The Village of Teslin, Yukon is on the shores of Nisutlin Bay on Teslin Lake. The name Teslin is taken from the Tlingit word ‘Teslintoo’, meaning, “long narrow waters” referring to Teslin Lake, which is 125 km (78 miles) long.

The Teslin Tlingit people are descendants of the Taku Qwan who moved inland from Southeast Alaska’s coastal regions to the shores of the upper Taku River in the early 18th Century. At the turn of the 20th century, the Tlingit people continued to move inland to the Teslin Lake area. In the 1940s, construction of the Alaska Highway and Canol Road brought major changes to the area and prompted the semi-nomadic Tlingit population to permanently settle in what is today the Village of Teslin.

There is a day-use area with boat launch at the north end of Nisutlin Bay Bridge, which is the longest water span on the Alaska Highway at 584 metres/1,917 feet. Teslin’s population is approximately 125.

During the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898 gold seekers travelled up the Stikine River from Wrangell, Alaska, then trekked 150 miles overland from Telegraph Creek to the headwaters of Teslin Lake. There, they constructed crude boats and sailed across the lake and down the Teslin and Yukon Rivers to Dawson City and the gold fields.
The Teslin stopover soon became busy enough for The Hudson Bay Co. to established a trading post for the villagers and travellers. However, it was closed by 1903 and the Nisutlin Trading Post was established to serve the Tlingit First Nations. Teslin’s economy is still based on traditional hunting, trapping and fishing, although tourism is playing an increasingly important role.

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