-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


-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.


-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.


-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)


-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


-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.


-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.


-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.


EMBLEMS of Northwest Territories

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

updated August 2011