The Northwest Territories is a federal territory of Canada. At a land area of 1,144,000 km2 and a 2016 census population of 41,786, it is the second-largest and the most populous of the three territories in Northern Canada, its estimated population as of 2018 is 44,445. Yellowknife became the territorial capital in 1967, following recommendations by the Carrothers Commission; the Northwest Territories, a portion of the old North-Western Territory, entered the Canadian Confederation on July 15, 1870, but the current borders were formed on April 1, 1999, when the territory was subdivided to create Nunavut to the east, via the Nunavut Act and the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement. While Nunavut is Arctic tundra, the Northwest Territories has a warmer climate and is both boreal forest, tundra, its most northern regions form part of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago; the Northwest Territories is bordered by Canada's two other territories, Nunavut to the east and Yukon to the west, by the provinces of British Columbia and Saskatchewan to the south.
The name is descriptive, adopted by the British government during the colonial era to indicate where it lay in relation to Rupert's Land. It is shortened from North-Western Territory. In Inuktitut, the Northwest Territories are referred to as ᓄᓇᑦᓯᐊᖅ, "beautiful land."There was some discussion of changing the name of the Northwest Territories after the splitting off of Nunavut to a term from an Aboriginal language. One proposal was "Denendeh", among others. One of the most popular proposals for a new name – one to name the territory "Bob" – began as a prank, but for a while it was at or near the top in the public-opinion polls. In the end, a poll conducted prior to division showed that strong support remained to keep the name "Northwest Territories"; this name arguably became more appropriate following division than it had been when the territories extended far into Canada's north-central and northeastern areas. Located in northern Canada, the territory borders Canada's two other territories, Yukon to the west and Nunavut to the east, three provinces: British Columbia to the southwest, Alberta and Saskatchewan to the south.
It meets Manitoba at a quadripoint to the extreme southeast, though surveys have not been completed. It has a land area of 1,183,085 km2. Geographical features include Great Bear Lake, the largest lake within Canada, Great Slave Lake, the deepest body of water in North America at 614 m, as well as the Mackenzie River and the canyons of the Nahanni National Park Reserve, a national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Territorial islands in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago include Banks Island, Borden Island, Prince Patrick Island, parts of Victoria Island and Melville Island, its highest point is Mount Nirvana near the border with Yukon at an elevation of 2,773 m. The Northwest Territories extends for more than 1,300,000 km2 and has a large climate variant from south to north; the southern part of the territory has a subarctic climate, while the islands and northern coast have a polar climate. Summers in the north are short and cool, with daytime highs of 14-17 Celsius, lows of 1-5 Celsius. Winters are long and harsh, daytime highs in the mid −20 °C and lows around −40 °C.
Extremes are common with summer highs in the south reaching 36 °C and lows reaching into the negatives. In winter in the south, it is not uncommon for the temperatures to reach −40 °C, but they can reach the low teens during the day. In the north, temperatures can reach highs of 30 °C, lows can reach into the low negatives. In winter in the north it is not uncommon for the temperatures to reach −50 °C but they can reach the single digits during the day. Thunderstorms are not rare in the south. In the north they are rare, but do occur. Tornadoes are rare but have happened with the most notable one happening just outside Yellowknife that destroyed a communications tower; the Territory has a dry climate due to the mountains in the west. About half of the territory is above the tree line. There are not many trees in the north islands; the present-day territory came under government authority in July 1870, after the Hudson's Bay Company transferred Rupert's Land and the North-Western Territory to the British Crown, which subsequently transferred them to Canada, giving it the name the North-west Territories.
This immense region comprised all of today's Canada except that, encompassed within the early signers of Canadian Confederation, that is, British Columbia, early forms of present-day Ontario and Quebec, the Maritimes, the Labrador coast, the Arctic Islands, except the southern half of Baffin Island. The first residential school opened in 1867 in Fort Resolution, followed by several others in regions across the territory, thus contributing to the Northwest Territories reaching the highest percentage of students in residential schools of any area in Canada. After the 1870 transfer, some of the North-west Territories was whittled away; the province of Manitoba was created on July 15, 1870, at first a small square area around Winnipeg
An ice cap is a mass of ice that covers less than 50,000 km2 of land area. Larger ice masses covering more than 50,000 km2 are termed ice sheets. Ice caps are not constrained by topographical features. By contrast, ice masses of similar size that are constrained by topographical features are known as ice fields; the dome of an ice cap is centred on the highest point of a massif. Ice flows away from this high point towards the ice cap's periphery. Ice caps have significant effects on the geomorphology of the area. Plastic moulding and other glacial erosional features become present upon the glacier's retreat. Many lakes, such as the Great Lakes in North America, as well as numerous valleys have been formed by glacial action over hundreds of thousands of years. On Earth, there are about 30 million km3 of total ice mass; the average temperature of an ice mass ranges between −20 °C and −30 °C. The core of an ice cap exhibits a constant temperature that ranges between −15 °C and −20 °C. A high-latitude region covered in ice, though not an ice cap, are called polar ice caps.
