Northern Canada, colloquially the North, is the vast northernmost region of Canada variously defined by geography and politics. Politically, the term refers to three territories of Canada: Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut. Similarly, the Far North (when contrasted to the North) may refer to the Canadian Arctic: the portion of Canada that lies north of the Arctic Circle, east of Alaska and west of Greenland. This area covers about 39 percent of Canada's total land area, but has less than 1 percent of Canada's population.
These reckonings somewhat depend on the arbitrary concept of nordicity, a measure of so-called "northernness" that other Arctic territories share. Canada is the northernmost country in the Americas (excluding the neighbouring Danish Arctic territory of Greenland which extends slightly further north) and roughly 80% of its 35 million inhabitants are concentrated along its southern border with the United States.
Nord du Canada
|Territories||Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Yukon|
|• Total||3,535,263 km2 (1,364,973 sq mi)|
|• Density||0.032/km2 (0.083/sq mi)|
|Those parts of Northern Canada (dark green areas within the red line) considered to be part of the Arctic Region according to average temperature in the warmest month.||Political definition of Northern Canada - the "territories" of Canada||Barren Grounds and tundra are shown in light blue, and the taiga and boreal forest in dark blue.||The north is divided ethnographically into the Inuit living predominately in the "Arctic" region and the First Nations living predominately in the "Subarctic".|
As a social rather than political region, the Canadian north is often subdivided into two distinct regions based on climate, the near north and the far north. The different climates of these two regions result in vastly different vegetation, and therefore very different economies, settlement patterns, and histories.
The "near north" or subarctic is mostly synonymous with the Canadian boreal forest, a large area of evergreen-dominated forests with a subarctic climate. This area has traditionally been home to the Indigenous peoples of the Subarctic, that is the First Nations, who were hunters of moose, freshwater fishers and trappers. This region was heavily involved in the North American fur trade during its peak importance, and is home to many Métis people who originated in that trade. The area was mostly part of Rupert's Land or the North-Western Territory under the nominal control of the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) from 1670–1869. The HBC's claim was purchased by the Canadian government in 1869, and shortly thereafter the government made a series of treaties with the local First Nations regarding land title. This opened the region to non-Native settlement, as well as to forestry, mining, and oil and gas drilling. Today several million people live in the near north, around 15% of the Canadian total. Large parts of the near north are not part of Canada's territories, but rather are the northern parts of the provinces, meaning they have very different political histories as minority regions within larger units.
The "far north" is synonymous with the areas north of the tree line: the Barren Grounds and tundra. This area is home to the various sub-groups of the Inuit, a people unrelated to other Aboriginal peoples in Canada. These are people who have traditionally relied mostly on hunting marine mammals and caribou, mainly barren-ground caribou, as well as fish and migratory birds. This area was somewhat involved in the fur trade, but was more influenced by the whaling industry. This area was not part of the early 20th century treaty process and aboriginal title to the land has been acknowledged by the Canadian government with the creation of autonomous territories instead of the Indian reserves of further south. Very few non-Aboriginal people have settled in these areas, and the residents of the far north represent less than 1% of Canada's total population. The far north is also often broken into west and eastern halves. The eastern Arctic which means the self-governing territory of Nunavut (much of which is in the true Arctic, being north of the Arctic Circle); Nunavik, an autonomous part of the province of Quebec; Nunatsiavut, an autonomous part of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador; and perhaps a few parts of the Hudson Bay coast of Ontario and Manitoba. The western Arctic is the northernmost portion of the Northwest Territories (roughly Inuvik Region) and a small part of Yukon, together called the Inuvialuit Settlement Region.
