Heritage & Culture

Stories to Share

Yellowknife offers the visitor plenty of opportunity to experience the north's cultural heritage. Learn about the ancient aboriginal history of the north shore of Great Slave Lake, the fur trading empire that stretched along the waterways of the 19th century, and the settlers that came to Yellowknife Bay in the mid 1930s in search of precious metals. Experience northern heritage in today's landscape, where old traditions mix with the modern way of life, a Yellowknife where diamonds are now mined from the Canadian Shield, while old methods of transportation - ice roads and vintage airplanes - still provide steady service to our communities.

Northern Frontier Visitors Centre

Yellowknife's regional visitors centre should be your first stop when you arrive. It is easily accessible just off the main highway leading into town and our staff can offer you a wide range of information on the surrounding landscape. Exhibits on Yellowknife history, mining and geology, natural history, and aboriginal culture is presented in constantly evolving displays. A small gift shop offers a selection of northern souvenirs. Our staff can help you plan your visit to Yellowknife by providing contact information for services and brochures on what there is to see and do. 

Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre

The Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre is the NWT museum and archives. The museum acquires and manages objects and archival materials that represent the cultures and history of the Northwest Territories, plays a primary role in documenting and providing information about the cultures and history of the NWT, and provides professional museum, archives and cultural resource management services to partner organizations. The museum holds in trust for the public a large collection of objects that represent the peoples and cultures of the NWT, and produces exhibitions that tell stories about the land, people and history. Visit http://www.pwnhc.ca for more information on exhibits.

 

Northern Arts and Cultural Centre

The Northern Arts and Cultural Centre (NACC) is a 313 seat theatre facility located in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada. It was built with the help of the publisher of the Globe and Mail newspaper whose fund raising efforts raised monies from varied sources across Canada. It is the only fully equipped live performance theatre in the NWT. NACC is a venue and supporting agency for northern, national and international artists. We operate a variety of programs in communities throughout the NWT on an ongoing basis. From educational workshops to performing artist mentorships, the NACC is a vital part of the community of the Northwest Territories. Visit the NACC website at http://www.naccnt.ca/ for information on upcoming performances.

 

NWT Diamond Centre

Visit the NWT Diamond Centre at 5105-49th St. where the stories of Diavik and Snap Lake Mine - located 300 kilometers north of Yellowknife - is told in this interpretive exhibit, showcasing the fascinating geology of kimberlite deposits, the technology of mining in the sub-arctic, and the process to turn a rough stone in a beautiful diamond. Visitors to the centre may purchase diamonds that have been mined, cut and polished in the NWT. The NWT Diamond Centre is open from 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday. For more information, please call (867) 920-7108.

 

Mining Heritage Displays

The NWT Mining Heritage Society has begun development of a mining interpretive centre at the old Giant Mine townsite. Outdoor exhibits of old mining machinery, vehicles, and some buildings are on display for public viewing near the Public Boat Launch at Giant Mine. Visit http://www.nwtminingheritage.com for more information about the proposed mining museum.

 

Legislative Assembly

The seat of government for the Northwest Territories is located in the capital city of Yellowknife. The Legislative Assembly building is one of the newest legislatures in Canada and one of the most unique, highlighting our consensus style of government and also the traditional values of the people of the territory.  The Legislative Assembly is where Members from across the Northwest Territories come together and make decisions on behalf of all Northerners. Tours are available of the facility, where visitors can learn about the unique system of consensus government that sets the Northwest Territories apart. Visit http://www.assembly.gov.nt.ca/_live/pages/wpPages/visitortours.aspx for information on tours.

 

Bristol Monument

This old airplane introduces the visitor to Yellowknife along Highway #3, near the Airport. It is a Bristol freighter, once operated by Wardair Limited, an early air operator in the community. This very plane was the first the land on skis at the North Pole in 1967. The historic craft was donated to the City of Yellowknife in 1970 and is on display for all to see and appreciate the north's aviation heritage.

 

Ice Roads

The north has very few all-season roads because construction is expensive and often an engineering feat in the sub-arctic. Luckily, intrepid transportation engineers have devised a way to keep our communities and mining projects open to traffic nearly year-round, through the construction of ice roads. Several ice roads, including an access road across Yellowknife Bay to the aboriginal community of Dettah, and the famous ice road to the diamond mines, are open for public use in the winter months of January to March each year. It is suggested that travelers keep up-to-date on road conditions by visiting the GNWT Department of Transportation website at: http://www.dot.gov.nt.ca/_live/pages/wpPages/roadConditions.aspx

 

Old Town

Yellowknife’s Old Town is a must-see for all visitors. It’s a rocky point of land, part of the City’s Great Slave Lake waterfront, with a colourful past. It was an ideal location to begin a community in the 1930s. The waterfront was once the commercial hub of the region, where float planes and barges would pull up to their moorage, and several pioneer business got their start to service the miners and trappers. Old Town is now an upscale residential and commercial area with many gift shops, restaurants, cafes, and accommodations.

