EXPLORE THE LESSER KNOWN
One of the intoxicating things about living in the North is the balance we achieve between some semblance of city life and being immersed in the great outdoors. Whitehorse has all the amenities one expects of a small capital: coffee shops, boutiques, banks, and nightlife. But, as I’ve written about in this space before, I’m grateful it’s only a short jaunt to leave all that behind and stare at a quiet lake surrounded by the vast boreal forest.
And while nature certainly exists within city limits, the theme of this issue is getting outside and exploring those lesser-known environments. As you’ll find in our feature articles, certain places may not be the average stop for locals or tourists, but the entire Yukon is deeply rooted in history as the traditional territory of the incredible First Nations people of the North.
Yukon First Nations have legacies of living off the land through hunting, trapping, and fishing. Their traditions are entrenched in ancient oral histories that delve into spirits and mythical creatures. Through these stories comes respect and understanding of the
wilderness that surrounds us and the importance of preserving it for future generations. We have much to learn from those who intimately know this land. Their stories are irreplaceable.
Many of us—including me—haven’t visited some of the far-reaching corners of the Yukon. Arguably, it’s those places that are the most essential environments in this territory’s history and its future.
I invite you to live vicariously through our writers and photographers in this issue and explore the Yukon’s breathtaking environments. Their words and images will take you to remote areas like the Firth River (pg. 54) and Peel watershed (pg. 62 and “Boreal Chef” on pg. 86), introduce you to long-time wilderness guide Jill Pangman (pg. 32), and tell how a journey in a healing canoe celebrated First Nations culture and craft (pg. 68).
Plus, find out about the scientific research devoted to understanding the snowshoe-hare cycle (pg. 74), join our “Yukon Hiking” columnist as he brings his baby along (pg. 96), and read about photographer Peter Mather’s experience with those who make the trip to Shingle Point on the Yukon’s Arctic coast each summer (pg. 44). Even our “Arts, North of Ordinary” section looks at landscape with Yukon artist Nicole Bauberger’s highway-inspired paintings (pg. 100).
Perhaps you’re reading this and preparing your own Yukon adventures this season. It’s an essential time to do it as the midnight sun takes over. If you’re ready to get outside and explore the lesser known, don’t forget the most important thing to take on your sojourns: respect for the land. Our environment is strong yet vulnerable, and together we must treat it with care. The territory’s spectacular locales are not just picturesque; they’re also rich in legacy. Ask questions, experience and admire the land, and get to know a new corner of the Yukon.