For centuries, the high mountain passes of the Southern Lakes were important travel and trading routes for First Nations people. Today, the six First Nations that live in the area are culturally diverse, with different languages and overlapping traditional territories.

Approximately 27,000 people live within the Southern Lakes area in the communities of Whitehorse, Teslin, Marsh Lake, Tagish, Carcross, Jake's Corner and Champagne. Residents use the area for work, hunting, outdoor recreation, mineral and resource extraction, and traveling its many highways.

People and their activities in the Southern Lakes area have a profound impact on wildlife and their habitat.