About the NWT

About the Northwest Territories

Canada’s Northwest Territories (NWT) is located north of the 60th parallel, above Saskatchewan, Alberta, and eastern British Columbia, between the Yukon and Nunavut.

The territory is divided up in to a number of settled and unsettled land, resource and self-government agreement areas.

Over 43,200 people live in the NWT, of which approximately half of are Aboriginal. Much of the population lives in small communities, with approximately 20,000 people living in the capital city, Yellowknife.

Mineral and petroleum exploration and development are important components of the NWT economy. The NWT currently has three diamond mines in production and another two in the works, and the territory is considering the possibility of a Mackenzie Valley Pipeline.

On the political front, the Northwest Territories operates under a consensus system of government, rather than a system of party politics. Within this system, all 19 members of the Legislative Assembly are elected as independents in their constituencies and among themselves vote on the Premier and six Cabinet members, who function collectively in much the same way as a provincial legislature.

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