A land of many languages

With 11 official languages, the Northwest Territories is a polyglot place, ringing with a chorus of dialects. Almost everyone here speaks English, but pretty nearly half of us speak a second (or third, or fourth) language. All of which means we have plenty of ways to say “welcome.” 

Chipewyan:    Márcı ją nuwe ghą núhdël  
Cree:    Tawaw  
English:    Welcome  
French:    Bienvenue  
Gwich’in:    Shòh hàh aanàii  
Inuinnaqtun:    Quana qaigaffi
Inuktitut:    Tunngasugit  
Inuvialuktun:    Quvianaqtusi qaigapsi  
North Slavey:    Máhsı hejǫ raxets’é ráwǝdǝ  
South Slavey:    Máhsı ejǫh nahxe tah anet’ı̨  
Tłı̨chǫ:    Sı̨nà, jǫ naxıghaèhda
 
Intrigued by our wealth of languages and cultures? Explore Aboriginal tourism in the Northwest Territories. 

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Explore, experience and enjoy Indigenous culture and the scenic East Arm of the Great Slave Lake, one of the largest lakes in the world! This tour offers you a truly genuine Indigenous culture experience while enjoying the wonderful, breathtaking landscape of northern...

Aulavik National Park Aulavik is our northernmost park, reaching across the pristine, wide-open lowlands of Banks Island. It’s famous for two things: the Thomsen River and muskoxen. The Thomsen, calm and crystal-clear, slides through this...

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Two peninsulas on Great Bear, covering 5,565 square kilometers, were designated as a national historic site in 2009. At that time, Parks Canada and the community of Délįne signed a first-of-its-kind deal where the sites – called Saoyú (...

Possibly the North’s most iconic, most photographed structure, the Our Lady of Victory church in downtown Inuvik is a bleach-white cylinder capped by a silvery dome, imitating the Inuvialuit snow-houses of old. The inside features paintings by local artist Mona...

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Located in a distinctive log-and-stone building on the main road of the Katlodeeche Reserve across from the town of Hay River, Yamozha Kue (a.k.a. the Dene Cultural Institute) lets you trade in your shoes for beaded moccasins and take a tour of Dene art and...

Norman Wells lovingly curated history museum showcases the multifaceted events that shaped this region. Colourful military vehicles from the building of the legendary Canol Road sit bumper-to-bumper in the yard, while inside you’ll find memorabilia from the oil-...

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This seven-kilometre loop around Frame Lake is the recreation trail for activity in the heart of the capital. While the eastern half is paved and passes by residential neighbourhoods, the western half consists of boardwalks over muskeg and wayfinding over...

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Built in 1936, this one-and-a-half storey squared-log dwelling overlooks the Papal Flats in Fort Simpson. An excellent example of Metis architecture, it is located at the southern edge of the original Hudson’s Bay Company compound and is an...

On the flats at the southwestern end of Fort Simpson Island, for centuries Dene gathered at this site during their seasonal rounds to allocate land use, arrange marriages, resolve disputes, hold puberty rites, undertake ceremonies of healing and thanksgiving...

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Legendary prospector Albert Faille spent his life hutning for gold in the Nahanni Mountains. Each spring from the 1950s until his death in 1973 he journeyed up the Liard and Nahanni rivers from his home in Fort Simpson, portaging around the...

On September 20, 1987, on the flats where the Mackenzie and Liard Rivers flow together above Fort Simpson, as many as 4,000 people – mostly Dene – gathered to welcome Pope John Paul II. It was the first time any pope had ever visited an Aboriginal community. His...

The oldest and certainly the most ornate place of worship in the North, this tiny cathedral crowns a bluff overlooking the Mackenzie River in Fort Good Hope. Built starting in 1865 by Oblate missionaries – including the famed Father Émile Petitot –­ the church from the...

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 broadcast via radio around the world. As the sign...

Towering 400 metres above Tulita, sacred Bear Rock is said to be where Yamoria, the great law-giver of Dene lore, confronted a gang of giant beavers that had been drowning hunters. Yamoria killed three of the beavers and draped their vast pelts on Bear Rock – forming...

Here, on this rectangular peninsula jutting northward into Great Slave Lake, the Northern fur-trade got its foothold. Parks Canada has designated this 8.8-hectare expanse – long the site of a Hudson Bay Company post – as a national historic site. It and other trading...

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