Discover Gamètì, Northwest Territories: A Blend of Tradition and Modernity
Gamètì, formerly known as Rae Lakes until August 4, 2005, is a charming community nestled in the North Slave Region of the Northwest Territories, Canada. Officially recognized as the Tłı̨chǫ Community Government of Gamètì, this community is a part of the Tlicho Government. The name Gamètì, as per the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, translates to "rabbit-net lake", with 'Gah' meaning 'rabbit', 'mi' meaning net, and 'tì' meaning lake or water.
The Rich History of Gamètì, Northwest Territories
The region of Gamètì lies within the traditional territory of the Tłı̨chǫ (Dogrib) First Nations. Before becoming a permanent settlement, it was a popular hunting camp. In the 1960s, Dene elders from Behchokǫ̀ decided to return to their roots and establish traditional camps in the wilderness. This led to the establishment of Gamètì. Over the years, Gamètì has evolved into a modern community with its own essential services.
Before 2005, Gamètì was unincorporated, with local governance provided by the Gameti First Nation, a First Nations band government. Post the Tłı̨chǫ Agreement, most responsibilities were transferred to the new Gamètì Community Government. However, the First Nation continues to be recognized by the federal government for Indian Act enrollment.
Demographics of Gamètì, Northwest Territories
As per the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Gamètì had a population of 252, living in 82 of its 104 total private dwellings. This marked a decrease of 9.4% from its 2016 population of 278. The community, spread over a land area of 9.04 km2 (3.49 sq mi), had a population density of 27.9/km2 (72.2/sq mi) in 2021. The 2016 Census recorded 270 Indigenous people, all of whom were First Nations. The local languages spoken include Dogrib (Tłı̨chǫ), some Slavey, and English.
Services in Gamètì, Northwest Territories
Gamètì, served by the Gamètì/Rae Lakes Airport, does not have all-weather road access. However, an ice road is sometimes constructed during winter. The community boasts a daycare and the Jean Wetrade School, which provides education up to grade 12. A community learning centre is also present. Other services include a post office, a two-member RCMP detachment, a health centre with one nurse, and the Rae Lakes General Store.
Climate of Gamètì, Northwest Territories
Gamètì experiences a subarctic climate (Dfc), with the average high throughout the year falling below the freezing point. However, due to its location below the tree line, it enjoys relatively warm but short summers.