Since 1925, Canada has claimed the portion of the Arctic between 60°W and 141°W longitude, extending all the way north to the North Pole: all islands in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago and Herschel, off the Yukon coast, form part of the region, are Canadian territory and the territorial waters claimed by Canada surround these islands. Views of territorial claims in this region are complicated by disagreements on legal principles. Canada and the Soviet Union/Russia have long claimed that their territory extends according to the sector principle to the North Pole. The United States does not accept the sector principle and does not make a sector claim based on its Alaskan Arctic coast. Claims that undersea geographic features are extensions of a country's continental shelf are also used to support claims; for example the Denmark/Greenland claim on territory to the North Pole, some of which is disputed by Canada. Foreign ships, both civilian and military, are allowed the right of innocent passage through the territorial waters of a littoral state subject to conditions in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. The right of innocent passage is not allowed, however, in internal waters, which are enclosed bodies of water or waters landward of a chain of islands. Disagreements about the sector principle or extension of territory to the North Pole and about the definition of internal waters in the Arctic lie behind differences in territorial claims in the Arctic. This claim is recognized by most countries with some exceptions, including the United States; Denmark, Russia, and Norway have made claims similar to those of Canada in the Arctic and are opposed by the European Union and the U.S. This is especially important with the Northwest Passage. Canada asserts control of this passage as part of the Canadian Internal Waters because it is within 20 km (12 mi) of Canadian islands; the U.S. claims that it is in international waters. Today ice and freezing temperatures make this a minor issue, but climate change may make the passage more accessible to shipping, something that concerns the Canadian government and inhabitants of the environmentally sensitive region.
While the largest part of the Arctic is composed of permanent ice and tundra north of the tree line, it encompasses geological regions of varying types: the Innuitian Mountains, associated with the Arctic Cordillera mountain system, are geologically distinct from the Arctic Region (which consists largely of lowlands). The Arctic and Hudson Bay Lowlands comprise a substantial part of the geographic region often considered part of the Canadian Shield (in contrast to the sole geological area). The ground in the Arctic is mostly composed of permafrost, making construction difficult and often hazardous, and agriculture virtually impossible.
The Arctic watershed (or drainage basin) drains northern parts of Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia, most of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut as well as parts of Yukon into the Arctic Ocean, including the Beaufort Sea and Baffin Bay. With the exception of the Mackenzie River, Canada's longest river, this watershed has been little used for hydroelectricity. The Peace and Athabasca Rivers along with Great Bear and Great Slave Lake (respectively the largest and second largest lakes wholly enclosed within Canada), are significant elements of the Arctic watershed. Each of these elements eventually merges with the Mackenzie so that it thereby drains the vast majority of the Arctic watershed.
Under the Köppen climate classification, much of Northern Canada has a subarctic climate, with a tundra climate in most of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago and an Ice cap climate in Arctic Cordillera. For more than half of the year, much of Northern Canada is snow and ice-covered, with some limited moderation by the relatively warmer waters in coastal areas with temperatures generally remaining below the freezing mark from October to May. During the coldest 3 months, mean monthly temperatures range from −20 °F (−29 °C) in the southern sections to −30 °F (−34 °C) in the northern sections although temperatures can go down to −55 to −60 °F (−48 to −51 °C). Owing to the dry cold air prevalent throughout most of the region, snowfall is often light in nature. During the short summers, much of Northern Canada is snow free, except for the Arctic Cordillera which remains covered with snow and ice throughout the year. In the summer months, temperatures average below 45 °F (7.2 °C) and may occasionally exceed 65 °F (18.3 °C). Most of the rainfall accumulated occurs in the summer months, ranging from 1 to 2 inches (3 to 5 cm) in the northernmost islands to 7 inches (18 cm) at the southern end of Baffin Island.
Using the political definition of the three northern territories, the North, with an area of 3,921,739 km2 (1,514,192 sq mi), makes up 39.3% of Canada.
Although vast, the entire region is very sparsely populated. As of 2016, only about 113,604 people lived there compared to 35,151,728 in the rest of Canada.
The population density for Northern Canada is 0.03 inhabitants per square kilometre (0.078/sq mi) (0.07/km2 (0.18/sq mi) for Yukon, 0.04/km2 (0.10/sq mi) for the NWT and 0.02/km2 (0.052/sq mi) for Nunavut) compared to 3.7/km2 (9.6/sq mi) for Canada.
It is heavily endowed with natural resources and in most cases they are very expensive to extract and situated in fragile environmental areas. Though GDP per person is higher than elsewhere in Canada, the region remains relatively poor, mostly because of the extremely high cost of most consumer goods, and the region is heavily subsidised by the government of Canada.
