Hay River, Northwest Territories

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Hay River
Xátł'odehchee
Town
Hay River, Northwest Territories.jpg
Motto: Hub of the North
Hay River on Great Slave Lake
Hay River on Great Slave Lake
Hay River is located in Northwest Territories
Hay River
Hay River
Hay River on Great Slave Lake
Coordinates: 60°49′59″N 115°46′40″W / 60.83306°N 115.77778°W / 60.83306; -115.77778Coordinates: 60°49′59″N 115°46′40″W / 60.83306°N 115.77778°W / 60.83306; -115.77778
Country Canada
Territory Northwest Territories
Region South Slave Region
Constituency Hay River North
Hay River South
Census division Region 5
Incorporated (town) 27 June 1963
Government
 • Mayor Andrew Cassidy
 • Town Manager David Steele
 • MLA Robert Bouchard (North)
 • MLA Jane Groenewegen (South)
Area[1]
 • Land 133.15 km2 (51.41 sq mi)
 • Population centre[2] 3.59 km2 (1.39 sq mi)
Elevation 165 m (541 ft)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 3,606
 • Density 27.1/km2 (70/sq mi)
 • Population centre[2] 2,806
 • Population centre density 781.4/km2 (2,024/sq mi)
Time zone Mountain (MST) (UTC−7)
 • Summer (DST) MDT (UTC−6)
Canadian Postal code X0E 0R0 - 0R9/1G1 - 1G5
Area code(s) 867
Telephone exchange 874/5
- Living cost 127.5A
- Food price index 111.0B
Website www.hayriver.com
Sources:
Department of Municipal and Community Affairs,[3]
Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre,[4]
Canada Flight Supplement[5]
^A 2009 figure based on Edmonton = 100[6]
^B 2010 figure based on Yellowknife = 100[6]

Hay River (Xátł’odehchee[pronunciation?]),[4] known as "the Hub of the North,"[7] is a town in the Northwest Territories, Canada, located on the south shore of Great Slave Lake, at the mouth of the Hay River. The town is separated into two sections, a new town 60°48′45″N 115°47′20″W / 60.81250°N 115.78889°W / 60.81250; -115.78889 (New town) and an old town 60°51′13″N 115°44′19″W / 60.85361°N 115.73861°W / 60.85361; -115.73861 (Old town) with the Hay River/Merlyn Carter Airport between them. The town is in the South Slave Region, and along with Fort Smith is one of the two regional centres.[8]

History[edit]

The area has been in use by First Nations, known as the Long Spear people, as far back as 7000 BC.[9]

According to the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories the first buildings were those of the Hudson's Bay Company in 1868 followed by a Roman Catholic Mission in 1869 and an Anglican Mission in 1894.[9]

However, according to the history of the area provided by the town, the first permanent settlement in the area of Hay River was established in what is now the Katl'odeeche First Nation or Hay River Reserve. This was sometime between 1892-93. This first settlement was established by Chief Chiatlo and a group of people by the building of log cabins and bringing dairy cows. This was followed in 1893 by the Anglican Mission, at the request of Chief Chiatlo in 1893 with the Roman Catholic Mission and the Hudson's Bay Company arriving later.[7]

A school, health centre and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police followed, and as part of the Canol Road project the United States Army Corps of Engineers built a runway on Vale Island. In the late 1940s the Government of Canada built a gravel road, now the Mackenzie Highway, from Grimshaw, Alberta to Hay River making it the first community in the NWT to be linked with southern Canada.[7]

Hay River connection to the Arctic Ocean

In 1959, the Northern Transportation Company Limited located their main base in Hay River and over the years developed the facilities. Today the base is the major staging point for the annual sealift along the Mackenzie River, via Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk and the communities of the Arctic Ocean, as far east as Taloyoak, Nunavut and west to Barrow, Alaska.[7][10]

By 1964, as part of the Pine Point Mine development, the Mackenzie Northern Railway was constructed. The railway, through Canadian National Railway in Edmonton, makes Hay River the northernmost point in Canada, and all of North America, which is connected to the continental railway system.[7][10] The Alaska Railroad is located farther north but is orphaned from the network.

In 1978, Hay River along with, the now abandoned, Pine Point hosted the fifth Arctic Winter Games.

Services[edit]

The community has a full hospital, the H.H. Williams Memorial Hospital, a woman's shelter/transition house, a dental clinic and an ambulance service.[11][12] The RCMP detachment has eight members and the South Mackenzie Correctional Centre is located here.[11] There are two grocery stores in Hay River, including the Northern Store, branches of both the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and the Royal Bank of Canada and both TRU Hardware and Home Hardware.[11][12] There is also a small Museum detailing the history of Hay River and the Hudson's Bay Company in Old Town.

