Department of Tourism and Culture

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Geographical Place Name Resources

Assessment Guidelines for Geographical Place Name Applications

The Yukon Geographical Place Name Board (YGPNB) uses the following guidelines to assess applications:

  1. First priority shall be given to names with long-standing local usage by the general public, particularly indigenous names in the local native language.
  2. Names of rivers, lakes, creeks, and other physical features shall be used for the entire feature. For example, the Yukon River has one name for its entire length, although it is visible from many locations such as Whitehorse, Carmacks, Ft. Selkirk and Dawson City.
  3. Proposals to name a place or geographical feature after a specific person shall show that the person to be commemorated has contributed significantly to the area where the feature is located. In most cases, personal names may be given to geographical features only after the person’s death.
  4. When proposing names for previously unnamed features, those for which no local names exist, preference shall be given to names from native languages, names that describe the feature, names associated with historical events, and the names of people who have made an important contribution to the area where the place name is proposed.
  5. Names shall be recognizable words or acceptable combinations of words, and shall be in good taste. Names that are discriminatory or derogatory from the point of view of race, gender, colour, religion or political affiliation shall not be accepted.
  6. The spelling and accenting of names shall agree with the rules of the language in which they were written.
  7. The Board has no jurisdiction over the assignment of names within municipalities, parks, territorial divisions, or other legal bodies that have been created by, or result from, legislation. Proposals for name changes within a national park are subject to federal review and approval. When geographical features are wholly or partly located within a national park, names and name changes proposals are to be referred directly to Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) - Geographical Names Section.

The YGPNB is government by the Umbrella Final Agreement Section 13.11, pg 130.

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