Yukon


YukonYukon is a territory of Canada. It lies in northwest Canada between Alaska and the Northwest Territories. Whitehorse is the capital and largest city of Yukon. It is on the west bank of the Yukon River in the southern part of the territory. More than half of the territory’s population lives in Whitehorse.

Land

Yukon is part of a huge region below the Arctic Circle. The Arctic Circle is an imaginary line around the far northern part of Earth. Yukon has long, cold winters and short, warm summers.

Mountain ranges, including the Rocky Mountains, cover much of Yukon. There are thick forests of white spruce, birch, fir, pine, and poplar trees. Few people live in Yukon because of its isolation and limited economy.

The Yukon River flows across the territory into Alaska. It is one of the longest rivers in North America. The territory’s mountains, lakes, and huge stretches of wilderness make it a popular vacation spot. People who like to fish, camp, and hike go there to enjoy the land.

Resources and products

Symbols of YukonService industries are the most important economic activity in Yukon. These industries include health care, education, and government.

Gold is the leading mineral product in Yukon. Other mineral products include silver, sand and gravel, and natural gas.

Because of Yukon’s short summers, most farmers plant only quick-growing vegetables. Farmers also grow hay and raise livestock, including chickens that produce eggs.

Yukon has several small manufacturing industries. Manufactured products include metal products, printed materials, processed foods, and wood products.

History

First Nations (American Indians) have lived in what is now Yukon for thousands of years. The first European people to arrive were English fur traders, in the mid-1800′s.

Yukon was an important fur-trading region for the British Hudson’s Bay Company until the 1890′s. It was made a district of the Northwest Territories in 1895. In 1898, it became a separate territory.

Yukon is famous for the Klondike Gold Rush. In 1896, gold was found in Bonanza Creek, a branch of the Klondike River. Word of the discovery spread quickly around the world. Thousands of prospectors, or gold diggers, came to the area, hoping to strike it rich. This sudden arrival of newcomers became known as the Klondike Gold Rush. It lasted from 1897 to 1900.

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