Letter to the Editor: UNESCO Designation for the Klondike

Dear Editor:

This past Wednesday the Yukon Legislative Assembly unanimously passed a motion I introduced supporting the designation of the Klondike as a UNESCO world heritage site.

The Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation is leading the way on working towards this designation.  A diverse community-based advisory committee has been assembled for this project and it is reflective of the significant economic opportunity that a UNESCO designation would present at a local and territorial level. A UNESCO world heritage site is defined as “places on Earth that are of outstanding universal value to humanity and as such, have been inscribed on the World Heritage List to be protected for future generations to appreciate and enjoy.” I think we can all agree the Klondike fits this description.

A UNESCO designation is a very rare opportunity and even being considered is a great honour.  The Klondike was placed on Canada’s list of tentative sites in 2004, 150 were reviewed and whittled down to a mere eleven. Four of these have subsequently gained UNESCO status. A designation would put the Klondike amongst such iconic locations as the Pyramids of Egypt and the Grand Canyon.

Having the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in (TH) taking the lead on this project is a demonstration of just how significant this designation would be. The support that TH has received comes from both our major private sector industry associations; the Klondike Placer Miners Association and the Klondike Visitors Association shows just how broad the support is.



Sandy Silver
Leader, Yukon Liberal Party