Tulita means “where the waters meet” in Sahtúot’ı̨nę Yatı̨́ and, befitting its name, you’ll find this mountain Dene community at the stunning confluence of the Great Bear and Mackenzie Rivers.
Established as a trading post in 1869, Tulita, then known by colonial settlers as Fort Norman, sits across the river from the Mackenzie Mountains and right underneath the storied Bear Rock. It’s this sacred landmark that’s symbolized on the Dene Nation’s logo, and what spiritually connects Tulita to the legendary hero Yamoria. Here, the great Yamoria is said to have slain giant beavers who were attacking the local Dene before draping their pelts over Bear Rock.
Visitors can hike the Bear Rock Trail to get up close to this revered site and take in the incredible views of the surrounding community, the Mackenzie River and Mackenzie Mountains. Tulita is also your jumping-off point for adventures in Náátsih’ch’oh National Park Reserve. Keep an eye out for Dall sheep, woodland Caribou, and other adventurous animals who make these mountains their home.
The community of Tulita has a population of about 500 with a mix of Dene, Métis and non-Indigenous residents. Ethel Blondin-Andrew, Canada’s first Indigenous female Member of Parliament, hails from here, and Hollywood comedian Leslie Nielsen also lived in Tulita as a boy.
Parliament, hails from here, and Hollywood comedian Leslie Nielsen also lived in Tulita as a boy.
Tulita’s airport services the town year-round and the community can easily be reached from Norman Wells. The Mackenzie Valley Highway winter road also links the community to Wrigley.