Airlines servicing Hay River include the locally based Buffalo Airways, who provide scheduled flights to Yellowknife as well as charter services and a courier service throughout the north.[13][14] First Air provides scheduled services to Yellowknife with connections elsewhere.[15] Northwestern Air Lease also offers scheduled service to Edmonton and Fort Smith. Other companies offering charter services in Hay River include Landa Air, Carter Air Services (fixed-wing aircraft), Denendeh Helicopters and Remote Helicopters.[16]

Religious services include a Catholic church, an Anglican/Grace United church, a Baptist church, a Pentecostal church, and a Community Fellowship within New Town. There is also a Jehovah's Witness Kingdom Hall along the highway coming into town. On the Katl'odeeche First Nations Reserve there are a small Catholic church, and a larger Pentecostal church. There is also an Anglican church that was destroyed in the 2008 Hay River ice breakup. The religious diversity in Hay River exceeds the outward appearance given by these services.

Church in Hay River

Education[edit]

The town hosts four schools, three of which are administered by South Slave Divisional Education Council (SSDEC). The SSDEC is responsible for Harry Camsell K-3 School, Princess Alexandra Middle School, and Diamond Jenness Secondary School, while Ecole Boreal Francophone School is administered separately.[17] Harry Camsell is a primary school and serves students from kindergarten to Grade 3.[18] Princess Alexandra, named for and opened by Princess Alexandra in 1967,[19] is a middle school and serves the Grade 4 to the Grade 7.[20] Ecole Boreale is a francophone school that was opened in 2005 and works with students of all grades. Diamond Jenness, named for scientist and anthropologist Diamond Jenness and opened in 1973,[21] is the high school and serves Grade 8 to Grade 12.[22] The town also supports a Community Learning Centre and a Career Centre.[11]

Media and communications[edit]

Dog sledding at the Hay River Winter Carnival

CKHR-FM 107.3 is a community radio station in Hay River, and the only station in Hay River to maintain local studios; it is owned and operated by the Hay River Community Service Society. Other radio stations in Hay River are repeaters of stations based in Yellowknife: CBDJ-FM (93.7), broadcasting CBC Radio One from CFYK; CJCD-FM-1 (100.1), rebroadcasting CJCD-FM; and CHRR-FM (101.9) a community radio station aimed at First Nations people, rebroadcasting CKLB-FM.[16]

The Hay River Community Service Society also controls television broadcasting and it is paid for through property taxes, at a rate of $36 per household per year.[23] Channels 2-5, 7, and 8-13 rebroadcast Canadian and US channels in analog format from towers atop the Mackenzie Place highrise. Transmitter powers range from 9W to 2.545 kW. Channels include CIHC-TV channel 5, a community channel; CH4435 channel 8, rebroadcasting Radio-Canada through CBFT Montreal; and CH4160 channel 12, repeating the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network; among other channels. The local CBC-owned CBC North television repeater, CBEBT-1 channel 7, closed on 31 July 2012;[24] however, the Hay River Community Service Society announced that it acquired the transmitter, which they intended to use for CBC Television service.[23]

The Hub is a weekly newspaper published by Northern News Services. The editor is Sarah Ladik.[25] Besides Hay River, the paper is available in Yellowknife, Enterprise, Fort Smith, Inuvik, Fort Providence, Fort Resolution and Grande Prairie.[26]

Internet services are provided by SSI Micro and Bell Sympatico, land based telephone by Northwestel and cell phones by NMI Mobility.[12][16]

Climate[edit]

Hay River has a subarctic climate (Köppen Dfc) with summer lasting for about three months. Although winter temperatures are usually below freezing, every month of the year has seen temperatures above 10 °C (50 °F). Rainfall, which can occur throughout the year, averages 217.4 mm (8.56 in) and snowfall 138.9 cm (54.69 in). From December to January on average there are 71.8 days when the wind chill is below −30, which indicates that frostbite may occur within 10 – 30 minutes.[27][28]

