Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council


The Yukon River runs for 2,300 miles across the northwestern corner of North America. Many generations of Native people have drawn on its waters for food, drink, and other necessities. Recent development and changes in land use have affected the quality of Yukon River water. In 1997, chiefs and elders of peoples who live along the river joined together in an effort to "once again drink clean water directly from the Yukon River as our ancestors did for thousands of years before us." Today, the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council represents 60 Native nations in Alaska and Canada, monitors thousands of miles of river and millions of acres of land, works to increase water quality and environmental integrity within a massive ecosystem, and offers a remarkable model of partnership among diverse peoples determined to preserve their lands and their ways of life.

Native Nations
Resource Type

"Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council." Honoring Nations: 2005 Honoree. Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Cambridge, Massachusetts. 2006. Report. 


This Honoring Nations report is featured on the Indigenous Governance Database with the permission of the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development. 

Related Resources


UCLA American Indian Studies Professor Duane Champagne briefly discusses the history and importance of intergovernmental relationships for Native nations, spotlighting th Flandreau Police Department as a striking contemporary example.


Jon Waterhouse and Rob Rosenfeld provide an overview of the work accomplished by the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council, demonstrating the benefits of Native nations who have common cultures and challenges to band together to solve issues of mutual concern.


Members of the Skokomish Watershed Action Team have been collaborating for a decade on how to best restore the Skokomish watershed, located at the southern end of Hood Canal, in western Washington. From federal agencies to the Skokomish Tribe to private citizens, this is the story of how these very…