Canada land of adventure
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Canada land of adventure

All sorts of images come to mind when one thinks of the Canadian North. Once the domain of a few Aboriginal communities (mainly Dene and Inuit) surviving in extremely difficult living conditions, the Northwest Territories (N.W.T.) have attracted many adventurers and missionaries over the years, followed by an entire non-Aboriginal population from southern Canada, lured here by government jobs and the rich gold mines near Great Slave Lake.

This enormous territory, over half the size of the United States, is still very sparsely populated, with only 42,000 inhabitants, 18,000 of whom live in Yellowknife, the capital.

Over the past 40 years, living conditions have changed a lot for the Aboriginal peoples, who make up about 50% of the population. Even the region's most isolated communities have joined the modern world. Nevertheless, Aboriginal people are still strongly attached to their traditions and culture, as evidenced by their festivities, crafts and even their style of government.

However, the N.W.T. is also a land of adventure, extremes and challenges. This region has a wealth of attractions to offer anyone who loves outdoor activities and is fascinated by unspoiled wilderness and the ancestral traditions of those who make their home there. The N.W.T. boasts two of the 10 biggest lakes in the world (Great Bear Lake and Great Slave Lake), whose icy surfaces are traversed by wide roads in winter; the majestic Virginia Falls, which are twice as high as Niagara Falls; and the impressive 1,800km-long Mackenzie River, which flows into the Beaufort Sea a few kilometres north of Inuvik.

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