The Arctic Area

By: Sharon White
The Northwest territories of Canada cover the top third of the country up to the true North Pole. This is a land of midnight sun and pristine wilderness, office towers and igloos. Nearly half of this region is North of the Arctic Circle. This is a place of contrasts with both Arctic and sub arctic temperatures, barren tundra and dense forests, and where there are more caribou than people. Among the people are the Native Dene, Inuit and Metis who collectively speak eight official languages.

Yellowknife on the northern shores of Great Slave Lake is the largest town in the Northwest Territories and serves as the government, service and commercial center for the region.

Aside from the enchanting and rocky landscape and many nearby lakes there are a number of popular attractions here. The Legislative Assembly with its domed roof contains the country only round legislative chamber (this is probably the only chamber with a polar bear rug in the middle of the floor as well). The design symbolizes the northern people traditional consensus style of dealing with issues. The Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Center effectively displays a history of the territories and of aviation in the Northwest Territories. This is also a good place to appreciate arts and craft work.

Nahanni National park which can be reached only by air attracts visitors from around the world to experience the magnificent wilderness which includes the Mackenzie Mountains and many spectacular canyons and waterfall. It is here that the mighty Virginia Waterfalls drop from twice the height of Niagara Falls. Aside from the many opportunities for hiking, soaking in hot springs and spotting wildlifeFree Web Content, the South Nahanni River offers the best white water rafting on the continent.

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