The Yukon First Nations Culture & Tourism Association (YFNCT) has released the Walk with Us – Respectful Travel Guidelines. Developed in collaboration with Elders representing all 8 Yukon First Nations language regions, the Guidelines will help to build cultural awareness and understanding about what it means to travel respectfully on the land and water and in communities.
At the foundation of the Guidelines are the ancestral values of Share, Care, Respect and Relationship Building. YFNCT credits Copper Joe Jack and his Land and People’s Reconciliation Model for helping to guide conversations about the Guidelines development from this perspective. The Guidelines will be an important resource for Yukoners and visitors to the Territory who want to travel and engage respectfully with the land, cultures, and communities.
“YFNCT is so proud to share these Guidelines. As the Elders said, we have a responsibility to share these teachings so that others can learn from them. We know that both visitors and Yukoners will benefit from learning about the Guidelines,” said Katie Johnson, A/Executive Director of YFNCT.
The Guidelines were inspired by similar work done in other regions such as Haida Gwaii and New Zealand. Increasingly, visitors want to travel in a way that respects local protocols and customs and supports the values of sustainable and regenerative tourism. The Walk with Us – Respectful Travel Guidelines can help visitors to achieve this by arming them with an understanding of what respectful travel looks like from a Yukon First Nations perspective. Caili Steel, YFNCT’s Manager of Training and Community Engagement, reiterates the importance of this perspective.
“In the Yukon, many people value the importance of travelling in a way that prioritizes respect – for the land, water, people, and cultures. What’s beautiful about these Guidelines is that they hold up the Yukon First Nations understanding of respect. Building that cultural awareness can only serve to deepen ones understanding of this place.”
Currently, the Guidelines can be viewed on IndigenousYukon.ca. In the coming months they will be “brought to life” in other exciting ways.