Aklavik

Aklavik

“Barrenground grizzly place”

Population: 691

This Gwich’in/Inuvialuit town rests on the western flank of the Mackenzie Delta, near to the Richardson Mountains. Once the region’s administrative centre, locals were slated to be moved to Inuvik, but refused – hence their motto, “Never say die.” Don’t miss the grave of the Mad Trapper, the mysterious backwoods killer who led Mounties on one of Canada’s greatest manhunts. Access is by air or water or, in winter, via the ice road from Inuvik.

Location:  68°13’N, 135°00’W
Elevation:  7 metres
Population:  594
Name Means:  Place of the grizzly bear
Founded In:  1912, as a Hudson’s Bay Company post
Motto:  Never Say Die
July Mean High:  18.4C
January Mean Low:  minus-31.0C
Historic Highlight:  In the early 1950s, as many as 1,600 people lived here, making it one of the largest towns in the North
Historic Lowlight:  In 1955, Inuvik was constructed to replace Aklavik, which officials feared was doomed by erosion and flooding
Quirky Fact:  One of the few Northern settlements with significant populations of both First Nations and Inuit residents
Best daytrip:  Taking a spin on the 120-kilometre winter ice-road to Inuvik
Best fest:  The Mad Trapper Rendezvous spring carnival
Notable Locals:  Ape Okpik (head of “Project Surname”), Nellie Cournoyea (businesswoman, political leader), A.J. “Moose” Kerr (educator), Albert “The Mad Trapper” Johnson (outlaw)
 

Tell me more about the Gwich’in in Aklavik
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Our Stories

Intriguing tales from Canada's Northwest Territories

Red Mountain Adventures

Tours of Aklavik and the Mackenzie Delta. Read more

Only Way Outfitting

Born & raised in Inuvik, Northwest Territories our experienced lead guide Jimmy Kalinek is ready to help you discover the alluring Mackenzie Delta in Canada's Western Arctic. An avid hunter, a skilled outdoors-man,... Read more

Aklavik Inn

Located in the historic hamlet of Aklavik this bed and breakfast welcomes you. Accomodates 11 guests. Read more

Knut Lang’s Place

The trading post known as Knut Lang’s Place is on the Peel Channel of the Mackenzie Delta, about 48 kilometres upstream from Aklavik. The post was built in the 1930s and includes includes standing log... Read more

The Mad Trapper’s Grave

In the depths of December, 1931, an enigmatic loner calling himself Albert Johnson shot and injured a policeman near the Rat River, not far from Aklavik. He then led authorities on a two-month goose-chase that was... Read more

DIZZY DAYS

Early September every year

Featuring competitions and fun activities for the whole family. Read more

Mad Trapper Rendezvous

Late March/early April every year

A fun weekend of old time dancing, dogsled races, snowmobile races and cultural events. Read more

NATIONAL INDIGENOUS DAY

June 21 every year

Territorial holiday with events in all communities. Contact town offices for details. Read more

CANADA DAY

July 1 every year

National holiday with events in all communities. Contact town offices and check community websites for details. Read more