The blessing of civilization was first introduced to the District of Yukon (as it was called at the time) by Anglican missionaries who arrived in the region in the 1860s, aided by support of HBC. By 1892, three schools were operating along the Yukon River including one that was an early version of a residential school. 1 Early schools focused on literacy instruction as a means to promote religious instruction, but soon grew in significance in other ways. For the missionaries these schools were like flag posts, marking the furthest northern and western extent of the British Empire. They were celebrated in the drawing rooms and lecture halls of Britain, drawing donations to the Church Missionary Society who supported the missions and inspired missionary recruits to join “the call.” 2 Others were attracted by rumors of gold discoveries and by the time of the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898, the population of outsiders had swelled to 30,000. The onslaught profoundly changed the lives of Yukon First Nations almost overnight and caused the alienation of their lands, significant loss of game and epidemics causing deaths in the thousands. That which led to the erosion of traditional languages and cultural practices was a slower and more intentional process brought on by schools. It began with mission schools and continued on in government-sponsored schools.