Champagne-Aishihik First Nations

Champagne and Aishihik First Nations

The homeland of Champagne and Aishihik First Nations (CAFN), located in the Southwest Yukon and Northwest British Columbia, is a land of great natural beauty and biological richness. It is a land of steep mountains, surging glaciers, fast flowing rivers, rolling tundra plateaux and forested river valleys.

CAFN was named after two of its historic settlements: Champagne, located on the Dezadeash River; and Aishihik, situated at the headwaters of the Alsek River drainage. Formerly, the Southern Tutchone population was located throughout the region in other villages including Kloo Lake, Klukshu, Canyon, Shäwshe and Hutshi.

Today, the main administrative center is located in Haines Junction. CAFN also maintains a busy office in the territorial capital of Whitehorse.

Of the Yukon’s fourteen First Nations, CAFN has a membership of 1,129, one of the largest in Yukon. Its traditional territory covers 41,000 square kilometers, 29,000 of which are located in the Yukon and 12,000 in British Columbia. The easterly portion of CAFN’s traditional territory lies in the Yukon River watershed where the Yukon River flows into the Bering Sea, while the larger, westerly portion lies in the Alsek River watershed where the Alsek River flows into the Gulf of Alaska. Much of Kluane National Park (Yukon) and all of Tatshenshini-Alsek Park (BC) lie within CAFN’s traditional territory.

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Issue- Jan13/2021

PHOTO: Erik Pinkerton Photography