Infographic: The French Presence in Yukon

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The French Presence in Yukon. Details in text following the infographic.
Text version: The French Presence in Yukon

Text version: The French Presence in Yukon

French is the first official language of 4.4% of the population (1,483 people).

13% of the population can speak both English and French (4,415 people).

In terms of population percentage, Yukon is third in Canada for being the most bilingual, after Quebec and New Brunswick.


609 students are enrolled in French immersion (13% of total student population).

French immersion enrolment has increased by 50% since 2004.

1,599 students are enrolled in Core French (31% of total student population).

224 students are registered at École Émilie-Tremblay (Kindergarten to Grade 12), Yukon’s only French-language school.

Where do Francophones live?

Most Franco-Yukonnais (82%) live in the capital, Whitehorse, and the surrounding areas.

Where were they born?

  • In Yukon: 11%
  • Abroad: 14%
  • Elsewhere in Canada: 74%

Nearly 3/4 of Francophones in Yukon moved to the territory from elsewhere in Canada.


May 15 is Yukon Francophonie Day.


In 1840, Robert Campbell explored inland Yukon for the Hudson's Bay Company with the help of French-Canadian guides. In 1874, Francophone fur trader François-Xavier Mercier built the Fort Reliance trading post near the mouth of the Klondike River. During the Klondike Gold Rush in the late 1800s, Francophones were already well established in the area.

In the 1980s, the Franco-Yukonnais flag was adopted, and a French school and daycare centre opened. In 1982, the Association franco-yukonnaise was established. École Émilie-Tremblay, the only French-language school in the territory, opened in 1984 and is named in honour of the pioneering spirit and contributions to the community of one of the first Francophone women from Quebec to make the long journey to Dawson, Yukon.

In 1988, the Yukon Languages Act was passed, and the French Language Services Office was created. In 2007, the Yukon government proclaimed May 15 as Yukon Francophonie Day.



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