While the Klondike Gold Rush is one of the most widely known events in Canadian history, particularly outside Canada, the rest of the Yukon’s long and diverse history attracts little attention. Important developments such as Herschel Island whaling, pre-1900 fur trading, the post-Second World War resource boom, a lengthy struggle for responsible government, and the emergence of Indigenous political protest remain poorly understood.
Placing well-known historical episodes within the broader sweep of the past, Land of the Midnight Sun gives particular emphasis to the role of First Nations people and the lengthy struggle of Yukoners to find their place within Confederation. This broader story incorporates the introduction of mammoth dredges that scoured the Klondike creeks, the impressive Elsa-Keno Hill silver mines, the impact of residential schools on Aboriginal children, the devastation caused by the sinking of the Princess Sophia, the Yukon’s remarkable contributions to the national First World War effort, and the sweeping transformations associated with the American occupation during the Second World War.
Land of the Midnight Sun has long been the standard source for understanding the history of the territory. This third edition includes a new preface to update readers on developments in the Yukon’s economy, culture, and politics, including Indigenous self-government.