As of 2006, 52.8% of the population of the three territories (25.1% in Yukon, 50.3% in the NWT and 85.0% in Nunavut) is Aboriginal, Inuit, First Nations or Métis. The Inuit are the largest group of Aboriginal peoples in Northern Canada, and 61.5% of all Canada's Inuit live in Northern Canada, with Nunavut accounting for 52.8%. The region also contains several groups of First Nations, who are mainly Chipewyan peoples. The three territories each have a greater proportion of Aboriginal inhabitants than any of Canada's provinces. There are also many more recent immigrants from around the world; of the territories, Yukon has the largest percentage of non-Aboriginal inhabitants, while Nunavut the smallest.
As of 2016 census, the largest settlement in Northern Canada is the capital of Yukon, Whitehorse with 25,085. Second is Yellowknife, the capital of the Northwest Territories, which contains 19,569 inhabitants. Third is Iqaluit, the capital of Nunavut, with 7,082.
Although it has not been on the same scale, some towns and cities have seen population increases not seen for several decades before. Yellowknife has become the centre of diamond production for Canada (which has become one of the top three countries for diamonds).
The 4732nd Air Defense Group is a discontinued United States Air Force organization. Its last assignment was with the 64th Air Division of Air Defense Command at Goose Air Force Base, Newfoundland, Canada, where it was discontinued in 1960. The group was formed in 1957 when ADC assumed responsibility for air defense of Newfoundland and Northern Canada from Northeast Air Command and controlled a fighter-interceptor squadron at Harmon and seven squadrons operating radars at dispersed locations. It was discontinued when Goose Air Defense Sector assumed responsibility for air defense of Newfoundland and Northern Canada.4733d Air Defense Group
The 4733d Air Defense Group is a discontinued United States Air Force organization. Its last assignment was with the 64th Air Division at Frobisher Bay, Baffin Island, Northwest Territories, Canada, where it was discontinued in 1958. The group was formed in 1957 when ADC assumed responsibility for air defense of Northern Canada from Northeast Air Command, including support for remote Distant Early Warning Line (DEW Line) radar sites. It also controlled two squadrons operating radars at dispersed locations. It was discontinued in 1958 and its DEW Line support mission transferred to the 4601st Support Group and its radar squadrons to the 4732d Air Defense Group in Newfoundland.Aboriginal Peoples Television Network
The Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN, stylized aptn) is a Canadian broadcast and Category A cable television network. Established in 1992 with government support to broadcast in Canada's northern territories, since 1999 APTN has had a national broadcast licence. It airs and produces programs made by, for and about Indigenous peoples in Canada and the United States. Based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, it is the first network by and for Indigenous peoples.Arctic Archipelago
The Arctic Archipelago, also known as the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, is a group of islands north of the Canadian mainland.
Situated in the northern extremity of North America and covering about 1,424,500 km2 (550,000 sq mi), this group of 36,563 islands in the Arctic Sea comprises much of the territory of Northern Canada – most of Nunavut and part of the Northwest Territories. The Canadian Arctic Archipelago is showing some effects of global warming, with some computer estimates determining that melting there will contribute 3.5 cm (1.4 in) to the rise in sea levels by 2100.Borden Island
Borden Island is an uninhabited, low-lying island in the Queen Elizabeth Islands of northern Canada.British Arctic Territories
British Arctic territories were territories claimed by the United Kingdom in North America, consisting of the islands of what is now known as the Canadian Arctic Archipelago (excepting islands in Hudson Bay, which were part of Rupert's Land). The region was part of British North America.
The British claim to the area was based on the discoveries of Martin Frobisher (1535–1594) in the 16th century. Britain passed control of the islands to Canada in 1880, by means of an Imperial Order in Council, the Adjacent Territories Order, passed under the Royal Prerogative. After the 1880 transfer Canada gradually incorporated the islands with Rupert's Land into the Northwest Territories. The transfer was necessary over the fear of American interest in the area as part of the Monroe Doctrine.On April 1, 1999, the territory of Nunavut was created from the eastern portion of the Northwest Territories. The majority of the islands became part of Nunavut. Islands split between Nunavut and Northwest Territories include Victoria Island, Melville Island, Mackenzie King Island and Borden Island.
