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Northwest Territories

Northwest Territories History Timeline

1700s - 1800s
  • (1700's) Northwest Territories (NWT) dominated by Hudson's Bay Company, North West Company
  • (1870) British government transferred control of North-Western Territory to Canada; Hudson's Bay Company sold Rupert's Land to Canada; Province of Manitoba created from territory
  • (1880) Arctic Islands increased size of NWT
  • (1882) NWT divided into four administrative districts: Alberta, Assiniboia, Athabaska, Saskatchewan
  • (1890) Gold discovered in Yellowknife Bay area
  • (1898) Yukon became separate territory
1900s
  • (1905) Alberta, Saskatchewan created
  • (1918) NWT divided into present districts: Keewatin, Mackenzie, Franklin
  • (1920) NWT districts brought into the Dominion of Canada
  • (1924) Royal Canadian Corps of Signals established first Northwest Territory radiotelegraph station
  • (1928) Influenza epidemic killed 10 to 15% of Aboriginal population
  • (1933) Canada'a first radium/uranium mine opened at Port Radium
  • (1940) First municipal government in the NWT inaugurated in Yellow Knife
  • (1954) Last public hanging in NWT
  • (1957) Distant Early Warning Line (DEW Line) completed from Alaska to Greenland
  • (1967) Yellowknife named capital of NWT
  • (1969) Dene formed Indian Brotherhood of the NWT
  • (1970) First Arctic Winter Games held in Yellowknife
  • (1973) Indian reserve created at Hay River
  • (1976) Government of Canada, Dene Nation, Metis Association agreed to enter into negotiations over unresolved treaty problems
  • (1978) Soviet satellite, Cosmos 954, broke apart, scattered pieces over East Arm of Great Slave Lake; Indian Brotherhood of NWT became Dene Nation
  • (1984) Land claim agreement reached with Inuvialuit
  • (1984) NWT recognized aboriginal languages as official languages
  • (1987) Pope John Paul II visited NWT
  • (1991) Diamonds discovered at Lac de Gras
  • (1992) Bomb placed in mine drift during labor dispute at Royal Oak Mine killed nine; Land claim agreement reached with Gwich'in
  • (1994) Land claim agreement reached with Sahtu Dene/Metis
  • (1999) NWT divided into two parts - 60% of land transferred to new territory of Nunavut; Chevron announced major natural gas find in NWT
2000s
  • (2002) Land claim agreement reached with Taicho
  • (2003) Gold mining ended in NWT
  • (2009) Canadian fighter jets intercepted two Russian bombers north of Tuktoyuktuk in NWT
  • (2010) Hunter killed hybrid grizzly-polar bear (grolar bear), scientists predicted more hybrid bears will be born as a direct consequence of climate change
  • (2011) Value of diamond production increased by about $40 million over 2010
  • (2011) All incumbents but one who ran for Legislative Assembly, won

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This page was last updated on July 10, 2020.