Yagan was the son of Midgegoroo, who was an Elder of the tribe in the district of Beeliar, south of Perth, bounded by the Swan River, the Canning River, and the sea. Yagan was well known among settlers as a daring warrior and a leader of Aboriginal resistance. He was imprisoned on Carnac Island for six weeks in September 1832. When Yagan escaped by stealing the boat belonging to his guards, the government made no attempt to recapture him.
Yagan's brother Domjum was killed and decapitated by settlers on 29th April 1833. In retaliation, Yagan, Midgegooroo, and Munday killed two settlers who had previously behaved badly towards Aboriginal people. The rewards of thirty pounds for Yagan's capture and twenty pounds for the capture of Midgegooroo and Munday were issued by Lieutenant-Governor Frederick Irwin. Midgegooroo was the first to be captured. Imprisoned in Perth Gaol, he was then hastily sentenced to death. Yagan was shot and killed by William Keats, a settler, in July 1833.
Exactly 177 years after he was killed by Keats, Yagan 'was finally laid to rest in a ceremony attended by hundreds of people. The reburial ceremony for the kaat (head) of Yagan also marked the opening of the Yagan Memorial Park in the Upper Swan Valley on the north-eastern outskirts of Perth, almost 13 years after his kaat was bought back from England in September 1997' (Koori Mail no. 481, 28 July 2010).