These islands were never part of Rupert's Land, which covered those parts of North America draining into Hudson Bay. Canada had acquired those regions in 1870, creating the Province of Manitoba and the new Northwest Territories, which originally included northern Ontario, the rest of Manitoba, all of Saskatchewan and part of Alberta, and what is now Nunavut territory, with the name Northwest Territories retained by the successor government in the region flanked by the Mackenzie River drainage to the north of Alberta. The North-Western Territory was to its northwest, and included parts of British Columbia north of the Stikine Territory and including all of today's Yukon territory, and parts of Alberta not in the Hudson Bay drainage, as well as today's Northwest Territories.Dene
The Dené people () are an aboriginal group of First Nations who inhabit the northern boreal and Arctic regions of Canada. The Dené speak Northern Athabaskan languages. Dené is the common Athabaskan word for "people" (Sapir 1915, p. 558). The term "Dené" has two usages. More commonly, it is used narrowly to refer to the Athabaskan speakers of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut in Canada, especially including the Chipewyan (Denesuline), Tlicho (Dogrib), Yellowknives (T'atsaot'ine), Slavey (Deh Gah Got'ine or Deh Cho), and Sahtu (the Eastern group in Jeff Leer's classification; part of the Northwestern Canada group in Keren Rice's classification). But it is sometimes also used to refer to all Northern Athabaskan speakers, who are spread in a wide range all across Alaska and northern Canada. Note that Dené never includes the Pacific Coast Athabaskan or Southern Athabaskan speakers in the continental U.S., despite the fact that the term is used to denote the Athabaskan languages as a whole (the Na-Dene language family). The Southern Athabaskan speakers do, however, refer to themselves with similar words: Diné (Navajo) and Indé (Apache).
Alexander Mackenzie described aspects of a number of northern Dené cultures in the late eighteenth century in his journal of his voyage down the Mackenzie River.Dried meat
Dried meat is a feature of many cuisines around the world. Examples include:
Aliya, sun-dried meat from Kenya
Bakkwa or rougan, Chinese salty-sweet dried meat sheets.
Biltong, a cured meat that originated in South Africa.
Bògoǫ, a dried and smoked meat, often caribou, of the Dené people of northern Canada.
Borts, air-dried strips of horse or cow meat used as traveling food or to last the winter in Mongolia. Often ground into powder and mixed with water to create soup.
Bresaola, air-dried salted beef originally from the Valtellina valley in northern Italy.
Brési, made in the canton of Jura and in Jura Bernois in Switzerland and in the department of Doubs in France.
Bündnerfleisch, air-dried meat from Kanton Graubünden in Switzerland.
Carne-de-sol, sun-dried salt beef from Brazil.
Carne seca, air-dried meat from Mexico.
Cecina, lightly smoked, dried, and salted meat from northwestern Spain (Asturias, León, Cantabria), Cuba, and Mexico.
Charqui, made from llama or alpaca, in South America.
Chipped beef, partially dried beef sold in small, thin, flexible leaves in jars or plastic packets.
Droëwors, from South Africa, dried sausage
Hunter beef, a corned beef from Pakistan marinated and baked for use in sandwiches and salads.
Jerky, meat that has been trimmed of fat, cut into strips, marinated, and dried or smoked.
Kawaab, air-dried, spiced meat of the Hyderabadi community of India.
Kilishi, a dried, spicy Nigerian meat. Coated with a peanut sauce as well as other spices.
Kuivaliha, air-dried salted meat (often reindeer) of northern Finland.
Laap mei, also called "wax meats" or air-dried meats, are a southern Chinese speciality.
Lahndi or qadid, air-dried salted meat (often lamb) of Pushtoon Tribe of Pakistan, Northern Afghanistan and Northern Africa (gueddid).
Mipku, air-dried strips of meat, often caribou or reindeer, of the Inuvialuit people of Northern Canada.
Pânsâwân, smoked dried strips of bison meat traditionally of the plains Cree peoples of Western Canada and the United States.
Pastirma, air-dried salted and often spiced meat of in Armenia, Greece, Turkey, and the Balkans.
