Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

From Academic Kids

Template:Canadian City Yellowknife (Template:Coor dm MST) is the territorial capital of Canada's Northwest Territories, and the only settlement in the territory to legally be a city. Located on the north shore of Great Slave Lake on the west side of Yellowknife Bay at the outlet of the Yellowknife River. The city 'Yellowknife' (and the surrounding waterbodies) were named for the copper knives used by the local Chipewyans and Dene who moved into the area in the early 1800s. The current population is ethnically mixed, and the territory government lists five languages as spoken in significant numbers: Chipewyan, Dogrib, South and North Slavey, English, and French.

In Dogrib, the town is called Somba K'e ("where the money is").


The current settlement was not occupied until prospectors ventured into the region in the mid 1930s. Traditionally, native tribes had occupied this region and by the 1800s they had settlement on a point of land on the east side of Yellowknife Bay, a community now known as Dettah.

Gold was first reported in the area of Yellowknife Bay in the late 19th century when a Klondike bound prospector named E.A. Blakeney found some gold samples. The discovery was viewed as unimportant in those days because of the Klondike stampede and because Great Slave Lake was too far away to attract attention.

In the late 1920s, aircraft were being used to explore Canada's arctic regions. Interesting showings of radium and silver were being uncovered at Great Bear Lake in the early 1930s, and prospectors began fanning out to find additional metals. In 1933 two prospectors, Herb Dixon and Johnny Baker, canoed down the Yellowknife River from Great Bear Lake to survey for possible mineral deposits. In that season they found an interesting gold showing at Quyta Lake, about 30 kilometers up the Yellowknife River, and another gold find at Homer Lake.

The following year, Johnny Baker returned as part of a larger crew to develop the previous gold finds and search for more. Gold was found on the east side of Yellowknife Bay in 1934 and the short-lived Burwash Mine was developed. When government geologists uncovered gold in more favourable geology on the west side of Yellowknife Bay in the fall of 1935, a small staking rush occurred. The Con Mine was the most impressive gold deposit and its development created the excitement that lead to the first settlement of Yellowknife in 1936-1937. The Con Mine entered production on September 5 1938.

The population of Yellowknife grew quickly to 1000 by 1940 and by 1942 five gold mines were in production in the Yellowknife region. But by 1944 gold production had ceased, due mainly to the fact that many men were now needed in the war effort.

Already in 1944, an exploration program at the Giant Mine property on the north end of town had suggested a sizeable gold deposit. This new find resulted in a massive post-war staking rush to Yellowknife during 1944-1945. It also resulted in new discoveries at the Con Mine, extending the life of the mine greatly. Yellowknife expanded up from the Old Town waterfront and New Town was established during 1945-1946.

Between 1939 and 1953, Yellowknife was controlled by the Canadian Government and its Northern Affairs branch. A small council, partially elective partially appointed, made decisions. Yellowknife had grown so much that by 1953 it was promoted to a municipality with its own council and town hall. In 1967 Yellowknife became the capital of the Northwest Territories. This new important status provided what has been coined as the third boom in Yellowknife as new housing went up in new subdivisions of town to accommodate government workers.

In 1991 a new mining rush and fourth building boom for Yellowknife began with the discovery of diamonds 300 kilometers north of the city. The Ekati Diamond Mine opened in 1998. A second mine, Diavik Diamond Mine, began production in 2003. A third mine is developing.

The last of the gold mines closed in Yellowknife in 2004 and today Yellowknife is primarily a government town, but it still serves as a service town for the diamond mines.

Regional Mines

Template:Canada CP 2001

External link

Template:Canada capitalsja:イエローナイフ pt:Iqaluit


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