Wrigley, Northwest Territories Canada

Discover Wrigley, Northwest Territories: A Blend of History and Natural Beauty

Wrigley, known as Pehdzeh Ki or "clay place" in the South Slavey language, is a designated authority in the Dehcho Region of the Northwest Territories, Canada. This Slavey Dene community is nestled on the east bank of the Mackenzie River, just below its confluence with the Wrigley River, and approximately 466 miles northwest of Yellowknife.

The Historical Journey of Wrigley, Northwest Territories

Originally, the community was situated at Fort Wrigley, 16 km downstream. However, in 1965, the community relocated to its current location. The move was primarily due to the accessibility provided by the World War II era Wrigley Airport, built for the Canol Project, and the swampy nature of the land around Fort Wrigley. Today, the community is accessible via the Mackenzie Highway. The residents continue to maintain a traditional lifestyle, engaging in trapping, hunting, and fishing.

The community was named in honor of Joseph Wrigley, the Hudson's Bay Company Chief Commissioner for British North America from 1884 to 1891. The Franklin Mountains, also on the east bank of the Mackenzie River, provide a stunning backdrop to the community. Cap Mountain, the highest peak in the range, is within walking distance of the community. The lesser-known Roche qui trempe a l’eau sulphur springs are located downstream of Wrigley.

Demographics of Wrigley, Northwest Territories

According to the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Wrigley had a population of 117 living in 42 of its 63 total private dwellings. This represented a slight decrease of 1.7% from its 2016 population of 119. With a land area of 53.93 km2, it had a population density of 2.2/km2 in 2021. The majority of its 2016 population (110 people) is First Nations, and the predominant languages are North and South Slavey and English.

First Nations of Wrigley, Northwest Territories

The Dene of the community are represented by the Pehdzeh Ki First Nation and belong to the Dehcho First Nations. The last of the Numbered Treaties, Treaty 11, was signed here on July 13, 1921. At that time, the Headman was paid $22 and $12 for everybody else.

Services in Wrigley, Northwest Territories

Wrigley offers a range of services to its residents. The community has one store, a health centre, and a two-person Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachment.

Climate of Wrigley, Northwest Territories

Wrigley experiences a continental subarctic climate (Dfc). The area combines mild to warm, short summers with long and very cold winters. The differences between the coldest and warmest month are rather extreme even by continental standards, with the January high being −21 °C (−6 °F) and the July high being 23 °C (73 °F) according to Environment Canada. Transitional seasons are rather short.