NORTHWEST TERRITORIES - N.W.T.

-second largest of the three territories in Canada
-extends from the 60th parallel to the North Pole
-includes several large islands located in the Arctic Ocean
-Yukon (Territory) is to the west and Arctic Ocean is north.
-Nunavut (Territory) is east, British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan are south.
-Yellowknife is the capital city. It is also known as the Diamond Capital of North America.
-flower - Mountain Avens, tree - Tamarack, bird - Gyrfalcon
-It is also referred to as Land of the Midnight Sun

THE PEOPLE

-population about 43,554 (2011 estimate Statistics Canada)
-More than half of the people are aboriginal - Dene, Inuit (Inuvialuit) and Métis.
-The largest community is the capital city of Yellowknife.
-Population of Yellowknife is approximately 20,000.
-Other communities include Hay River, Fort Smith and Inuvik.

HISTORY

-The first people were the Dene and the Inuit.
-Dene lived along the Mackenzie Valley ten thousand years ago.
-The first Inuit may have crossed the Bering Strait about five thousand years ago.
-An explorer named Martin Frobisher arrived in 1576.
-Alexander Mackenzie discovered the Mackenzie River in 1789.
-Fur trading posts were built along the river.
-Communities grew around the trading posts.
-In 1870 the area became Canada's first territory.
-Yukon, Nunavut, Alberta, Saskatchewan, parts of Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec were once part of the N.W.T.
-In 1999 the former Northwest Territories was divided, creating the new territory of Nunavut.

LAND AND WATER

-Mackenzie and Franklin Mountain Ranges are in the western part of the N.W.T.
-Great Bear Lake is eighth largest lake in the world.
-Great Slave Lake is the deepest lake in Canada and tenth largest lake in the world.
-Mackenzie River is Canada's longest river (1738 km).
-The entire river system is 4241 km long making the Mackenzie River the second longest river in North America.
-Part of the land is rocky where moss, tough grasses and small willows grow.(tundra)
-Part of the territory has trees like black spruce, white spruce, birch, poplar.(taiga)

CLIMATE

-long nights during the winter, long days during the summer
-climate zones - arctic and subarctic
-long cold winters, temperatures ranging from -20° C to -50° C with the wind chill
-subarctic climate in the Mackenzie Valley with longer and warmer summers

RESOURCES

-three diamond mines operating in 2007
-many closed mines
-oil and natural gas exploration
-hunting and trapping of mink, wolf, lynx, fox, marten and polar bear
-commercial fishing on Great Slave Lake (lake trout, whitefish, and pickerel)
-tourism - people come to see the wildlife and natural beauty.

TRANSPORTATION

-The highways are mostly all-weather gravel roads with some paved sections.
-There are long distances between service stations.
-The Dempster Highway connects Inuvik in the north with Dawson, Yukon.
- NWT Highway 1 and Mackenzie Highway provide access to Alberta via connecting roads from Yellowknife and
  other communities.
-From January to March, truckers drive on ice roads plowed on frozen lakes to deliver supplies.
-Regional airlines connect the smaller communities.

PEOPLE AND PLACES

-The Inuvialuit Drum Dancers perform locally, regionally and nationally.
-Nellie Cournoyea (from Aklavik) became the first aboriginal woman in Canada to lead a provincial or territorial
  government. She was premier of the N.W.T. (1991-1995)
-Ethel Blondin-Andrew (from Fort Norman) became the first aboriginal woman to be elected to the Canadian parliament
  in 1988.
-Actress Margot Kidder (from Yellowknife) played Lois Lane in the Superman movies.
-Georges Erasmus (from Fort Rae) was a politician and national chief of the Assembly of First Nations. He was a leader in
  the struggle for native rights and land claims.
-Kenojuak Ashevak and Pitseolak Ashoona are Inuit artists

-Wood Buffalo National Park - home of the wood bison, nesting site for whooping cranes.
-Nahanni National Park - waterfalls, hot springs, glaciers, mountains and canyons.
-Pingo Canadian Landmark on the shores of the Beaufort Sea features 8 of the 1350 pingos found in the region
-Ibyuk Pingo is Canada's highest, reaching 49 metres (160 feet) in height, stretching 300 metres (984 feet) across its base.


BACK to GET THE FACTS ABOUT ........

EMBLEMS of Northwest Territories


link - The Canadian Encyclopedia - Northwest Territories
link - Government of the Northwest Territories website


J.Giannetta
jgiannet@hotmail.com
updated August 2011