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Northwest Territories

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Northwest Territories History

Originally known as the North-western Territories, this Canadian territory was first created in June 1870, when the Hudson's Bay Company ceded Rupert's Land and North-western Territories to the government of Canada. Since the transfer, the area has been whittled down with the designation of land to the

Canadian provinces.

Henry HudsonIn 1876, the district of Keewatin was separated from the North-western Territories. In the 1880's what was left of the territory was divided into districts, including Mackenzie and Franklin. Keewatin was returned to the territories in 1905.

The North-western Territories were not represented in the Canadian House of Commons from 1907 until 1947, when the district of Mackenzie received representation. The rest of the territories were granted representation in 1962, in recognition of the Inuit people's suffrage in 1953.

This area was officially renamed the Northwest Territories in 1912. From 1925 to 1999, this mass of land measured larger than India, until the eastern three-fifths of the territories was separated into the Nunavut territory. Since the separation in 1999, there has been some debate about whether to change the name of the territory.

Northwestern Land and Culture

They may be far north, but the Northwest Territories can boast a slightly warmer climate overall than the arctic Nunavut territory, and are mostly made up of boreal forest.

Many of the Northwest Territories people are natives, like the Inuit people, but fur trading, mineral and transportation industries brought in an influx of non-natives by the 1930s.

arctic winter gamesMinerals make up the most important economic base in the Northwest Territories. The region's capital, Yellowknife, is known as the "Diamond Capital," named after one of the main exports. Gold and silver are regularly mined in the territories as well.

The year 1970 marked the start of the Arctic Winter Games, which take place every two years. Competitors come from all over the Northwest Territories, Nunavut,

Yukon, Alaska and northern Alberta. Games include cross-country skiing, figure skating, hockey, speed skating and snowboarding.

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Northwest Today

Today visitors can enjoy special places and trips unique to each of these Regions of the Northwest Territories:

The Western Arctic Region is home to the Mackenzie Delta, where visitors can take boat tours, spot wildlife and go fishing. This remote Canadian land is surprisingly a popular place for art fairs and home to rugged and challenging golf courses.

Fish above the Arctic Circle, cruise the Mackenzie River, and enjoy outdoor challenges like the Canol Heritage Trail through the mountains in the Sahtu-Mackenzie Heartland. The Heartland is also known for its flight-seeing tours over the mountains, as well as its powerful rivers, like the Natla-Keele and Mountain.

The Dehcho, known as the Travel Connection, is where all the major routes in the area meet, like the Mackenzie, Liard and Alaska Highways. Travel along the Waterfalls Route, where major waterways such as the Hay, Kakisa and Trout Rivers meet and form spectacular waterfalls.

Nahanni Country is all about outdoor activities. Visit the Nahanni National Park Reserve, part of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites, or hike the Nahanni Mountain Range. Take a helicopter over the mountains, travel the Ram Plateau or relax in a hot spring. When you're done, go golfing at Fort Simpson.

Those who enjoy water activities will want to visit the Northern Frontier. The area offers countless Canadian lakes and rivers to fish, boat, canoe and kayak.

great slave lakeThe second largest lake in Canada, the Great Slave Lake, resides in the Northwest Territories. Here, tourists can experience the sandy beaches of one of the biggest freshwater bodies on Earth. Bison, bear and deer roam the surrounding wilderness. Check out Bad Sam's Tavern and Old Town in the city of Yellowknife on the northwest shores of Great Slave.

Our final region, Wood Buffalo, is home to the bison, the largest land mammal in North America. Wood Buffalo National Park is one of the largest parks on Earth, and it needs to be with the size of these American buffalo herds. Check out the salt flats, a natural phenomenon unique to the area and home to whooping cranes. Wood Buffalo is a nesting ground and recovery site for this endangered bird species.

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