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Research note

The Northwest Territories joined Canada in 1870 as part of the Rupert's Land purchase. 

In 1999, the Canadian government formed the territory of Nunavut from the Northwest Territories' eastern land, and most of the Arctic Islands. 

To widen your research scope, you may find it helpful to check the Nunavut page for resources.

Note that the government of the Northwest Territories has experienced a number of name changes, which may affect your research:

  • 1870-1888: government is referred to as the North-West Council
  • 1889-1905: the Legislative Assembly replaces the North-West Council
  • 1905-1976: the territory is governed by Comissioner and Council, and collectively referred to as the Council
  • 1976-current: the Council is renamed the Legislative Assembly

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