The Northwest Territories is a territory of Canada. At a land area of approximately 1,144,000 sq. km (442,000 sq mi) and a 2011 population of 41,462, it is the second largest and most populous of the three territories in Northern Canada. Its estimated population as of 2016 is 44,291. Yellowknife became the territorial capital in 1967, following recommendations by the Carrothers Commission.
The Northwest Territories, a portion of the old North-West Territory, entered the Canadian Confederation on July 15, 1870, but the current borders were formed on April 1, 1999, when the territory was subdivided to create Nunavut to the east, via the Nunavut Act and the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act. While Nunavut is mostly Arctic tundra, the Northwest Territories has a slightly warmer climate and is both boreal forest (taiga), and tundra, and its most northern regions form part of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.
The Northwest Territories are bordered by Canada’s two other territories, Nunavut to the east and Yukon to the west, and by the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan to the south.
The NWT’s geological resources include gold, diamonds, natural gas and petroleum. BP is the only oil company currently producing oil in the Territory. NWT diamonds are promoted as an alternative to purchasing blood diamonds. Two of the biggest mineral resource companies in the world, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto mine many of their diamonds from the NWT. In 2010, NWT accounted for 28.5% of Rio Tinto’s total diamond production (3.9 million carats, 17% more than in 2009, from the Diavik Diamond Mine) and 100% of BHP’s (3.05 million carats from the EKATI mine).
The Northwest Territories has the highest per capita GDP of all provinces or territories in Canada, C$76,000 in 2009. However, as production at the current mines started to wind down, no new mines opened and the public service shrank, the territory lost 1,200 jobs between November 2013 and November 2014.
Northwest Territories Nominee Program
- Skilled Worker
- Express Entry
- Critical Impact Worker