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Flag of the Northwest Territories

Northwest Territories

The name was originally applied to the territory acquired in 1870 from the Hudson's Bay Company and Great Britain - Rupert's Land and the North-Western Territory - which lay northwest of central Canada. In 1880 Great Britain also transferred to Canada the arctic islands, north of the mainland, thereby adding to the territories.

Large portions of Northwest Territories were subsequently removed to create the provinces of Manitoba (1870), Saskatchewan (1905) and Alberta (1905); the territories of Yukon (1898) and Nunavut (1999); and to add to the areas of Manitoba (1880, 1912), Ontario (1912), and Quebec (1912).



Date Entered the Federation
July 15, 1870

Territorial Flower
Mountain Avens

Territorial Bird

Territorial Tree
Jack Pine

Territorial Mineral

Official Languages
Chipewyan, Cree, Dogrib, English, French, Gwich'in, Inuktitut, and Slavey

45,493 (2023)

1,346,106 sq km

The Honourable Margaret Thom

The Honourable Caroline Cochrane (no party affiliation)

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The Northwest Territories and Nunavut are the only jurisdictions in Canada that do not operate on a party structure, and are the only Legislative Assemblies that follows a system of consensus government. This means that each member is free to vote as he/she wishes on any issue and approval of each issue requires agreement by a majority of members.

The Northwest Territories is a land of contrasts: office towers and igloos; midnight sun and midday darkness; skilled tradesmen and shrewd trappers; dense evergreen forests and vast expanses of barren tundra. It occupies the top third of Canada and stretches from the 60th parallel to the true North Pole. Up here, caribou far out number people, and the prehistoric muskox still roam. This is where northern lights dance over world class rivers and some of the largest lakes in the world. It is a land rich in minerals and wrapped in history; where Dene culture and Inuit art are a part of their daily lives.

Distant Early Warning Line
Distant Early Warning Line

This radar warning station on the Distant Early Warning Line, located in the Northwest Territories in Canada, scans the northern skies for signs of military attack. The Distant Early Warning Line is a group of radar warning stations maintained by both the United States and Canada.

On April 1, 1999, the Northwest Territories again gave up some of its land for the creation of the new territory of Nunavut. Nunavut, which emcompasses 1 994 000 square kilometres of the current Northwest Territories became an independent entity with its own government. See the Nunavut page to learn more. The remaining portion of the current territory is as yet unnamed and will continue to be called the Northwest Territories until a new constitution is adopted.

See also
Former Commissioners of the Northwest Territories
Former Premiers of the Northwest Territories
Provinces and Territories of Canada

External Links
Government of the Northwest Territories
Spectacular Northwest Territories
CALL: 1-800-661-0788

Copyright Craig I.W. Marlatt