Canada 150 and the NWT

A celebration. An invitation. A conversation.

The iconic landscape and Indigenous residents of the Northwest Territories were here long before Canada was established as a nation. Aboriginal people lived and prospered on the land now called the Northwest Territories for thousands of years before strangers arrived on the shores of Hudson Bay in 1670.

  • See a timeline of the history of the Northwest Territories.

As we reflect on the past 150 years, the people of the NWT can take great pride in the territory we have built for ourselves and all we have contributed to Canada.

The NWT and its people have played an important, yet little-known role in the history of our nation. We invite all Canadians to use the opportunity of Canada 150 to learn about the history, culture, people and natural beauty of the NWT.

Today, the NWT offers a model for productive, inclusive relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians. Indigenous residents are active participants in the political, cultural, social and economic life of the territory.

  • The majority of Premiers of the NWT have been Indigenous people.
  • We have 11 official languages.
  • Indigenous knowledge and history are part of our school curriculum.
  • Our land and resource management regime is founded on a principle of co-management.
  • We are home to 5 out of only 25 modern treaties negotiated in Canada.
  • We have two self-governing First Nations and more in negotiations.
  • Learn about Indigenous rights, engagement and evolving government-to-government relationships in the NWT.

We have much to celebrate. And much more to do.

This country we share is an exciting work in progress. Canada 150 gives us a chance to celebrate how far we have come, to reflect on what we have learned, and to talk about what we want for the future. It is also a wonderful opportunity to showcase the NWT to Canada and the world.

The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) is proud of what the NWT has achieved so far and optimistic about what will continue to accomplish as a territory and as a national partner.

The NWT’s path forward will be guided by its people. Throughout this year, the GNWT invites all residents and all Canadians to celebrate our country and talk with passion, optimism and an open heart about what comes next.