Behchokǫ̀

Behchokǫ̀

“Big Knife”

Population: 2,039

The NWT’s largest Dene community occupies two sites straddling Frank Channel. Orderly Edzo was supposed to replace more traditional Rae, a 10-kilometre detour from Hwy 3 on the shores of Marion Lake, but most residents refused to leave. Today Behchokǫ̀ is the seat of the new Tłįchǫ Self-Government and a gateway to Great Slave Lake’s island-studded North Arm. Groceries, gas and lodging can be found here.

Location: 62°48′ N, 116°03′ W
Elevation: 179 metres
Population: 2,104
Name means: “Mbehcho’s place”
Former Names: Fort Rae, Rae-Edzo
Languages: Tłı̨chǫ Yatıı̀, English
Getting there: By road, one hour northwest of Yellowknife on Highway 3
Founded In: 1852, as a Hudson Bay Company post on a peninsula in Great Slave Lake. Moved to its present location in the early 20th Century 
Claim to fame: Seat of the Tłı̨chǫ self-government; largest Dene community in the world
Visit for: Dene handgames tournaments, National Aboriginal Day (June 21), Happy Daze (mid-August)
Best daytrip: To Sah Naji Kwe Wilderness Spa Resort
Best expedition: Paddling or pike fishing in the North Arm of Great Slave Lake
Historic highlight: Signing of Treaty 11 by Chief Monfwi in 1921, lauching of the Tłı̨chǫ Government in 2005
Notable locals: Archie Beaulieu, artist; John B. Zoe, political leader; Georges Erasmus, political leader; Richard Van Camp, author
 

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