Canada's Northwest Territories

Canada's Northwest Territories (NWT) is located in northern Canada, and is bordered by two territories and three provinces. The territories it borders are Nunavut on the east, and Yukon on the west. The provinces it borders are British Columbia on the southwest, and Alberta and Saskatchewan on the south.Northwest territories

NWT has one of the lowest populations of any province on Canada, especially considering its size. NWT has 43,300 people – of that 36% are natives, or First Nations.

History of NWT

NWT has had a storied past. The territory was created in 1870, and at the time was considered on of the most prominent of all provinces. As the years progressed, several sections of NWT broke off to become separate provinces. Manitoba was the first to separate, and in the late 1890s NWT saw its population fall by almost 80,000 people, due to provinces and territories defecting.


Today French is the official language of NWT, although nearly 77% of its people speak English. NWT recognises 11 languages, including Chippewan, Cree, English, French, Gwich'in, Inuinnuqtun, Inuktitut, Inuvialuktun, North Slavey, and South Slavey.


NWT has a great abundance of natural precious metals such as diamonds, gold and natural gas. It is also home several bountiful mines of gold, diamonds and silver. Due to the profitableness of these mines, in conjunction with the low population, NWT has the highest GDP per capita out of all of Canada’s provinces and territories.


The Northwest Territories spreads over 1.17 million square kilometres of mountains, forests and tundra threaded by wild, clean rivers feeding thousands of pristine lakes.

Another characteristic that makes the territory quite unique is the fact that about half of NWT is above the tree line, the edge of the habitat at which trees are capable of growing.

The location of the NWT also grants it a premium spot for travelers who want to experience the world under the stunning midnight sun.


Since NWT is a territory and not a province, it abides by somewhat different rules and regulations. For example, instead of a lieutenant governor that would rule a province, NWT has a commissioner. A commissioner is the chief executive and is appointed by the governor-in-council of Canada. Each commissioner has an executive council that is similar to a cabinet.


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