The area in which the Village of Teslin is now located is the traditional territory of the Teslin Tlingit First Nation who, as descendants of the coastal Taku Qwan, originally used the area as a summer camp and meeting place.
Eventually, the Tlingit expanded contact with the people of the Yukon plateau and established trade with other nations. The people brought with them their clan system, potlatch tradition, language, songs and dances, and traditions which remain strong today.
The construction of the Alaska Highway in 1942 brought far-reaching changes and prompted the local, semi-nomadic Tlingit population to settle permanently in what today is the Village of Teslin.
Teslin Tlingit Council (TTC)
The structure of the Teslin Tlingit Council incorporates traditional Tlingit Clan culture into contemporary organizational and management principles. The result reflects both the indigenous and the model of good government, independent but complementary governing bodies, the constitutionally entrenched integrity of government branches, and the separation of legislative from executive roles and tasks.
The council is composed of five clan leaders, or spokespersons, chosen by their respective clans.
"The First Nation is actively involved in building new ways of becoming self-sufficient in a contemporary world and continuing to prosper in the old traditional ways, retaining the language, culture and laws for future generations."