Walk the historic streets of Old Town with a heritage guidebook available for free from the Northern Frontier Visitors Centre. Buildings from the 1930s rub shoulders with unique homes designed by local architects. Bush planes still tie up to the docks and land on the historic waterdomes of Back Bay. In summer, eat at the Wildcat Café, the city’s oldest restaurant, dating back to 1937. Year round, try the fish and chips cooked to order at Bullock's Bistro. Shop for your clothing needs at Weaver & Devore Trading, Yellowknife's oldest trading post in business since 1936.

Don’t miss the panoramic view from the Bush Pilots Monument. In summer, Great Slave Lake stretches to the horizon, in fall and winter, the aurora dances overhead. The monument commemorates the men and women who flew the tiny bush planes which opened the North. Hike up the stairs, the view of water, rock and the city is truly breathtaking.

 

New Town

The downtown core of Yellowknife was established in 1945 to accomodate the growth of the community which had out grew its roots along the waterfront. It is now the commercial core of the city and offers all of your shopping and accomodation needs. A heritage guidebook available for free from the Northern Frontier Visitors Centre can help show you some of the local history of the area, where old suburban houses from the 1940s mix with government office towers. 

 

Ragged Ass Road

Ragged Ass Road in Old Town's Willow Flats area is a must see for visitors. 'Ragged Ass' is a colloquial term for “dirt poor”. The story involves three local fellows, a late night and just the right amount of liquor. The boys decided to rename their street Ragged Ass Road. They painted a sign and put it up, in a part of Yellowknife called Old Town. The name stuck, and soon after, Ragged Ass Road was adopted as an official street name. Singer Tom Cochrane named a music album after Ragged Ass Road. Pick up your very own full sized (or pint sized) official Ragged Ass Road sign from the Northern Frontier Visitor's Centre gift shop, together with a wide variety of other Ragged Ass memorabilia. 

 

Art Walk

Yellowknife hosts a vibrant art community. There are dozens of galleries and artists in residence, plus a number of public displays of art, murals, and sculptures around the town. Please visit the Northern Frontier Visitor's Centre for an 'Artswalk' brochure.

RELATED SERVICE LISTING view all

B. Dene Adventures

The NWT and the community of Yellowknife is a meeting point of different cultures and ways of life. We also welcome visitors from different parts of the world. As a result of this diversity, there is a strong need for cultural education and tourism activities. B. Dene Adventures provides a wide range of cultural activities and services for all.

B. Dene Adventures is a Traditional Dene Cultural Camp business which teaches the Dene way of life, through our history, our language and our unique connection to the land.

Telephone:
(867) 444-0451

The Bucket List Tour Company

Our trip begins and ends in Yellowknife. Our tour includes all items listed in the itinerary. Lunches & dinners are included. Breakfast is usually on your own. The trip consists of nine days and eight nights. We are going to discover Wood Buffalo National Park; experience vintage aircraft; visit UNESCO’s first designated world heritage site; meet people from all walks of life and several different cultural groups; and travel exotic waterways.

This trip has been designed to accommodate all levels of fitness. Alternate activities will be offered to those visitors with mobility and other limitations.

Every trip will be guided by Tracy Therrien, an experienced northern guide who is also owner of the company. The driver of our luxury coach is a long time northerner from our region. In every community we visit you will be hosted by local guides. If a local guide is not available Tracy will conduct the tour herself.

Our trip combines an “off the beaten path” experience with the comfort and luxury of our modern motor coach. The motor coach has been specially designed to offer first class features: larger seats, extended room between seats, and plenty of storage room on board to minimize the need for luggage transfers. There is a bathroom and fridge on board. For our accommodations, we have taken great care in choosing the best the north has to offer.

We offer our visitors a true northern experience, with emphasis on understanding our culture. Your guide and owner of the company has lived in the north for 30 years, and worked as a travel agent. Our trip must allow for flexibility and change to accommodate varying conditions beyond our control, such as weather, road conditions, or wild animals on the road, among other things. This is the way of life in the north. We will make adjustments and create alternative experiences as conditions require.

