Government of Canada and Government of Yukon announce investments of nearly $2.1 million to support the Yukon’s Indigenous tourism and culture industries

News release

The funding, delivered through CanNor and the Government of Yukon, supports the Yukon First Nations Culture and Tourism Association to deliver programs and initiatives that promote the sector and increase Indigenous representation

August 9, 2023 — Whitehorse, Yukon — Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

The history, culture and traditions of Indigenous communities are an integral part of Canadian society and our national economy. This is especially true in the Yukon, and the Government of Canada is continuing to build partnerships with Indigenous businesses and communities to create more economic opportunities, including supporting the Indigenous tourism and culture sectors.

Today, the Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, PrairiesCan and CanNor; the Honourable John Streicker, Minister of Tourism and Culture for the Government of Yukon; the Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages; and Dr. Brendan Hanley, Member of Parliament for the Yukon, announced investments of $975,000 from the Government of Canada and $1.1 million from the Government of Yukon to support the Yukon First Nations Culture and Tourism Association (YFNCT) over three years, starting in 2022, to deliver programs and initiatives that help strengthen and promote the Yukon’s First Nations culture and tourism industries.

The purpose of these investments is to increase Yukon First Nation representation across the tourism sector as well as increase awareness, demand and sale of Indigenous products and experiences as more Canadians and people around the world visit the Yukon and all it has to offer.

This investment builds on the momentum of previous CanNor funding which supported a wide range of market readiness initiatives and demonstrates an ongoing commitment to the continued growth of sustainable and diverse Indigenous tourism and culture sectors in the Yukon. It also aligns with the Government of Yukon’s Tourism Development Strategy and Creative Potential: Advancing the Yukon’s Creative and Cultural Industries, a 10-year strategy to support the growth and development of the creative and cultural industries in the territory.


“The Yukon First Nations Culture and Tourism Association is pleased to see financial support going towards the development and advancement of Indigenous tourism and culture in the Yukon, thus impacting the growth in Canada. This will directly support the efforts of YFNCT’s mandate to foster the development of vibrant and sustainable Yukon First Nations arts, culture and tourism sectors. We’re looking forward to working alongside our partners to continue to deliver programs and initiatives to support these sectors and our members.”

Marilyn Jensen, Yukon First Nations Culture and Tourism

“Today, we celebrate vibrant and diverse tourism and culture experiences that captivate visitors from Canada and abroad. Across the North and Arctic, there are many authentic products and experiences offered by Indigenous businesses, organizations and communities that contribute to sustainable economic growth and prosperity. This investment in the Yukon’s Indigenous tourism and culture sector will help strengthen resiliency and advance reconciliation as businesses, artists and entrepreneurs proudly share traditional Indigenous knowledge, culture, history and values.”

The Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, PrairiesCan and CanNor

“Tourism is a reflection of who we are. It is a way of sharing the many cultures that coexist in this country, including Indigenous cultures. The Government of Canada's investments will stimulate economic development in Indigenous communities in the Yukon and increase the attractiveness of tourism in the region. By supporting associations such as the Yukon First Nations Culture and Tourism Association, we continue to stimulate innovation, entrepreneurship, and strategic thinking, enabling a wide range of tourism providers to offer unforgettable experiences across the country.”

The Honourable Soraya Martinez Ferrada, Minister of Tourism and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

“The Yukon is home to outstanding natural beauty, cultural experiences and diverse activities that position it to be a leading travel destination. The Indigenous tourism sector is an important part of this growth as Yukon First Nation businesses and organizations continue offering an incredible range of memorable products and experiences to visitors. The Indigenous culture sector reflects artistic expression, social protocols, rights, traditions and worldviews. Together, the tourism and culture sectors are crucial to the social and economic prosperity of this territory. Our government, in collaboration with partners, is committed to the continued growth and sustainability of these industries and their role in promoting a strong and resilient Yukon.”

Dr. Brendan Hanley, Member of Parliament for Yukon

“Indigenous tourism represents an incredible opportunity for Yukon First Nations to share and celebrate their heritage in a meaningful and authentic way while contributing to community strength and economic development. This initiative also aligns perfectly with the goals and vision of the Yukon Creative and Cultural Industries Strategy and the Yukon Tourism Development Strategy. Our thanks and appreciation to the Government of Canada and all the partners involved for the continued momentum in building on the leadership in exceptional Yukon Indigenous experiences.”

The Honourable John Streicker, Yukon Minister of Tourism and Culture

“We are incredibly pleased to see Indigenous tourism as a strategic priority to enhance unique, authentic Indigenous tourism experiences in Yukon. Ultimately, this crucial funding will help Indigenous entrepreneurs and communities in the territory start tourism businesses, create jobs, and offer visitors an authentic experience. We look forward to working with all levels of government, our partners and stakeholders to ensure visitors to the Yukon seek out and enjoy everything from Indigenous-led adventures to cultural activities developed in partnership with the Yukon First Nations Culture and Tourism Association.”

Keith Henry, President and CEO, Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada

Quick facts

  • The Blueprint for Yukon Indigenous Culture and Tourism Industry Development project began in fall 2022 and is scheduled to continue until April 2025.

  • Initiatives outlined in the plan include:

    • development of mentorship and incubator programs for artists and tourism entrepreneurs;
    • new and innovative product development initiatives for local, national and international markets;
    • development of a new cultural homestay program in rural communities; 
    • the design of a 10-part “Business of Art” program featuring a comprehensive workbook and video tutorials;  
    • tourism and business training workshops;
    • a new marketing campaign to promote Yukon First Nations tourism opportunities; 
    • a new Yukon First Nation Arts Brand retail point-of-sale program; and
    • a new expert showcase program to feature artists and tourism businesses at industry trade and marketing events.
  • The Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency’s Inclusive Diversification and Economic Advancement in the North (IDEANorth) program makes foundational investments in economic infrastructure, sector development and capacity building to help position Northerners in the territories to take advantage of Canada's innovation economy.

  • The project received additional funding from the Government of Yukon (Tourism and Culture and the Cultural Industry Training Fund), the Canada Council of the Arts, the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada and the Tourism Industry Association of Yukon.

Associated links


Kyle Allen
Press Secretary and Communications Advisor
Office of the Minister of Northern Affairs, PrairiesCan and CanNor

Stephen Ducharme
Communications Manager
Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Cameron Webber
Communications Analyst
Tourism & Culture, Government of Yukon

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