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Portal:Northwest Territories/Selected article/1

Inuktitut dialect map.svg

The Inuit language is traditionally spoken across the North American Arctic and to some extent in the subarctic in Labrador. It is also spoken in far eastern Russia, particularly the Diomede Islands, but is severely endangered in Russia today and is spoken only in a few villages on the Chukchi Peninsula. The Inuit live primarily in three countries: Greenland (a constituent of the Kingdom of Denmark), Canada (specifically the Nunatsiavut region of Labrador, the Nunavik region of Quebec, Nunavut, and the Northwest Territories), and the United States (specifically the state of Alaska).

The total population of Inuit speaking their traditional language is difficult to assess with precision, since most counts rely on self-reported census data that may not accurately reflect usage or competence. Greenland census estimates place the number of speakers of Inuit dialects there at roughly 50,000, while Canadian estimates are at roughly 35,000. These two countries count the bulk of speakers of Inuit language variants, although about 7,500 Alaskans speak Inuit dialects out of a population of over 13,000 Inuit. The Eskimo languages have a few hundred speakers in Russia. In addition, an estimated 7,000 Greenlandic Inuit live in European Denmark, the largest group outside of Canada and Greenland. So, the global population of speakers of Inuit language variants is on the order of over 90,000 people.


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The 2007 Northwest Territories general election took place on 1 October 2007. It was the twenty-first in the history of the territory. Nineteen members of the Legislative Assembly were elected. The election was called on September 3, 2007 when the writ of returns was dropped by Chief Electoral Officer Saundra Arberry. This election was the first in Northwest Territories history to be conducted on a fixed election date calendar. The territory operates on a consensus government system with no political parties; the premier is subsequently chosen by and from the Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs). 19 Members were returned to the Legislative Assembly from single member districts conducted under First Past the Post system of voting.

The final candidates list was released on September 7, 2007. Three incumbents were returned by acclamation. Four other high profile incumbents are not running for re-election including Premier Joe Handley representing Weledeh, cabinet minister and dean of the legislature Charles Dent representing Frame Lake, cabinet minister Brenden Bell and Private member Bill Braden brother of former Premier George Braden representing Great Slave.


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Downtown Yellowknife 2.jpg

Yellowknife /ˈjɛlnf/ (2006 population: 18,700) is the capital of the Northwest Territories (NWT), Canada. It is located on the north shore of Great Slave Lake, approximately 400 km (250 mi) south of the Arctic Circle, on the west side of Yellowknife Bay near the outlet of the Yellowknife River. Yellowknife and its surrounding water bodies were named after the local Yellowknives Dene First Nation, who made tools from regional copper deposits. The current population is ethnically mixed. Of the eleven official languages of the Northwest Territories, five are spoken in significant numbers in Yellowknife: Dene Suline, Dogrib, South and North Slavey, English, and French. In the Dogrib language, the city is known as Somba K'e ("where the money is").

Yellowknife was first settled in 1935, after gold had been found in the area; Yellowknife soon became the centre of economic activity in the NWT, and became the capital of the Northwest Territories in 1967. As gold production began to wane, Yellowknife shifted from being a mining town to being a centre of government services in the 1980s. However, with the discovery of diamonds north of Yellowknife in 1991, this shift has begun to reverse.


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Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories or Legislative Council of the Northwest Territories, Canada, is located in Yellowknife. The Assembly is a unicameral elected body that creates and amends law in the Northwest Territories. The Assembly was founded in 1870 and became active in 1872 with the first appointments from the Government of Canada. Under the Northwest Territories Act the Assembly is officially defined under federal law as Legislative Council. However under Northwest Territories territorial law, it is defined as Legislative Assembly. Under different periods of its history it has alternated names.

Commissioner John Parker gave up his powers of running the executive council and appointed George Braden as leader of the Government and the first Premier since 1905. The model of responsible government that was used this time around was known as Consensus government. The executive council or cabinet forms government while all the regular members form an unofficial opposition. The modern Consensus Government model is inherently non-partisan and serves effectively as a constant minority government. The Legislature uses this model up to the current day.


