YHMA Releases Input on City of Whitehorse Sustainability Plan

The Yukon is home to a rich and diverse heritage. This inheritance is physically embodied through tangible heritage, such as buildings and landscapes, architecture, archival photos and documents, and museum collections. It is also expressed intangibly in ways that include stories, songs, and traditional knowledge and practices. When you feel a sense of pride walking downtown, enjoy a cultural festival or teach someone a traditional craft, you are engaging in heritage activities.

As the Territorial capital, the City of Whitehorse is home to its own unique heritage and sense of place. The City’s historic downtown is one strong place where this heritage is expressed. This heritage also extends to Whitehorse’s many neighbourhoods and the broader local area, as Whitehorse: An Illustrated History attests. While the history of Whitehorse dates back thousands of years, it is also connected with other, more recent chapters in Yukon history, including the Gold Rush, the construction of the Alaska Highway, Canol pipeline and other WWII infrastructure projects, and the self-government both of the Territory and First Nations as examples.

At a global level, conservation is being increasingly understood as something more than simply building restoration, and is recognized as a dynamic, broader process intimately tied to the development and vitality of communities and economies. Heritage and the conservation process are increasingly recognized as integral to successful sustainability efforts.

Whitehorse is uniquely positioned to play a lead role nationally and internationally in integrating heritage conservation with sustainability efforts. In reviewing the twelve pillars of the City’s draft Sustainability Plan, it is clear that heritage can play a role in meeting many of the Plan’s goals. Ensuring continued support of the City’s heritage and its heritage community is an important first step.

With this in mind, YHMA has developed some recommendations to help share the importance of heritage in the Sustainability Plan. Read more here: Heritage and the City of Whitehorse Sustainability Plan.pdf

Think heritage has a role to play in sustainability? Share your thoughts with the City here.