Anyone can apply to the YGPNB to propose a new name or name change for a geographical place. The application should include the name you are proposing or wish changed, location by longitude and latitude, the origin and meaning of the name, and your reasons for proposing it. The Board will carefully consider your application and conduct further research where necessary before making a decision. Such research may include talking to people who live in the area or undertaking historical research.
Oral history projects are particularly valuable for finding out about the names of places where people used to live in the past. For example, a recent oral history project collected information from Gwich’in elders who used to live along the Dempster Highway corridor years before the highway existed. An archaeologist and Yukon Heritage Resource Unit staff member recorded the Gwich’in language names of many places as well as the stories about the years these elders spent traveling from place to place in the vast wilderness of the Blackstone and Peel River country.
The Yukon Native Language Centre (YNLC) has also conducted valuable research on native place names. Northern Tutchone specialist Gertie Tom has written a book on the Big Salmon area, and YNLC staff have also worked with respected elders to record the names of places where people lived in the past. All of these research methods help to preserve Yukon place names for future generations.