Northwest Territories (NT) - Facts, Flags and Symbols



Population (2010 estimate): [i]


Motto on Licence Plate:

Explore Canada’s Arctic

Flag: [ii]

Ordinance of the Territorial Council assented to, January 1, 1969

Flag of the Northwest Territories

Arms: [iii]

Approved by Queen Elizabeth II, February 24, 1956

Coat of Arms for the Northwest Territories

Date Entered Confederation: [iv]

In 1870, when Rupert’s Land and the North-Western Territory became the property of Canada, they were renamed the Northwest Territories and officially became part of Confederation.


Mountain Avens

Emblems of the territories were officially adopted in 1957. For the Northwest Territories, the floral emblem is the creamy-white mountain avens (Dryas octopetala), which blooms in profusion for a short time each spring.

Picture of mountain avens flower



The gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus) is the largest of the falcons. It was adopted in 1990 as the territory’s official bird. It is sleek, fast and strong, and can be found almost anywhere in the territory. Although gyrfalcons can range in colour from white to grey, brown or black, the darker birds are more common in the tundra regions.

Picture of gyrfalcon


Tamarack Larch

The tamarack larch (Larix laricina) replaced the jack pine as the territory’s tree symbol on September 9, 1999. The tree grows to 15 metres (49 feet) and it is a prime source of wood for poles and posts.

Picture of tamarack larch tree


  1. [i] Statistics Canada - Quarterly demographic estimates, 2010
    [back to note i]
  2. [ii] Canadian Heritage - Canadian Anthems and Symbols
    [back to note ii]
  3. [iii] Canadian Heritage - Canadian Anthems and Symbols
    [back to note iii]
  4. [iv] Library and Archives Canada - Canadian Confederation
    [back to note iv]
Outline map of the Northwest Territories


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