Search for "Northwest Coast"

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Pacific Ocean and Canada

The Pacific Ocean is the world’s largest ocean. It covers more than 30 per cent of the Earth’s surface — an area roughly the same as the Atlantic and Indian oceans combined. Canada’s relationship with the Pacific Ocean is synonymous with the West Coast of British Columbia. The province’s entire ocean shoreline, including the coasts of Vancouver Island and Haida Gwaii, form Canada’s Pacific coastal region. More than 75 per cent of the province’s 5 million residents live within 50 km of the coast.

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Totem Pole

The totem pole (also known as a monumental pole) is a tall structure carved out of cedar wood, created by Northwest Coast Indigenous peoples to serve variously as a signboard, genealogical record and memorial. Some well-known carvers include Mungo Martin, Charles Edenshaw, Henry Hunt, Richard Hunt and Stanley Hunt.

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Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun

Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun, Coast Salish and Okanagan (see Interior Salish) artist and activist (born in 1957 at Kamloops, British Columbia). Yuxweluptun trained at the Emily Carr College of Art (now the Emily Carr University of Art and Design) in the late 1970s and early 1980s, focusing on historical European art. His paintings employ both traditional Northwest Coast imagery (see Northwest Coast Indigenous Art) and surrealist visual language to critique colonialism, racism against Indigenous peoples, capitalism, and environmental destruction, among other issues. In addition to paintings, Yuxweluptun has produced multimedia artworks, videos and performances that are political in nature. In 2013, Yuxweluptun was awarded a Fellowship at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in Indianapolis, USA. Yuxweluptun’s art is featured in the permanent collections of many prominent galleries and museums in North America.

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Tlingit

The Tlingit (sometimes also known as the Łingít) are Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast of North America who share a common cultural heritage. Tlingit means “people of the tides.” In the 2016 Census, 2,110 people identified as having Tlingit ancestry.

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Cordillera

A cordillera is a major system of often parallel mountain ranges that includes the intervening plateaus, valleys and plains.

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Geography of the Northwest Territories

The Northwest Territories includes three main geographic regions: the Arctic Archipelago to the north, the arctic mainland and the Mackenzie Valley area. The arctic mainland, sometimes referred to as the Barren Lands, lies northeast of the treeline, and the Mackenzie Valley area to the west. The geography of the Northwest Territories may also be thought of in terms of Canada’s seven physiographic regions. The territories include four of these regions, namely the Cordillera, the Interior Plains, the Canadian Shield and the Arctic Lands.

timeline event

NWT Premiere Calls for Investment in Arctic Ports

Speaking at the Pacific NorthWest Economic Region summit in Saskatoon, Northwest Territories Premier Bob McLeod called for the development of three ports in the territory and more icebreakers to support increased shipping traffic in the rapidly warming Arctic. “It’s getting harder to resupply our communities,” he said. “We rely a lot on ice roads. Their life span is getting shorter and shorter… It’s very timely now to do some strategic investing and planning.” McLeod also called for a stronger military presence in the Arctic, an increase in immigrants to the region and more investment in research facilities. (See also: Canadian Arctic Sovereignty.)

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Tuktoyaktuk

Tuktoyaktuk, NWT, incorporated as a hamlet in 1970, population 898 (2016 census), 854 (2011 census). The Hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk is located on the coast of the Beaufort Sea, east of the Mackenzie River delta, and 1,135 km northwest of Yellowknife by air. Tuktoyaktuk, commonly referred to as Tuk, is a transportation and government centre, as well as a base for oil and natural gas exploration.

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Geography of British Columbia

British Columbia is divided by two of Canada’s seven physiographic regions. These regions are the Cordillera and the Interior Plains. The vast majority of the province is in the Cordillera region, while the northeast corner is part of the Interior Plains. Within the Cordillera region there are many mountain ranges, including the Rocky Mountains and the Coast Mountains. British Columbia’s wet, coastal climate is also home to some of the tallest coniferous trees in Canada, such as the Douglas fir.

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Nellie J. Cournoyea

Nellie J. Cournoyea, OC, politician, premier of the Northwest Territories 1991–95 (born on 4 March 1940 in Aklavik, NT). Cournoyea is the first Indigenous woman to lead a provincial or territorial government in Canada.

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Tsiigehtchic

Tsiigehtchic, Northwest Territories, population 187 (2019). Tsiigehtchic is located at the confluence of the  Mackenzie and Arctic Red rivers. It is home to the Gwichya Gwich’in First Nation (“people of the flat lands”) who speak an Athapaskan language (see Indigenous Languages in Canada). Formerly known as Arctic Red River, the community’s name was changed to Tsiigehtchic (“at the mouth of iron river”) in 1994. The community is on the Dempster Highway. It is accessible by summer ferry across the Mackenzie River and in winter by ice road. Tsiigehtchic is one of four communities in the Gwich’in Settlement Region. The region is an area created by the Gwich’in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement (1992). The other three communities in the region are AklavikFort McPherson and Inuvik. (See also Dinjii Zhuh (Gwich'in).)

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Fort McPherson

Fort McPherson, Northwest Territories, population 741 (2020). The hamlet of Fort McPherson is located on the right bank of the Peel River, on the Dempster Highway. It is west of the Mackenzie River and east of the Richardson Mountains. Fort McPherson is called Teetł’it Zheh (“head of the waters-town”) in Gwich’in, an Athapaskan language (see Indigenous Languages in Canada). The hamlet is home to the Teetł’it Gwich’in First Nation (“people of the headwaters”). Fort McPherson is one of four communities in the Gwich’in Settlement Region. The region is an area created by the Gwich’in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement (1992). The other three communities in the region are Aklavik, Tsiigehtchic and Inuvik.

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Norman Wells

Norman Wells, Northwest Territories, incorporated as a town in 1992, population 778 (2016 census), 727 (2011 census). The town of Norman Wells is located on the north bank of the Mackenzie River, 145 km south of the Arctic Circle and 684 km northwest of Yellowknife by air. It was the first settlement in the Northwest Territories founded entirely as a result of non-renewable-resource development. The name owes to the site’s close proximity to Fort Norman (now Tulita), 85 km upstream on the Mackenzie.

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Reserves in the Northwest Territories

There are two reserves in the Northwest Territories. In addition, of the territory’s remaining 32 communities, 28 have a majority Indigenous population. Dene, Inuvialuit and Métis people are the primary Indigenous groups living in these communities. The territory’s two reserves are Hay River Dene 1, held by the Kátł’odeeche First Nation, and Salt River No. 195, held by the Salt River First Nation. The Northwest Territories differs from much of southern Canada, where several provinces have hundreds of reserves, and where large percentages of First Nations people live in these communities. While Treaty 8 and Treaty 11 — which taken together cover most of the territory — provided for reserves, none were created in the years immediately following their signing. The reasons for the limited number of reserves in such a large region are rooted in a complicated history.

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Inuit

Inuit — Inuktitut for “the people” — are an Indigenous people, the majority of whom inhabit the northern regions of Canada. An Inuit person is known as an Inuk. The Inuit homeland is known as Inuit Nunangat, which refers to the land, water and ice contained in the Arctic region.