The Northwest Territories is a territory of Canada; it is located in northern Canada, it is east of Yukon, west and south of Nunavut, and north of British Columbia. The date the Northwest Territories entered confederation is July 15, 1870. Some geographical features are the vast Great Bear, the Great Slave Lakes, and the Mackenzie River, the canyons of the Nahanni River, a national park, and UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Northwest Territories extends over a vast land area that consists of tundra, forest, and prairie. While large in geographic size, the territory is home to few people: In 2006 its population was 42,526. Its large geographic size and small population combine to make the territory one of the most sparsely populated areas in the world. A cold climate and permafrost (permanently frozen ground) prevent agricultural activities and make other economic activities very expensive. Today, the Northwest Territories remains the largest political subdivision in Canada, with 34.1 percent of the total area of the country; it is divided into three districts: Keewatin, Mackenzie and Franklin. The principal cities in the Northwest Territories are Yellowknife, the capital, Hay River, and Fort Smith, all of which are located around Great Slave Lake. The population is almost evenly split between nonindigenous Canadians and indigenous Canadians. Indians, also called the Dene, represent half a dozen tribes, each with a distinct language based on the Athapaskan root language. The Métis are a mixed-blood people who were originally offspring of unions between Indian women and French or British fur trappers. The Inuit are an indigenous people who inhabit the Arctic coastal regions.
As a territory, Northwest Territories has fewer rights than provinces do; the government of Northwest Territories does not have political parties, except for the time between 1898 and 1905. It is the only jurisdiction in Canada that does not operate on a political party structure, and is...
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