Climate data for Hay River/Merlyn Carter Airport
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high Humidex 10.6 12.9 14.6 25.8 31.1 35.1 44.6 39.8 32.2 25.4 12.8 11.2 44.6
Record high °C (°F) 10.7
(51.3)
13.9
(57)
15.6
(60.1)
26.0
(78.8)
33.3
(91.9)
34.0
(93.2)
35.0
(95)
36.7
(98.1)
30.0
(86)
25.4
(77.7)
15.0
(59)
12.2
(54)
36.7
(98.1)
Average high °C (°F) −17.3
(0.9)
−14.2
(6.4)
−7.8
(18)
2.9
(37.2)
10.7
(51.3)
18.0
(64.4)
21.2
(70.2)
19.6
(67.3)
13.2
(55.8)
4.1
(39.4)
−7.7
(18.1)
−14.4
(6.1)
2.4
(36.3)
Daily mean °C (°F) −21.8
(−7.2)
−19.6
(−3.3)
−13.8
(7.2)
−2.7
(27.1)
5.4
(41.7)
12.5
(54.5)
16.1
(61)
14.6
(58.3)
8.7
(47.7)
0.5
(32.9)
−11.6
(11.1)
−18.8
(−1.8)
−2.5
(27.5)
Average low °C (°F) −26.2
(−15.2)
−24.9
(−12.8)
−19.8
(−3.6)
−8.1
(17.4)
0.0
(32)
7.0
(44.6)
10.9
(51.6)
9.5
(49.1)
4.1
(39.4)
−3.2
(26.2)
−15.4
(4.3)
−23.1
(−9.6)
−7.4
(18.7)
Record low °C (°F) −47.8
(−54)
−48.3
(−54.9)
−44.4
(−47.9)
−38.9
(−38)
−20.5
(−4.9)
−5.6
(21.9)
0.7
(33.3)
−1.1
(30)
−11.7
(10.9)
−24.3
(−11.7)
−40.8
(−41.4)
−47.2
(−53)
−48.3
(−54.9)
Wind chill −58.7 −60.4 −54.9 −47.7 −26.6 −7.4 0.0 0.0 −17.1 −34.3 −54.4 −55.8 −60.4
Precipitation mm (inches) 16.4
(0.646)
14.3
(0.563)
14.4
(0.567)
12.6
(0.496)
23.3
(0.917)
31.9
(1.256)
43.0
(1.693)
58.7
(2.311)
44.6
(1.756)
35.7
(1.406)
24.8
(0.976)
16.8
(0.661)
336.4
(13.244)
Rainfall mm (inches) 0.1
(0.004)
0.2
(0.008)
0.2
(0.008)
4.3
(0.169)
18.0
(0.709)
31.9
(1.256)
43.0
(1.693)
58.7
(2.311)
43.0
(1.693)
16.8
(0.661)
0.9
(0.035)
0.3
(0.012)
217.4
(8.559)
Snowfall cm (inches) 19.2
(7.56)
16.9
(6.65)
16.4
(6.46)
8.7
(3.43)
5.2
(2.05)
0.1
(0.04)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
1.5
(0.59)
19.9
(7.83)
30.4
(11.97)
20.7
(8.15)
138.9
(54.69)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm) 11.3 9.7 8.5 5.0 8.0 8.8 9.9 11.3 12.2 12.6 14.2 11.4 122.8
Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm) 0.1 0.2 0.2 2.0 6.7 8.8 9.9 11.3 11.9 6.2 1.0 0.6 58.9
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm) 12.0 10.1 8.7 3.7 1.8 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.8 8.1 14.5 12.4 72.2
 % humidity 69.2 66.3 61.3 60.2 55.0 54.4 57.6 59.9 62.5 70.6 78.0 73.7 64.0
Source: Environment Canada Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010[28]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Year Pop.   ±%  
1996 3,793 —    
1997 3,781 −0.3%
1998 3,769 −0.3%
1999 3,782 +0.3%
2000 3,756 −0.7%
2001 3,725 −0.8%
2002 3,678 −1.3%
2003 3,682 +0.1%
2004 3,830 +4.0%
2005 3,844 +0.4%
2006 3,777 −1.7%
2007 3,831 +1.4%
2008 3,778 −1.4%
2009 3,725 −1.4%
2010 3,812 +2.3%
2011 3,737 −2.0%
2012 3,601 −3.6%
Sources: NWT Bureau of Statistics (2001-2012)[6]

In the 2011 Census Hay River had a population of 3,606, a decrease of 1.2% from the 2006 Census.[1] The aboriginal population in Hay River is 1,600, up from 1,565 at the 2001 Census, and is made up of First Nations, Métis people and Inuit.[29] The main languages in the town are South Slavey, Chipewyan, Michif and English.[9] In 2009 the Government of the Northwest Territories reported that the population was 3,601 with an average yearly growth rate of 0.0% from 2001.[6]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • DiLabio, R. N. W. Kimberlitic Indicator Minerals in the Geological Survey of Canada's Archived Till Samples Results of Analysis of Samples from Victoria Island and the Hay River Area, Northwest Territories. [Canada]: Geological Survey of Canada, 1997.

External links[edit]