Colville Lake, Northwest Territories

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Colville Lake
Settlement Corporation
Colville site (76).JPG
Colville Lake is located in Northwest Territories
Colville Lake
Colville Lake
Coordinates: 67°02′18″N 126°05′32″W / 67.03833°N 126.09222°W / 67.03833; -126.09222Coordinates: 67°02′18″N 126°05′32″W / 67.03833°N 126.09222°W / 67.03833; -126.09222
Country Canada
Territory Northwest Territories
Region Sahtu Region
Constituency Sahtu
Census division Region 2
First Nation (Designated Authority) 30 November 1995
 • Chief Alvin Orlias
 • Senior Administrative Officer Joseph Kochon
 • MLA Norman Yakeleya
 • Land 128.39 km2 (49.57 sq mi)
Elevation 259 m (850 ft)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 129
 • Density 1.0/km2 (3/sq mi)
Time zone Mountain (MST) (UTC-7)
 • Summer (DST) MDT (UTC-6)
Canadian Postal code X0E 1L0
Area code(s) 867
Telephone exchange 709
- Living cost 177.5A
- Food price index 202.8B
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]

Colville Lake (K'áhbamį́túé[pronunciation?] meaning "ptarmigan net place") is a settlement corporation located in the Sahtu Region of the Northwest Territories, Canada. The community is located 50 km (31 mi) north of the Arctic Circle, on a lake of the same name, and is northeast of Norman Wells. This settlement is the administrative office of the Behdzi Ahda band government.


The settlement's population as of 2016 is 129, a 13.4% decrease from the last national census.[1] In 2012 the Government of the Northwest Territories reported that the population was 157 with an average yearly growth rate of 2.9% from 2001. The GNWT also reported that the majority, 139 people, were Aboriginal, Sahtu Dene.[5] They are represented by the Behdzi Ahda First Nation and belong to the Sahtu Dene Council[6]

Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1996 89 —    
1997 96 +7.9%
1998 96 +0.0%
1999 108 +12.5%
2000 107 −0.9%
2001 114 +6.5%
2002 118 +3.5%
2003 122 +3.4%
2004 126 +3.3%
Year Pop. ±%
2005 126 +0.0%
2006 130 +3.2%
2007 141 +8.5%
2008 147 +4.3%
2009 154 +4.8%
2010 155 +0.6%
2011 152 −1.9%
2012 157 +3.3%
Sources: NWT Bureau of Statistics (2001 - 2012)[5]

Geography and climate[edit]

Colville Lake is located 745 km (463 mi) by air northwest of Yellowknife. The terrain is characterized by black spruce and tends to be small and sparse. Other vegetation includes mosses, lichens, grasses and alders.[7] The winter months begin in October and last until April. The month of May is considered the spring or breakup period. By the end of May or Early June the lakes and rivers are normally free of ice, although this varies. June, July and August are considered the summer months and temperatures range in the mid twenties. At times the temperature has climbed into the low thirties. By late September, freeze up is well underway again.[7]


The community in autumn

The community of Colville Lake is the ancestral homeland of the Hareskin Dene who still inhabit the area. The Hareskin Dene were never very numerous, with a population of less than one thousand people, living in six or seven bands, at the time of European contact. The Hareskins were a peaceful group, known for their use of small animals such as the Arctic hare. Located within the traditional homeland of the North Slave Dene tribe, Colville Lake is a completely traditional community in every sense. Although Father Émile Petitot brought Christianity to the area in 1864, organization of the community did not occur until 1962 when a Roman Catholic mission was established.[7]


Today you can visit the site of the mission Our Lady of the Snows. One main attraction is a fishing lodge. Colville Lake is home to grayling, trout and pike fish. There is also a small art gallery and museum located next to the lodge. Rounding off the town, there is a Bed and Breakfast and two stores.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Canada, Government of Canada, Statistics. "Census Profile, 2016 Census - Colville Lake, Settlement [Census subdivision], Northwest Territories and Canada [Country]". Retrieved 2017-09-06. 
  2. ^ "NWT Communities - Colville Lake". Government of the Northwest Territories: Department of Municipal and Community Affairs. Retrieved 2014-01-21. 
  3. ^ "Northwest Territories Official Community Names and Pronunciation Guide". Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre. Yellowknife: Education, Culture and Employment, Government of the Northwest Territories. Archived from the original on 2016-01-13. Retrieved 2016-01-13. 
  4. ^ Canada Flight Supplement. Effective 0901Z 24 May 2018 to 0901Z 19 July 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d Colville Lake - Statistical Profile at the GNWT
  6. ^ Indian and Northern Affairs Canada Archived 2006-12-09 at the Canadian Government Web Archive
  7. ^ a b c Communities Economic Reference Library; Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment. pg 13.(2006).
  8. ^ Spectacular NWT Tourism Archived 2009-01-24 at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]