Portal:Northwest Territories/Selected article/5 lreftThe Temporary North-West Council more formally known as the Council of the Northwest Territories and by its short name as the North-West Council lasted from the creation of Northwest Territories, Canada, in 1870 until it was dissolved in 1876. The council was mostly made up of members of the Manitoba Legislative Assembly and members of the Parliament of Canada who were appointed to serve on the council. No members appointed were allowed to sit on the council until December 28, 1872. The council ran the territories under the Temporary Government of Rupert's Land Act and the Manitoba Act. The council's mandate was renewed every year by the federal government until it was dissolved in 1876, to make way for the 1st Council of the Northwest Territories.

The territory formally known as Rupert's Land and the North-Western Territory were sold to the Government of Canada by the Hudson's Bay Company on November 19, 1869. The two territories were amalgamated to form the Northwest Territories. The creation of a government for the territories was delayed by Louis Riel who led the Red River Rebellion, ultimately leading to the creation of the province of Manitoba. The Northwest Territories joined confederation with Manitoba on July 5 1870. Despite the provisions in law for setting up a council under the Temporary Government Act, 1870, the first council appointments by the Governor General of Canada would not take place until November 28, 1872. The first attempt at creating the council came with the appointment of Francis Godschall Johnson by Lieutenant Governor Adams George Archibald on October 21, 1870. Johnson lost his appointment after it was overturned by the federal government. The federal government ruled Archibald had exceeded his powers in creating the council.


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The Council of Keewatin was an unelected legislative body and territorial government for the now-defunct District of Keewatin in Canada. The District of Keewatin was created by the passage of the Keewatin Act on April 12, 1876 from a portion of Canada's North West Territories. Lieutenant Governor Alexander Morris convinced the government that the new territorial government of the North West Territories would be unable to effectively administer land to the north and east of Manitoba. Shortly after the District of Keewatin was formed a large group of Icelanders arrived, infected with smallpox which quickly spread to the indigenous First Nation population. The Government of Canada allowed the Council to be formed for the purpose of containing the smallpox epidemic. The Council also administered Indian treaty claims, immigrant land claims, Hudson's Bay Company trading post concerns as well as policing and health care. The Council lasted from November 25, 1876, until April 16, 1877, after which control of the territory was returned under federal jurisdiction.

The founder of the Council of Keewatin as well as the District of Keewatin was Alexander Morris. He selected and appointed the members to serve after being given permission by the Government of Canada. After the Council was disbanded in 1877, the legislation passed and departments organized by the council, such as the Boards of Health and Quarantine, continued to remain in force as late as 1878. The council was not reconstituted before the District of Keewatin was ceded back to the Northwest Territories in 1905. All matters of administration were handled by the Government of Canada and the Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba.


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The Geography of Northwest Territories (Abbr. NT or NWT or N.W.T; 2001 pop. 37,360; 532,643 sq mi (1,379,540 km2)), a territory in Northern Canada, specifically in Northwestern Canada between Yukon Territory and Nunavut including part of Victoria Island, Melville Island, and other islands on the western Arctic Archipelago. A much wider territory enclosing most of central and northern Canada, the Northwest Territories was created in 1870 from the Hudson's Bay Company's holdings, that would be sold to Canada from 1869-1870. In addition, Alberta and Saskatchewan were formed from the territory in 1905. When in 1999, it was divided again, having the eastern portion becoming the new territory of Nunavut. Yellowknife stands as its largest city and capital. It has a population of 42, 800. It lies west of Nunavut, north of latitude 60° north, and east of Yukon.

