The Yukon is home to 8 different First Nations Languages belonging to two distinct language families. Gwichʼin, Hän, Upper Tanana, Northern Tutchone, Southern Tutchone, Tagish, and Kaska belong to the Athabaskan language family. Tlingit belongs to its own family. Both Tlingit and Athabaskan languages, however, belong to the Na-Dené language family.
Today there are few speakers of traditional First Nation languages in the Yukon, with the number of speakers ranging from zero to around twenty depending on the community. About half of the First Nation communities in the Yukon have fewer than ten speakers of their traditional tongue.
The numbers of fluent speakers reflect only one aspect of endangered traditional languages. The demographics of speakers are also relevant. The majority of speakers are elders in their communities.
Intergenerational transmission is also an important aspect: virtually no children learn traditional languages as their first language. Instead, they often learn English as their first language.
The language revitalization program aims to change this language shift by increasing the number of speakers of traditional First Nation languages in the Yukon.