Norman Wells

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Norman Wells
Tłegǫ́hłı̨
The Wells
Town
Norman Wells from the air
Norman Wells from the air
Motto: Where Adventures Begin
Norman Wells is located in Northwest Territories
Norman Wells
Norman Wells
Coordinates: 65°16′52″N 126°49′53″W / 65.28111°N 126.83139°W / 65.28111; -126.83139Coordinates: 65°16′52″N 126°49′53″W / 65.28111°N 126.83139°W / 65.28111; -126.83139
Country Canada
Territory Northwest Territories
Region Sahtu Region
Constituency Sahtu
Census division Region 2
Incorporated (town) 12 April 1992
Government
 • Mayor Gregor Harold McGregor
 • Town Manager Eric Whitworth
 • MLA Norman Yakeleya
Area[1]
 • Land 82.48 km2 (31.85 sq mi)
Elevation 73 m (240 ft)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 727
 • Density 8.8/km2 (23/sq mi)
Time zone Mountain (MST) (UTC-7)
 • Summer (DST) MDT (UTC-6)
Canadian Postal code X0E 0V0
Area code(s) 867
Telephone exchange 587
- Living cost 152.5A
- Food price index 179.6B
Website www.normanwells.com
Sources:
Department of Municipal and Community Affairs,[2]
Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre,[3]
Canada Flight Supplement[4]
^A 2009 figure based on Edmonton = 100[5]
^B 2010 figure based on Yellowknife = 100[5]

Norman Wells (Slavey language: Tłegǫ́hłı̨[pronunciation?] "where there is oil") is the regional centre for the Sahtu Region of the Northwest Territories, Canada. The town is situated on the north side of the Mackenzie River and provides a view down the valley of the Franklin and Richardson Mountains.[6]

Demographics[edit]

According to the 2011 Census the town has a population of 727, which is a decrease of 4.5% from the 2006 Census figure of 761.[1] 300 people identified as aboriginal, and of these, 165 were First Nations, 110 were Métis and 25 were Inuit.[7] In 2012 the Government of the Northwest Territories reported that the population was 838 with an average yearly growth rate of 1.2 from 2001.[5]

The main languages in the town are North Slavey and English.[6]

Of the population, 79.8% is 15 and older, with the median age being 33.2, slightly more than the NWT averages of 78.3% and 31.2.[1]

History[edit]

The artificial islands used as drilling platforms to the oil deposits underneath the Mackenzie River (Dehcho River) are clearly visible on take off from the Norman Wells airport, Norman Wells, Northwest Territories, Canada.

Oil was first seen by Alexander MacKenzie during his exploration of the river in 1789 but it was not until 1911 that an oil bearing formation was discovered. Imperial Oil, a major employer in the town, was established in the area in 1937 with a refinery built in 1937.[6]

During the Second World War, Norman Wells was deemed important as a source of oil for military operations in Alaska and the Yukon. The Canol Road and Canol pipeline project was undertaken to enable the piping of oil to Whitehorse, with the flow starting in 1944. Although Norman Wells crude was light and easily flowed at temperatures as low as −62 °C (−80 °F), the line did not work well and was shut down shortly after the war ended. The road, which began at Canol Camp across the river, was abandoned.[6] The Canol Heritage Trail is what remains of the road in the NWT.

The Norman Wells Proven Area Agreement of 1944 is a partnership between Imperial Oil and the federal government (administered by the Indian and Northern Affairs Canada) that has lasted to this day. The completion of an oil pipeline from Norman Wells to Zama City resulted in increased activity.

First Nations[edit]

The Norman Wells Metis, a Métis group which is signatory to the Sahtu Dene and Metis Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement, are currently negotiating self-government powers and recently signed a framework agreement towards a new treaty.

Transportation[edit]

Norman Wells is accessible by navigating the Mackenzie River, in summer, or by driving over the winter ice road, December to March, that connects with Wrigley and Fort Simpson.[6] The most common method of travel into Norman Wells is by air via the Norman Wells Airport and the town is connected with both Yellowknife and Inuvik.[6] Scheduled flights are provided by Canadian North and North-Wright Airways. Beginning in June 2010, First Air offered a scheduled service into the community. In the summer floatplane access to the town is possible at the Norman Wells Water Aerodrome. During the summer months there are barge services, sealifts to the town by Northern Transportation Company Limited from Hay River& Cooper Barging Services from Ft. Simpson.[6] Other aviation companies that have a presence in the community include Canadian Helicopters and Discovery Air.[8]

Services[edit]

Services include a three member Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachment and a health centre with two nurses with dental visits two or three times a year. There is a branch of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and two grocery stores including the Northern and Rampart Rentals along with three hotels and three restaurants. Norman Wells also has a Liquor Store and currently has the only one in the Sahtu region. Phone service is provided by Northwestel with cable television and Internet access available.[9] Mobile phone services are available through NMI Mobility or Northwestel's Latitude Wireless service, which is now owned by Bell.[10][11] Former Member of Parliament for the Western Arctic, Ethel Blondin-Andrew, has a consulting service, Mountain Dene Ventures, in the town.[12]

Education[edit]

The community is part of the Sahtu Divisional Education Council and they operate, through the Norman Wells District Education Authority, the "Mackenzie Mountain School".[13][14] The school, which has an enrollment of 150, provides education from Kindergarten to Grade 12.[15][16] Aurora College has a presence in the community with a community learning centre and a career centre.[10][11]

Climate[edit]