It stretches across the top of the North American continent, reaching into the Arctic Circle. The region consists of the following: many islands, such as Victoria Island, the Mackenzie River, and Great Bear and Great Slave lakes. Over half the people are Inuit (Eskimos) and American Indians. In the 18th century, the main land was explored by Samuel Hearne for the Hudson's Bay Company and by Alexander Mackenzie. European settlers manly were whalers, fur traders, and missionaries up until the 1920s, when oil was discovered and as the territorial administration had formed. Their principal industry is mining and centers of the petroleum and Natural Gas fields in the western Arctic coastal regions.


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The history of Northwest Territories capital cities begins with the purchase of the Territories by Canada from the Hudson's Bay Company in 1869 and includes a varied and often difficult evolution. Northwest Territories is unique amongst the Canadian province or territory in that it has had seven capital cities in its history. The territory has changed the seat of government for numerous reasons, including civil conflict, development of infrastructure, and revised territorial boundaries.

The result of these changes has been a long and complex road to responsible government. Effectively providing services and representation for the population has been a particular challenge for the Territories' government, a task often complicated by the region's vast geographic area. A small number of communities in Northwest Territories have unsuccessfully tried to become the capital over the years. The territory has had the seat of government outside of its territorial boundaries twice in its history. The only other political division in Canada without a seat of government inside the territorial boundaries was the defunct District of Keewatin that existed from 1876 until 1905.

The term "capital" refers to cities that have served as home for the Legislative Assembly of Northwest Territories, the legislative branch of Northwest Territories government. In Canada, it is customary for provincial and territorial level government to have the civil service administer from the same city as the legislative branch and executive branch. The Northwest Territories, however, had an administrative capital and a legislative capital officially exist between 1911 and 1967. This is the only province or territory in Canadian history to have had such an arrangement.

In the early 1980s, the territory began a process that would see it divide itself. A new capital was needed for the brand new territory of Nunavut created out of the eastern half of the Northwest Territories as they existed from 1911 to 1999. Lessons were learned from the past changes in the seat of power, and a referendum was put to the territorial residents.


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Fall Colors Over Inuvik 1.jpg

Inuvik, (place of man), is a town in the Northwest Territories of Canada and is the administrative centre for the Inuvik Region.The population as of the 2006 Census was 3,484, but the two previous census counts show wide fluctuations due to economic conditions: 2,894 in 2001 and 3,296 in 1996.

Inuvik was conceived in 1953 as a replacement administrative centre for the hamlet of Aklavik on the west of the Mackenzie Delta, as the latter was prone to flooding and had no room for expansion. Initially called "New Aklavik", it was renamed to Inuvik.

Inuvik achieved village status in 1967 and became a full town in 1970 with an elected mayor and council. In 1979, with the completion of the Dempster Highway, Inuvik became connected to Canada's highway system, and simultaneously the most northerly town to which one could drive in the summer months — although an ice road through the Mackenzie River delta connects the town to Tuktoyaktuk, on the coast of the Arctic Ocean, in the winter. Between 1971 and 1990, the town's economy was supported by the local Canadian Forces Station (originally a Naval Radio Station, later a communications research/signals intercept facility and by petrochemical companies exploring the Mackenzie Valley and the Beaufort Sea for petroleum. This all collapsed in 1990 for a variety of reasons, including disappearing government subsidies, local resistance to petroleum exploration, and low international oil prices.


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Lorne was an electoral district that existed in the District of Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories from 1880 until 1888. The district was one of the first three created by Royal Proclamation in 1880. Of the first three electoral districts proclaimed, it was the only one to actually have an election held in it.

Under the Northwest Territories Act 1880 the district was mandated at its inception to return a single member to the Northwest Territories Legislature under the First Past the Post electoral system. The district was named in the honour of former Governor General, the Marquess of Lorne. Lorne would tour the through the Northwest Territories just after the electoral district was created in 1881.

The electoral district ceased to exist at the drop of the writ for the 1888 Northwest Territories general election. This was due to a population boom in the area caused by an influx of settlers. The electoral district was redistributed and split between the electoral districts of Batoche and the Prince Albert electoral district. During the nine years the district existed, it returned three members through three elections who served roughly three year terms.


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