Vatnajökull is an example of an ice cap in Iceland
Graham Island (Nunavut)
Graham Island is an uninhabited island in Qikiqtaaluk Region, Canada. A member of the Queen Elizabeth Islands and Canadian Arctic Archipelago, it is located in Norwegian Bay off the coast of Ellesmere Island. Located at 77°25'N 90°30'W it has an area of 1,378 km2, 55 kilometres long and 40 kilometres wide, it was named in 1910. There is a second, much smaller, Graham Island in Nunavut, off Boothia Peninsula, it was named in 1966. Graham Island in the Atlas of Canada - Toporama.
Eglinton Island an uninhabited island of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago in the Northwest Territories, Canada. Eglinton is one of the Queen Elizabeth Islands. Located at 75°48'N 118°30'W, it measures 1,541 km2 in size, 73 kilometres long and 44 kilometres wide in measurements, it lies on the north side of the M'Clure Strait, just south of the much larger Prince Patrick Island and is uninhabited with no known human activity. The first European sighting of Eglinton Island was in 1853 by George Mecham, explored by him and Francis Leopold McClintock in the spring of that year. Eglinton Island - Canada's Arctic Eglinton Island in the Atlas of Canada - Toporama.
Prince Patrick Island
A member of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, Prince Patrick Island is the westernmost of the Queen Elizabeth Islands in the Northwest Territories of Canada. The area of the island is 15,848 km2, making it the 55th largest island in the world and Canada's 14th largest island, it has been icebound all year, making it one of the least accessible parts of Canada. Located at the entrance of the M'Clure Strait, Prince Patrick Island is uninhabited. A High Arctic Weather Station and associated airstrip called Mould Bay were opened in 1948 as part of a joint Canada-US military effort to support a weather station network. Regular weather observations began on May 14, 1948, it had a temporary staff of between 40 people. Staff size increased during summer months, when the station was resupplied from the south. During the period of US National Weather Service participation, the site was known as a Joint Arctic Weather Station. Executive officers alternated between their US counterparts. US participation ended in 1972.
The station was closed in 1997. It was replaced with an automated weather station at a new location on the airstrip, downhill from the central buildings and observatory; the last manned weather observations were taken on March 31, 1997, ending the continuous weather record of 1948-1997. The buildings still stand; the station represented the only known long-term human settlement of the Island. The first known sighting of the island was in 1853 by George Mecham, when it was explored by him and Francis Leopold McClintock in the spring of that year during the Edward Belcher expedition. Much it was named for Prince Arthur William Patrick, Duke of Connaught, Governor General from 1911 to 1916; the island rises to only about 279 m, the area is seismically active. Prince Patrick Island is the setting for a work of the novel The Lost Ones by Ian Cameron, it was filmed as the Walt Disney Pictures film The Island at the Top of the World in 1974. The novel tells of a lost colony of Vikings living in a lost valley in the island, thanks to the volcanoes on the island, is warm and habitable.
Prince Patrick Island in the Atlas of Canada - Toporama.
The Thule or proto-Inuit were the ancestors of all modern Inuit. They developed in coastal Alaska by 1000 and expanded eastwards across Canada, reaching Greenland by the 13th century. In the process, they replaced people of the earlier Dorset culture that had inhabited the region; the appellation "Thule" originates from the location of Thule in northwest Greenland, facing Canada, where the archaeological remains of the people were first found at Comer's Midden. The links between the Thule and the Inuit are biological and linguistic. Evidence supports the idea that the Thule were in contact with the Vikings, who had reached the shores of Canada in the 11th century. In Viking sources, these peoples are called the Skrælingjar; some Thule migrated southward, in the "Second Expansion" or "Second Phase". By the 13th or 14th century, the Thule had occupied an area inhabited by the Central Inuit, by the 15th century, the Thule replaced the Dorset. Intensified contacts with Europeans began in the 18th century.
