Capital City: Yellowknife
Find the 60th parallel on a map of North America, look northward, and you will see the Northwest Territories, bordered by the Yukon to the west, the prairies to the south, and Canada’s newest territory, Nunavut, to the north and east. With the creation of Nunavut on April 1, 1999, the area of Northwest Territories was reduced from close to three and a half million km² to less than two million km².
Approximately 41,900 people inhabit this region, and most live in small communities. Yellowknife, the capital, has a population of more than 20,000. Mining drives the territory’s economy. Because of its northern locale, the Northwest Territories is often referred to as ‘the land of the midnight sun’. During the summer months, there is almost continuous daylight as the sun seldom sets, while winter sees almost complete darkness. The aurora borealis or Northern Lights brighten the night sky from late August until January.
The Northwest Territories offers many opportunities for enjoying the outdoors, including canoeing, hiking, snowmobiling and dog sledding. Nahanni National Park features a dramatic landscape of deep canyons, waterfalls, and a unique limestone cave system. Wolves, grizzly bears, caribou and mountain goats make their home in this park.