Pioneer or squatter? YouTuber’s Cabin Spark vie for Canada’s wilderness

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In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, much of North America was blocked, so Matty Clark was driving along the Yukon River on a ship full of supplies. He was looking for a wilderness that could hit it abundantly.

“Let’s make ourselves a gold mine,” he told viewers on his YouTube channel. “Everyone has heard about all this gold. You need to be interested in yourself-what’s really happening there? I have all these things Can you show up and bring the gold mine? I think. “

For the past two years, Clark has built a new home in the hinterland of northern Canada and has fought the harsh, cold and relentless mosquitoes of the northern forest, recording his survival on regular YouTube updates.

But he now realizes he is fighting a new enemy. A frustrated government trying to drive him out of his home in Enthreak Creek, south of the city of Dawson.


Yukon’s most famous poet Explained the area As “unmanned, yet”, but despite its vast scale, the territorial government says that people cannot appear in forest settlements and build houses without permission.

Since last year, authorities have been trying to leave Clark and another self-proclaimed pioneer, Simon Turiny. The territory states that they are illegally occupying public land and are opposed to evacuation orders. They are currently seeking intervention in court.

Clark from Newfoundland has a popular YouTube channel, “ “Skote outdoors”Is a record of a trip up the Yukon River in 2020, betting on mining claims, and an actual tutorial on building a log hut. In the video, he can be seen cutting down trees and making cuts in the logs.

“This is a real dream for me who is here now,” he says. One video He speeds up along the snow scene on a snowmobile. “Life here is good. Everyone told me it would be a real struggle. And that is … but difficult times are much more important than good times.”

His videos are often played nearly 10,000 times, and the government uses them and his social media posts as evidence to him.

Clark is on the territory There was an error in his mining claim And permission – and authorities say they didn’t see evidence of YouTuber mining.

“Even if Mr. Clark bet his claim honestly and properly, doing so did not empower him below. [Placer Mining Act] Or other Yukon law to build a cabin on the site for his permanent residency, “said a government court petition.

In an email to the land manager of the territory, Clark says the battle is about multiple log houses.

“I see myself as a guardian or caretaker of the land, not an intruder,” he writes. Clark did not respond to a request for comment.

Although his video emphasizes Clark’s isolation (the second season of his show is called Alone in the Yukon Territory), his cabin is Simon Turiny and two other torts. It is less than 1km from the cabin.

Tourigny, who sees himself as a person learning the “old skills” of backcountry life, arrived in the area in 2016 and admits that he does not have a valid permit to occupy the land. But like Clark, he’s not going to leave.

Tourigny argued that his values ​​were being attacked in last year’s editorial, adopting more abstract defenses rather than being bothered by the articles of incorporation and building codes.

“Which part of what we are doing is” unauthorized “? Our cabin or our lifestyle? They don’t say because they don’t know or can’t admit the truth. Tourigny I wrote in Yukon News.. “Are we not allowed to be in the woods?”

Turiny, who the Guardian couldn’t reach, says he and others are “simply responsible for our lives” and “literally living millions of dreams.”

The letter begins a fierce debate at Yukon, Subsequent letter From a resident who calls Tourigny’s claim “whispering, prying, self-justice”.

Both Tourigny and Clarke built a cabin on the land of Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nations. Tourigny claims that “all the indigenous people I’ve met seem to be truly grateful for what I’m doing,” but the band made public comments about their presence on the land. Not.

Neither proceeding has been heard in court yet, but the territorial government has required both Tourigny and Clarke to leave the land and may not settle elsewhere in the territory without prior authority. you can not.

of His editorialTourigny suggests that he does not want to retreat.

“We are waiting to be arrested and forcibly taken to court to be placed in front of the judge. Judges listen to us where fines and imprisonment await. Is the last person in a long line to refuse. “