Pemmican, a meat mixture, sometimes with dried fruit, used by the native peoples of North America.
Pindang, dried buffalo meat from the Philippines.
Po, dried meat in Korean cuisine.
Yukpo, dried beef in Korean cuisine.
Suho meso, a smoked beef eaten in Bosnia.
Sukuti, air-dried, spiced meat of the Newari community of Nepal.
Walliser Rohschinken, air-dried ham from Kanton Wallis in Switzerland.
Walliser Trockenfleisch, air-dried beef from Kanton Wallis in Switzerland.
Walliser Trockenspeck, air-dried bacon from Kanton Wallis in Switzerland.
Walliser Trockenwurst, air-dried saucage from Kanton Wallis in Switzerland.Flora of Canada
The flora of Canada is quite diverse, due to the wide range of ecoregions and environmental conditions present in Canada. From the warm, temperate broadleaf forests of southern Ontario to the frigid Arctic plains of Northern Canada, from the wet temperate rainforests of the west coast to the arid deserts, badlands and tundra plains, the biodiversity of Canada's plants is extensive. About 4,100 species of vascular plants are native to Canada, and about 1,200 additional non-native species are recorded as established outside cultivation there.Haughton impact crater
Haughton impact crater is located on Devon Island, Nunavut in far northern Canada. It is about 23 km (14 mi) in diameter and formed about 39 million years ago during the late Eocene. The impacting object is estimated to have been approximately 2 km (1.2 mi) in diameter. Devon Island itself is composed of Paleozoic shale and siltstone overlying gneissic bedrock. When the crater formed, the shale and siltstone were peeled back to expose the basement; material from as deep as 1,700 m (5,600 ft) has been identified.Indigenous peoples in Northern Canada
The Indigenous peoples in Northern Canada consist of the First Nations, Métis, and Inuit located in Canada's three territories: Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Yukon.Inuit
The Inuit (; syllabics: ᐃᓄᐃᑦ, "the people", singular: Inuk) are a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples inhabiting the Arctic regions of Greenland, Canada, and Alaska. The Inuit languages are part of the Eskimo–Aleut family. Inuit Sign Language is a critically endangered language isolate used in Nunavut.In Canada and the States, the term "Eskimo" was commonly used by ethnic Europeans to describe the Inuit and Siberia's and Alaska's Yupik and Iñupiat peoples. However, "Inuit" is not accepted as a term for the Yupik, and "Eskimo" is the only term that applies to Yupik, Iñupiat and Inuit. Since the late 20th century, Indigenous peoples in Canada and Greenlandic Inuit consider "Eskimo" to be a pejorative term, and they more frequently identify as "Inuit" for an autonym. In Canada, sections 25 and 35 of the Constitution Act of 1982 classified the Inuit as a distinctive group of Aboriginal Canadians who are not included under either the First Nations or the Métis.The Inuit live throughout most of Northern Canada in the territory of Nunavut, Nunavik in the northern third of Quebec, Nunatsiavut and NunatuKavut in Labrador, and in various parts of the Northwest Territories, particularly around the Arctic Ocean. These areas are known in the Inuktitut language as the "Inuit Nunangat".In the United States, the Iñupiat live primarily on the Alaska North Slope and on Little Diomede Island. The Greenlandic Inuit are descendants of ancient indigenous migrations from Canada, as these people migrated to the east through the continent. They are citizens of Denmark, although not of the European Union.Korolev (Martian crater)
Korolev is an ice-filled impact crater in the Mare Boreum quadrangle of Mars, located at 73° north latitude and 165° east longitude. It is 81.4 kilometres (50.6 mi) in diameter and contains about 2,200 cubic kilometres (530 cu mi) of water ice, comparable in volume to Great Bear Lake in northern Canada. The crater was named after Sergei Korolev (1907–1966), the head Soviet rocket engineer and designer during the Space Race in the 1950s and 1960s.Korolev crater is located on the Planum Boreum, the northern polar plain which surrounds the north polar ice cap, near the Olympia Undae dune field. The crater rim rises about 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) above the surrounding plains. The crater floor lies about 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) below the rim, and is covered by a 1.8 kilometres (1.1 mi) deep central mound of permanent water ice, up to 60 kilometres (37 mi) in diameter.List of regions of Canada
