Yukon MLAs want Discovery Channel to change the name of its popular program Yukon Men.
The reality show is set in Tanana, Alaska, along the Yukon River.
Darius Elias, the Independent MLA for Vuntut Gwitchin, says the show gives Yukon trappers a bad name by showing unethical and illegal hunting practices.
“The few citizens who still maintain traplines take pride in their responsible approach to harvesting their fur,” said Elias. “We don’t club lynx to death when they’re caught in a leg-hold trap. We don’t shoot wolverines when they’re caught in a leg-hold trap. We sure don’t and we surely do not feed chinook salmon to our dog teams.
“That’s not our Yukon, but that’s what is portrayed on the Discovery Channel program called Yukon Men. Yukon hunters and trappers consider this program’s name as an outright case of identity theft.”
The government agrees, said Environment Minister Currie Dixon. He wrote to the Discovery Channel in October expressing his concerns about the show.
“In that letter I noted that hunting and trapping in Yukon are well-regulated activities and both are important aspects of Yukon’s unique quality of life, history, culture and traditional economy. … Of course some of the practices on that television show have the potential to damage both our tourism industry and our trapping industry in the territory.”
Dixon received a response from Discovery Channel, but they were not receptive to the idea of a name change.
“Their claim is that it is on the Yukon River in Alaska, so it’s acceptable for them to refer to it as Yukon Men,” said Dixon.