Yellowknife is the capital city of the Northwest Territories and is on Great Slave Lake. It has a population of around 20,000 residents. Indigenous people have lived in the area for thousands of years and are known as the Yellowknife Dene First Nation (YKDN). Many YKDN live in two small communities just outside of Yellowknife, called N’Dilo and Dettah. Yellowknife, the community, was born out of the discovery of gold on the shores of Great Slave Lake in the late 1920s and early 1930s. The suggested year Yellowknife was first settled is 1936 as the first gold mine went into operation.
Gold mining and ongoing exploration was a major driver for the growth of Yellowknife up until the late 1990s when gold prices and exhausted mines slowed the industry almost to a halt.
Fortunately, at the same time as the gold mines were slowing down, diamonds were discovered 300 miles/480 kilometres to the Northeast of Yellowknife, and a new boom took hold of Yellowknife. Starting in the late 1990s, to the present day, diamonds have been mined in the Northwest Territories providing a stable industry for many.
With wide open spaces and wide open skies, the Northwest Territories boasts some of the best of everything. From world-class Aurora Borealis viewing in cloudless skies to world-class fishing in pristine lakes, like Gordon Lake. Yellowknife’s spectacular fishing has been known by hard-core sport fishing enthusiasts and adventurous families for over 40-years. While Yellowknife’s perfect geographical location for Aurora Borealis viewing has only been known for the past 15-years or so.
Getting to Yellowknife
Getting to Yellowknife is easy. With four major airlines flying daily into Yellowknife from southern hubs like Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver, it is only a short flight. While Yellowknife also boasts a maintained highway year-round leading from Alberta.