Chief Isaac's People of the River - Yukon First Nations History

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The Fur Trade

In 1867 Russia sold Alaska to the United States. The subsequent arrival of American traders brought the fur trade directly to the Han when the Americans established several trading stations in Han territory. The first was Fort Reliance, built in 1874 by the Alaska Commercial Company six miles below the mouth of the Klondike River, across from the Han village of Nuklako. According to Francois Mercier, who was the impulse behind the creation of Fort Reliance, the station was opened at the insistence of the Han chief Catseah, a leader of the Tr'ondek Hwech'in (or Klondike) band of Han. (Source: HAN people of the river, Craig Mishler, William E. Simeone)

The Han People Today "We are people of the river: we cannot fade away. The Yukon is our lifeline for subsistence and survival."
Source: William Silas, The Northland News, April 1988