36 °C (97 °F) in May 1983. The old record was finally broken 21 years later in June 2004 when the Mayo Road weather station, located just northwest of Whitehorse, recorded a temperature of 36.5 °C (97.7 °F).
The 2016 census reported a Yukon population of 35,874, an increase of 5.8% from 2011. With a land area of 474,712.64 km2 (183,287.57 sq mi), it had a population density of 0.1/km (0.2/sq mi) in 2011, the highest among all the Canadian territories. Statistics Canada has estimated Yukon's 2021 Q3 population to be 43,095, an increase of 17.5% from the 2016 census. This is the largest percentage increase for any Canadian province or territory.
Unlike in other Canadian provinces and territories, Statistics Canada uses the entire territory as a single at-large census division.
According to the 2016 Canada Census the majority of the territory's population was of European descent, although it has a significant population of First Nations communities across the territory. The 2011 National Household Survey examined the Yukon's ethnocultural diversity and immigration. At that time, 87.7% of residents were Canadian-born and 24.2% were of Indigenous origin. The most common countries of birth for immigrants were the United Kingdom (15.9%), the Philippines (15.0%), and the United States (13.2%). Among very recent immigrants (between 2006 and 2011) living in the Yukon, 63.5% were born in Asia.
As of the 2016 census, the top ten ancestries in the Yukon were:
The most commonly reported mother tongue among the 33,145 single responses to the 2011 Canadian census was English at 28,065 (85%). The second-most common was 1,455 (4%) for French. Among 510 multiple respondents, 140 of them (27%) reported a mother tongue of both English and French, while 335 (66%) reported English and a "non-official language" and 20 (4%) reported French and a "non-official language".
The Yukon’s Language Act "recognises the significance" of the territory’s aboriginal languages in the Yukon, and permits their use in Legislative Assembly proceedings, although only English and French are available for laws and court proceedings.
The 2011 National Household Survey reported that 49.9% of Yukoners reported having no religious affiliation, the highest percentage in Canada. The most frequently reported religious affiliation was Christianity, reported by 46.2% of residents. Of these, the most common denominations were the Catholic Church (39.6%), the Anglican Church of Canada (17.8%) and the United Church of Canada (9.6%).