Compounded by the disruptive effects of the "Little Ice Age", the Thule communities broke apart, the people were henceforward known as the Eskimo, Inuit. The Thule Tradition lasted from about 200 B. C. to 1600 A. D. around the Bering Strait, the Thule people being the prehistoric ancestors of the Inuit who now live in Northern Labrador. Thule culture was mapped out by Therkel Mathiassen, following his participation as an archaeologist and cartographer of the Fifth Danish Expedition to Arctic America in 1921–1924, he excavated sites on Baffin Island and the northwestern Hudson Bay region, which he considered to be the remains of a developed Eskimo whaling culture that had originated in Alaska and moved to Arctic Canada 1000 years ago. There are three stages of development leading up to Thule culture; these groups of peoples have been referred to as "Neo-Eskimo" cultures, which are differentiated from the earlier Norton Tradition. There are several stages of the Thule tradition: Old Bering Sea Stage, Punuk Stage, Birnirk Stage.
These stages represent variations of the Thule Tradition. The Thule Tradition replaced the Dorset Tradition in the Eastern Arctic and introduced both kayaks and umiaks, or skin covered boats, into the archaeological record as well as developed new uses for iron and copper and demonstrated advanced harpoon technology and use of bowhead whales, the largest animal in the Arctic. and spread across the coasts of Labrador and Greenland. It is the most recent "neo-Eskimo" culture; the Old Bering Seas stage was first characterized by Diamond Jenness, on the basis of a collection of patinated decorated ivory harpoon heads and other objects dug up by natives on the St. Lawrence and Diomede Islands. Jenness identified the Bering Sea culture as a developed Inuit culture of northeastern Asiatic origin and pre-Thule in age. A strong maritime adaptation is characteristic of the Thule, the OBS stage, can be seen in the archaeological evidence. Both Kayaks and umiaks appear in the archaeological record for the first time.
The toolkits of the people of the time are dominated by polished-slate rather than flaked-stone artifacts, including lanceolate knives, projectile heads, the ulu transverse-bladed knife. The people made a crude form of pottery and there was much use of bone and antlers to use as heads on harpoons, as well as to make darts, snow goggles, blubber scrapers, needles and mattocks walrus shoulder-blade snow shovels. There are many important innovations. Harpoon mounted ice picks were used for seal hunting, as well as ivory plugs and mouthpieces for inflating harpoon line floats, which enabled them to recover larger sea mammals when dispatched; these people relied on seal and walrus for subsistence. It is easy to pick out OBS technology because of the artistic curvilinear dots and shorter lines that were used to decorate their tools; the chronological relationship between the Okvik and Old Bering Seas cultures has been the subject of debate and remains undecided, based on art styles. Some consider it to be a distinct culture pre-dating Old Bering Sea, but the close similarity and overlapping radiocarbon dates suggest Okvik and Old Bering Sea are best considered as contemporaneous, with regional variants.
The Punuk stage is a development of Old Bering Sea stage, with distribution along the major Strait islands and along to shores of the Chukchi Peninsula. The Punuk culture was defined by Henry Collins in 1928 from a 16 ft deep midden on one of the Punuk Islands. Excavation on St Lawrence Island confirmed Jenness's ideas on the Bering Sea culture, demonstrated a continual cultural sequence on the island from Old Bering Sea, to Punuk, to modern Eskimo culture. Punuk is differentiated with Old Bering Sea through its artifact styles and house forms, as well as harpoon styles and whale hunting. Punuk settlements were more common than earlier villages, they were square or rectangular dwellings with wooden floors. The house was held up by whale jaw-bones, covered in skins and snow; these houses were nicely insulated, would have been only visible to the occupants. Whaling has a greater emphasis in the Punuk stage. Hunters would kill whales in narrow ice leads as well as in the open sea in the fall. Open sea whaling required skilled leadership, teams of expert boatmen and hunters, the cooperation of several boats.
The whaleboat captain, t
Cornwall Island (Nunavut)
Cornwall Island is a small island in the high arctic region of the Canadian territory of Nunavut. It is near the geometric centre of the Queen Elizabeth Islands. To the north, it is separated from Amund Ringnes Island by Hendriksen Strait. To the south, it is separated from Devon Island by Belcher Channel, it is the largest of six islands in west of Ellesmere Island. Cornwall Island measures about 90 km long and 30 km wide, has an area of 2,358 km2; the tallest peaks are McLeod Head at 400 m, Mount Nicolay at 290 m, both on the north coast. Coast features include Northeast Gordon Head to the east; the first known sighting of the island was by Sir Edward Belcher on 30 August 1852 and was named in honour of Prince Edward, Prince of Wales and Duke of Cornwall