The list of regions of Canada is a summary of geographical areas on a hierarchy that ranges from national (groups of provinces and territories) at the top to local regions and sub-regions of provinces at the bottom. Administrative regions that rank below a province and above a municipality are also included if they have a comprehensive range of functions compared to the limited functions of specialized government agencies. Some provinces and groups of provinces are also quasi-administrative regions at the federal level for purposes such as representation in the Senate of Canada. However regional municipalities (or regional districts in British Columbia) are included with local municipalities in the article List of municipalities in Canada.Mythologies of the indigenous peoples of the Americas
The indigenous peoples of the Americas comprise numerous different cultures. Each has its own mythologies. Some are quite distinct, but certain themes are shared across the cultural boundaries.North American Arctic
The North American Arctic comprises the northern portions of Alaska (USA), Northern Canada and Greenland. Major bodies of water include the Arctic Ocean, Hudson Bay, the Gulf of Alaska and North Atlantic Ocean. The western limit is the Seward Peninsula and the Bering Strait. The southern limit is the Arctic Circle latitude of 66° 33’N, which is the approximate limit of the midnight sun and the polar night.
The Arctic region is defined by environmental limits where the average temperature for the warmest month (July) is below 10 °C (50 °F). The northernmost tree line roughly follows the isotherm at the boundary of this region. The area has tundra and polar vegetation.Nunavut
Nunavut ( (listen); French: [nynavy(t)]; Inuktitut syllabics ᓄᓇᕗᑦ [ˈnunavut]) is the newest, largest, and most northerly territory of Canada. It was separated officially from the Northwest Territories on April 1, 1999, via the Nunavut Act and the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act, though the boundaries had been drawn in 1993. The creation of Nunavut resulted in the first major change to Canada's political map since the incorporation of the province of Newfoundland in 1949.
Nunavut comprises a major portion of Northern Canada, and most of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Its vast territory makes it the fifth-largest country subdivision in the world, as well as North America's second-largest (after Greenland). The capital Iqaluit (formerly "Frobisher Bay"), on Baffin Island in the east, was chosen by the 1995 capital plebiscite. Other major communities include the regional centres of Rankin Inlet and Cambridge Bay.
Nunavut also includes Ellesmere Island to the far north, as well as the eastern and southern portions of Victoria Island in the west, and all islands in Hudson, James and Ungava Bays, including Akimiski Island far to the southeast of the rest of the territory. It is Canada's only geo-political region that is not connected to the rest of North America by highway.Nunavut is the largest in area and the second-least populous of Canada's provinces and territories. One of the world's most remote, sparsely settled regions, it has a population of 35,944, mostly Inuit, spread over a land area of just over 1,750,000 km2 (680,000 sq mi), or slightly smaller than Mexico (excluding water surface area). Nunavut is also home to the world's northernmost permanently inhabited place, Alert. Eureka, a weather station also on Ellesmere Island, has the lowest average annual temperature of any Canadian weather station.Solar eclipse of March 29, 1903
An annular solar eclipse occurred on March 29, 1903. A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, thereby totally or partly obscuring the image of the Sun for a viewer on Earth. An annular solar eclipse occurs when the Moon's apparent diameter is smaller than the Sun's, blocking most of the Sun's light and causing the Sun to look like an annulus (ring). An annular eclipse appears as a partial eclipse over a region of the Earth thousands of kilometres wide. Annularity was visible from China (now northwestern China, Mongolia and northeastern China), Russia on March 29th (Sunday), and northern Canada on March 28th (Saturday).Volcanology of Northern Canada
Volcanology of Northern Canada includes hundreds of volcanic areas and extensive lava formations across Northern Canada. The region's different volcano and lava types originate from different tectonic settings and types of volcanic eruptions, ranging from passive lava eruptions to violent explosive eruptions. Northern Canada has a record of very large volumes of magmatic rock called large igneous provinces. They are represented by deep-level plumbing systems consisting of giant dike swarms, sill provinces and layered intrusions.