Norman Wells 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 0 °C (32 °F). Rainfall averages 171.7 mm (6.76 in) and snowfall 161.5 cm (63.58 in). On average, there are 92.9 days, October to April, when the wind chill is below -30, which indicates that frostbite may occur within 10 – 30 minutes. There is an average of 35.9 days, November to April, when the wind chill is below -40, which indicates that that frostbite may occur within 5 – 10 minutes.[17][18]

Climate data for Norman Wells Airport
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high Humidex 11.8 6.3 9.4 20.0 29.1 36.2 37.2 36.0 27.2 19.8 12.2 4.8 37.2
Record high °C (°F) 12.4
(54.3)
7.9
(46.2)
11.1
(52)
20.0
(68)
31.3
(88.3)
33.5
(92.3)
35.0
(95)
32.4
(90.3)
27.1
(80.8)
21.0
(69.8)
13.3
(55.9)
5.7
(42.3)
35.0
(95)
Average high °C (°F) −22.2
(−8)
−19.5
(−3.1)
−12.5
(9.5)
1.0
(33.8)
12.1
(53.8)
20.7
(69.3)
22.5
(72.5)
19.0
(66.2)
11.0
(51.8)
−1.6
(29.1)
−15.2
(4.6)
−19.6
(−3.3)
−0.4
(31.3)
Daily mean °C (°F) −26.1
(−15)
−24.0
(−11.2)
−18.4
(−1.1)
−5.1
(22.8)
6.4
(43.5)
15.0
(59)
17.1
(62.8)
13.8
(56.8)
6.6
(43.9)
−4.7
(23.5)
−18.7
(−1.7)
−23.4
(−10.1)
−5.1
(22.8)
Average low °C (°F) −29.9
(−21.8)
−28.4
(−19.1)
−24.2
(−11.6)
−11.1
(12)
0.6
(33.1)
9.3
(48.7)
11.5
(52.7)
8.4
(47.1)
2.0
(35.6)
−7.7
(18.1)
−22.2
(−8)
−27.1
(−16.8)
−9.9
(14.2)
Record low °C (°F) −52.2
(−62)
−54.4
(−65.9)
−46.1
(−51)
−37.2
(−35)
−17.8
(0)
−2.8
(27)
−1.1
(30)
−6.1
(21)
−15.7
(3.7)
−31.7
(−25.1)
−42.8
(−45)
−47.8
(−54)
−54.4
(−65.9)
Wind chill −61.7 −60.2 −57.5 −43.8 −25.1 −6.9 0.0 −9.6 −17.7 −39.9 −52.4 −62.4 −62.4
Precipitation mm (inches) 15.6
(0.614)
14.9
(0.587)
10.7
(0.421)
11.1
(0.437)
19.0
(0.748)
42.7
(1.681)
41.8
(1.646)
41.8
(1.646)
33.1
(1.303)
26.7
(1.051)
18.7
(0.736)
18.2
(0.717)
294.4
(11.591)
Rainfall mm (inches) 0.2
(0.008)
0.0
(0)
0.1
(0.004)
1.2
(0.047)
13.3
(0.524)
42.4
(1.669)
41.8
(1.646)
41.1
(1.618)
26.7
(1.051)
4.6
(0.181)
0.0
(0)
0.2
(0.008)
171.7
(6.76)
Snowfall cm (inches) 21.1
(8.31)
19.9
(7.83)
14.4
(5.67)
12.8
(5.04)
6.4
(2.52)
0.4
(0.16)
0.0
(0)
0.7
(0.28)
6.9
(2.72)
27.3
(10.75)
26.0
(10.24)
25.9
(10.2)
161.5
(63.58)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm) 10.9 9.4 9.9 7.2 6.9 10.3 11.8 11.7 12.4 13.9 12.6 12.5 129.4
Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm) 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.8 5.0 10.2 11.8 11.6 10.2 2.7 0.1 0.2 53.0
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm) 11.5 10.1 10.4 6.9 2.9 0.2 0.0 0.2 3.4 13.3 13.6 13.0 85.4
 % humidity 65.6 61.4 54.6 52.8 47.1 46.3 50.9 56.7 62.9 76.0 72.8 67.9 59.6
Mean monthly sunshine hours 31.8 75.8 166.5 220.0 331.0 300.2 273.7 232.9 139.0 56.0 15.3 9.7 1,852
Percent possible sunshine 20.6 32.5 45.9 48.2 56.6 45.6 43.4 45.0 35.2 18.6 8.2 8.4 34.0
Source: Environment Canada Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010[18]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Norman Wells, T Northwest Territories (Census subdivision)". Statistics Canada. Retrieved 16 January 2014. 
  2. ^ "NWT Communities - Norman Wells". Government of the Northwest Territories: Department of Municipal and Community Affairs. Retrieved 2014-01-16. 
  3. ^ Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre - official names
  4. ^ Canada Flight Supplement. Effective 0901Z 24 July 2014 to 0901Z 18 September 2014
  5. ^ a b c d Norman Wells - Statistical Profile at the GNWT
  6. ^ a b c d e f g "Norman Wells profile". Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories. Archived from the original on 7 February 2012. 
  7. ^ 2006 Aboriginal Population Profile
  8. ^ Great Slave Heli/Discovery Air/Sahtu Helicopters
  9. ^ Internet
  10. ^ a b Northwestel
  11. ^ a b Infrastructure
  12. ^ Doing Business in Norman Wells
  13. ^ Sahtu Divisional Education Council
  14. ^ Community Groups
  15. ^ Mackenzie Mountain School at the SDEC
  16. ^ Official school site
  17. ^ Wind Chill Hazards and Risk of Frostbite
  18. ^ a b "Norman Wells A" (CSV (3069 KB)). Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010. Environment Canada. Climate ID: 2202800. Retrieved 2014-01-09. 

External links[edit]