Indigenous Peoples

Date adopted: 
December 11, 2019
Last update: 
August 27, 2020

We use the words “Aboriginal” and “Indigenous” interchangeably and we always write them in uppercase. Nationally, the trend is to use “Indigenous” rather than “Aboriginal” so expect to find yourself to be using “Indigenous” more often.

First Nations spellings

Here’s how to spell Yukon First Nations’ names. While we list the acronyms here as well, do not use them unless you have to. Use the full names or just write “the First Nation” once you have established which First Nation you’re referring to.

Note that some First Nations governments use a plural for “Nations” in their name and others do not.

For terminology specific to consultation with First Nations, contact aboriginal.relations@gov.yk.ca.

Some First Nations government names contain umlauts. For example, the “u” in Kwanlin Dün First Nation and the “e” in Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in. To access these symbols either go to “insert” then “symbol” in Word or use the umlaut keyboard codes listed below. (Use the number pad rather than the numbers above the letters on your keyboard. To activate the numeric key pad press “num lock” on the upper right of the key pad.)

ä Alt+0228
ë Alt+137
ï Alt+139
ü Alt+129

Yukon First Nations

Council of Yukon First Nations (CYFN)

Carcross/Tagish First Nation (C/TFN)

Pronounced: CAR-cross TAG-ish
Community: Carcross

Champagne and Aishihik First Nations (CAFN)

Pronounced: CHAM-pain and EH-she-ack
Community: Haines Junction

Kluane First Nation (KFN)

Pronounced: clue-AH-nee
Community: Burwash Landing

Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN)

Pronounced: QUAN-lin done
Community: Whitehorse

Liard First Nation (LFN)

Pronounced: lee-ARD
Community: Watson Lake

Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation (LSCFN)

Pronounced: little salmon CAR-max
Community: Carmacks

First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun (FNNND)

Pronounced: NA-cho nye-ack DONE
Community: Mayo

Ross River Dena Council (RRDC)

Pronounced: ross River DEN-a
Community: Ross River

Selkirk First Nation (SFN)

Pronounced: SELL-kirk
Community: Pelly Crossing

T a’an Kwäch’än Council (TKC)

Pronounced: ta-on QUAA-chaan
Community: Whitehorse

Teslin Tlingit Council (TTC)

Pronounced: tes-lin KLING-kit
Community: Teslin

Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in (TH)

Pronounced: tron-DEK WITCH-in
Community: Dawson City

Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation (VGFN)

Pronounced: vun-TUT GWITCH-in
Community: Old Crow

White River First Nation (WRFN)

Pronounced: White River
Community: Beaver Creek

Transboundary First Nations and Inuvialuit

  • Dene/Métis of the Northwest Territories (includes Acho Dene Koe First Nation)
  • Gwich’in Tribal Council (GTC)
  • Tetlit Gwich’in Council (TGC)
  • Inuvialuit
  • Kaska Dena Council (KDC) which represents Daylu Dena Council, Dease River First Nation, Kwadacha First Nation
  • Taku River Tlingit First Nation (TRTFN)
  • Tahltan Central Council (TCC)

How to write commonly-used Indigenous-related words and phrases

  • Aboriginal
  • Aboriginal Peoples, Aboriginal people
  • Aboriginal rights
  • asserted traditional territory of non-settled Yukon and transboundary First Nations – for advice about how to refer to an asserted traditional territory in consultation letters, on maps, in speaking notes, etc., contact aboriginal.relations@gov.yk.ca.
  • beneficiary
  • Citizen (when referring to Citizens of a First Nation)
  • Elder and Elders
  • Final Agreement
  • Final and Self-Government Agreements
  • First Nation (when you’re referring to 1 First Nation)
  • First Nations (when you’re referring to more than 1 First Nation)
  • First Nation Citizen
  • First Nations Citizen (when you’re referring to Citizens from more than 1 First Nation)
  • First Nation government
  • First Nations governments (when you’re referring to more than 1 First Nation)
  • Gwitchin (when writing about people from Old Crow, Yukon)
  • Gwich’in language
  • Gwich’in, Gwich’in Peoples (when writing about the whole nation or Gwich’in peoples from Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Alaska)
  • Indigenous, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous people
  • interim protected lands not Interim Protected Lands
  • Inuk (singular), Inuit (plural)
  • Inuvialuit Settlement Region
  • Member (of a First Nation)
  • Métis not Metis
  • non-First Nations
  • non-Indigenous people
  • non-settled First Nation (not unsettled First Nation)
  • Northern Tutchone
  • Self-Government Agreement
  • self-government, self-governing
  • Settlement Land
  • Southern Tutchone
  • traditional knowledge
  • Traditional Territory or Traditional Territories (when you’re writing about the specific traditional territory of settled Yukon First Nations)
  • traditional territory, traditional territories (when you’re writing in general about traditional territories)
    • asserted traditional territory of non-settled Yukon and transboundary First Nations – for advice about how to refer to an asserted traditional territory in consultation letters, on maps, in speaking notes, etc., email aboriginal.relations@gov.yk.ca.
  • transboundary First Nation
  • treaty right not Treaty right
  • Umbrella Final Agreement
  • Vuntut Gwitchin (also see Gwichin and Gwich’in)
  • Yukon First Nations or First Nations, avoid “our First Nations” or “Yukon’s First Nations”

Speaking notes

When you organize an event, you should always acknowledge the traditional territory on which an event is taking place. Make sure this acknowledgement is in the speaking notes.