Welcome to the North!
Telephone:
1 (867) 875-7656

North Star Adventures

North Star Adventures is a 100% Aboriginal owned, local tour company. We grew up in Yellowknife, we know Yellowknife! We are happy to share our Aboriginal culture with on each of the following tours:

Summer Tours - June 15; ends October 07

Aboriginal Culture Tour (June 15 - October 07)

As a 100% Aboriginal owned and operated tour company we can offer you genuine Aboriginal experiences. Learn about our culture, meet cool Aboriginal friends, sample delicious traditional foods, learn our language and listen to stories about our culture, history and more. Email us for more information, ask about our Discounts and Specials. 2.5hr - $89.00+tax/person

Boat Tours (July 01 - September 30)

Join us a for a comfortable boat tour on the Great Slave Lake out to our island 15km from Yellowknife for short scenic nature hike, great photos! 2.0hr - $79.00+tax/person

Buffalo Viewing (June 15 - September 30)

Let's go look for the world's biggest buffalo! See northern Canada landscape as we drive out 200kms or more to see this amazing wildlife! 5.0hr - $149.00+tax/person Tour

Fishing Tour - MONSTER Pike (July 01 - September 30)

Our Aboriginal guides will take you to the best spots so you can catch your own Great Slave Lake MONSTER Pike! 3.0hr - $109.00+tax/person

Fishing Tour - Big Lake Trout (July 01 - September 30)
Let’s go out further on the big lake, out to deeper waters to catch your own Great Slave Lake Lake Trout! 4.0hr - $149.00/person

Eagle Viewing Tour (July 01 - September 30)
Enjoy a comfortable cruise on one of the largest lakes in the world as we go look for the majestic Eagle and maybe even get an Eagle feather! 2.5hr - $109.00+tax/person

 

Ice Fishing & Aurora Packages

We offer 3 Aurora packages including our Aboriginal Aurora Package which includes our very popular Aboriginal Ice Fishing Tour, a genuine Aboriginal (and delicious) experience! We offer service in English, Cantonese, Korean and Mandarin. Email us for more information, ask about our Discounts and Specials.

Yellowknife's Best City Tour (June 15 - October 07)

Learn about Yellowknife. As lifelong residents we can offer you a unique personal insight into Yellowknife and its colorful history. 1.5hr - $79.00+tax/person

Waterfall Nature Hike

Enjoy the wilderness of northern Canada, the trees, the plants and clean fresh air! Relax at the scenic waterfalls after a 30 minutes hike thru the woods. 4.0hr - $109.00+tax/person

Yellowknife's Best Aurora Hunting Tours (August 07 - October 07)

We will go to different locations to find the best Aurora for you. We will take FREE professional photos of you and Aurora. Average tour size 15-20 guests. 4.0hrs - $109.00+tax

Telephone:
(867) 446-2900 or (867) 445-3096

Destination Deline

Deline, Northwest Territories - the birthplace of Hockey, home to the biggest lake trouts in the world, and the only community on the western shore of Great Bear Lake.

Alone on a Lake approximately the size of the Netherlands and near the Arctic Circle, Deline is a place where culture and traditions of the Dene First Nation flourish. There are no roads to bring you here most of the year – air access is the only option. For its people, this remoteness means a connection to the land remains a way of life.  For visitors, year – round cultural experiences and outdoor adventures take place against the backdrop of the solitude and silence of this scenic northern landscape.

A Land and a Way of Life Preserved

Deline residents are largely Dene or Metis who speak the North Slavey language and English. Sahtú Dene families are often related to Hare, Gwich’in and Mountain Dene peoples. The people of Great Bear Lake had to be hardy and resourceful to survive in the past. Within living memory, they lived a nomadic life, following fish and game with the seasons. Many still supplement their diets by hunting, fishing and trapping at least part of the time. Although modern life has made its way North, Deline homes often feature a traditional lodge or tipi used to smoke meat and fish.

Whether its for a corporate retreat, small group gathering, a fishing adventure, or on an organized tour, we look forward to sharing our stories with you. Welcome to Deline !

Telephone:
1-778-476-1116

NARWAL Northern Adventures

NARWAL is licensed outfitter that has been operating in the North since 1981. Our mission is to provide safe, personable and fun experiences in the outdoors. We offer year-round opportunities for you to learn and explore. Our guides have plenty of knowledge about culture and traditions of the North and are trained in Standard and Wilderness First Aid.

Summer

In the summer, join our Paddle Canada certified northern guides in a canoe or kayak for a 1-day, 3-day, or 6-day paddling adventure! Our guides can collaborate with you to create your personal northern adventure.  Explore scenic Yellowknife Bay with our guides by travelling via 29-foot voyageur canoes during a Floating Dinner Theatre. Enjoy a traditional meal of soup and bannock complemented by lively entertainment featuring music and dramatic presentations of historic northern events. All ages welcome!

Other summer activities:

-        Fishing

-        Motor boat tour

-        Voyageur canoe day tours

Winter

In the winter, hop on a snowmobile or strap on your snowshoes to discover an adventure with our experience, safety-trained guides. You can enjoy a guided walk to the intriguing ice caves, have a blast on a guided snowmobile tour on Great Slave Lake and surrounding trails, or learn to build an igloo with the guidance of our skilled instructors. Traditional Inuit fur clothing is available for rent while on a NARWAL tour.

Telephone:
(867) 873-6443