Discover Łutsel K’e, Northwest Territories: A Unique Blend of History and Culture
Łutselkʼe, also known as Łutsël Kʼé, is a designated authority in the North Slave Region of the Northwest Territories, Canada. This community, nestled on the south shore near the eastern end of Great Slave Lake, was formerly known as Snowdrift until 1 July 1992. The name change reflects its location near the mouth of the Snowdrift River and its rich cultural heritage.
The Rich History of Łutsel K’e, Northwest Territories
Łutselkʼe is a First Nation community, traditionally occupied by the Chipewyan Dene. The area's history dates back to 1925 when the Hudson's Bay Company opened a post, followed by the Roman Catholic Church. The community saw the establishment of a school in 1960, marking a significant milestone in its development.
Currently, there is an ongoing proposal for the Thaidene Nene National Park Reserve, spanning an area of 14,000 km2 (5,400 sq mi). This initiative has garnered the support of the Łutselkʼe community, further emphasizing their commitment to preserving their natural heritage.
Demographics of Łutsel K’e, Northwest Territories
According to the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Łutselkʼe had a population of 333 living in 129 of its 139 total private dwellings. This figure represents a 9.9% increase from its 2016 population of 303. With a land area of 42.96 km2 (16.59 sq mi), the population density stood at 7.8/km2 (20.1/sq mi) in 2021.
The 2016 Census revealed that the majority of the population, 270 people, were First Nations, with 10 people identifying as Métis and 10 as Inuit. The main languages spoken in the community are Denesuline and English. In 2016, 115 people reported speaking an Indigenous language as their mother tongue, with 105 speaking Dene (Chipewyan or Denesuline), 5 speaking Dogrib or Tłı̨chǫ, and 5 speaking North Slavey or Hare.
Services in Łutsel K’e, Northwest Territories
Łutselkʼe boasts a range of services, including a two-person Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachment and a health centre staffed by two nurses. The community is served by a single grocery store, the Lutselk'e Co-op, a post office, and nine lodges/outfitters in the area.
Education in Łutselkʼe is provided by the Lutsel Kʼe Dene School, which offers a comprehensive K-12 program. Additionally, there is a community learning centre run by Aurora College.
Despite its remote location, Łutselkʼe is accessible via the Lutselk'e Airport, which offers scheduled services from Yellowknife. The territorial government also provides an annual sealift from Hay River in the summer. The Lutselk'e Water Aerodrome is available in the summer months when the lake is clear of ice.
First Nations Representation in Łutsel K’e, Northwest Territories
The Łutsel Kʼe community is represented by the Łutsël K'é Dene First Nation and is part of the Akaitcho Territory Government. This representation underscores the community's commitment to preserving and promoting its rich cultural heritage.