Alaska-Yukon Pioneers Memorial Scholarship
Two years prior to the Bonanza Creek discovery, that began the Yukon Gold Rush, the Yukon Order of Pioneers (Y.O.O.P.) was founded, on December 1, 1894 at the mouth of the Fortymile River. The organization helped maintain law and order and settle disagreements among early prospectors and residents. After the arrival of the Northwest Mounted Police the YOOP became more of a fraternal and benevolent organization.
In 1912, many of the miners had moved to Seattle and applied to form a lodge there; the Yukon Order of Pioneers Seattle Lodge No. 2 was founded that year by George T. Snow and Thomas W. O’Brien. About a decade later, the Seattle Lodge split away to form their own organization, the Alaska-Yukon Pioneers, with the motto of “We Blaze the Trail – Civilization Follows.”
Initially, in order to qualify for membership, pioneers were required to have been in the Yukon Territory or Alaska on or before 1882. This date has gradually changed over the years. Today membership is extended to members or family members that can validate a 20 year residency in Alaska or the Yukon Territory.
The Alaska-Yukon Pioneers established the Alaska Yukon Pioneers Memorial Scholarship in memory of, and to honor, the many Alaska and Yukon Pioneers that forged a path through Alaska and the Yukon Territory.