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8 Interesting Facts About Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada is one of our newest incentive program destinations. We know it is an amazing, if remote, location – and yet, many people have never heard of the place! We’d like to introduce you to this fascinating place by sharing some interesting facts about Yellowknife.

1. Yellowknife is located only 400km south of the Arctic Circle, making it one of the best places in the world to witness the Northern Lights! Seasonably clear skies and the lack of surrounding light pollution further enhances the viewability of the Aurora Borealis from the Yellowknife area.

2. The City of Yellowknife is situated along the north shore of Great Slave Lake, a natural wonder! It’s North America’s deepest lake on record, and it comes in as #9 on the list of the largest lakes on the planet.

3. Yellowknife is situated over a large expanse of ancient volcanic rock which dates back as far as four billion years! Within these rocks lie such treasures as silver, tungsten, copper, diamonds, and last but not least – gold! It was the discovery of gold in the 1930’s that first drew prospectors to the area.

4. Yellowknife was named after a local Dene tribe once known as the ‘Copper Indians’ or ‘Yellowknife Indians’, who traded copper tools forged from copper found near the Arctic Coast. Today they are known as the Yellowknives Dene.

5. To greet a Dene, you shake hands, as there is no direct translation for hello and goodbye in their language. It is estimated that over 25 languages are spoken in Yellowknife, including eight official territorial languages.

6. Yellowknife became capital of the Northwest Territories in 1967, and was not officially a City until 1970. It’s currently the only city in the Northwest Territories!

7. Yellowknife’s unique subarctic climate and the rain showdowing effect of neighboring mountains means that they average less than 12 in (300 mm) of rain each year. It also has a frost-free growing season running about 100 days thanks to the weather effects of the Great Slave Lake.

8. Due to its latitude, Yellowknife sees a wide range of time between day and night over the course of the year. In June, they see about twenty hours of daylight, while in December they will only see about five hours!


photo by Blake Wile via creative commons

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