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Last updated on June 18, 2018

The White River First Nation (WRFN) is a First Nation in the western Yukon Territory in Canada. Its main population centre is Beaver Creek, Yukon. The language originally spoken by the contemporary membership of the White River First Nation were the Athabaskan languages of Upper Tanana, whose traditional territory extends from the Slims River into neighbouring Alaska, and Northern Tutchone, whose traditional territories included the lower Stewart River and the area south of the Yukon River on the White and Donjek River drainages. Closely related through traditional marriages between various local bands, these two language groups were merged by the Canadian government into a single White River Indian Band in the early 1950s for administrative convenience. In 1961 the White River Band was amalgamated by the Canadian government with the Southern Tutchone speaking members of the Burwash Band at Burwash on Kluane Lake as the Kluane Band (subsequently the Kluane Tribal Brotherhood and then the Kluane Tribal Council). In 1990, the Kluane Tribal Council split its membership into the Kluane First Nation, centered in Burwash, and the White River First Nation, centered in Beaver Creek.


The Kluane Lake area is the traditional territory of the Lù’àn Män Ku Dän, the Kluane Lake People. The majority of the First Nation people from this area identify themselves as descendants of Southern Tutchone speakers and follow a matriarchal moiety system of two clans, Khanjet (Crow Clan) or Ägunda(WolfClan). Other ancestors of the Kluane First Nation came from nations such as the Tlingit, Upper Tanana and Northern Tutchone.


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