Aboriginal communities have lived in this region for roughly 10,000 years. They have been sustained by the waters, lands, and creatures of the continent’s northern backbone. Many First Nations and Native American people know the Yellowstone to Yukon region as Dene Etene, or People’s Trail.
Today this landscape remains culturally significant to indigenous peoples, to descendants of European settlers, and to more recent transplants. All of these residents live, work, and recreate in many ways. As Y2Y staff meet with these community members in their towns, cities, and rural settings, we have come to understand that many of these people are deeply attached to their community and to this land.
The goal of maintaining and restoring the unique natural heritage of the Yellowstone to Yukon region will only be possible through collaboration, and through strenuous efforts to ensure people and wildlife coexist harmoniously. Collaboration and coexistence is central to Y2Y’s mission, expressed through our work with more than 300 partners (local grassroots and community groups, government agencies, funders, and scientists). The Y2Y vision focuses on wildlife and people. A healthy and sustainable environment benefits us all, today and into the future.