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The original content for this article was contributed by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies in June 2012. It is an excerpt from their course Canadian: Land Records Course Part 1 and Part 2  by Sharon L. Murphy, Brenda Dougall Merriman, CG, and Frances Coe, PLCGS. The Institute offers over 200 comprehensive genealogy courses for a fee ($).

NORTHWEST TERRITORIES[edit | edit source]

Map of Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut

Free Blank Outline Maps,

( : accessed 2012).

The Northwest Territories once referred to all the Hudson’s Bay Company land and Rupert’s Land, which were united with Canada in 1870. The Northwest Territories were organized into provisional districts in the following years:

Keewatin 1876 Albert 1882 Assiniboia 1882 Athabaska 1882 Saskatchewan 1882 Franklin 1895 Mackenzie 1895 Ungava 1895 Yukon 1895

In 1880 the Territories were augmented by the addition of all the North American Arctic Islands claimed by Great Britain. In 1898, the Yukon District was made a separate territory. In 1905 the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan were created.

An Order in Council, effective 1 January 1920, defined the boundaries of the districts of Mackenzie, Keewatin and Franklin. Since that time there has been a more recent change in the Northwest Territories. Namely, the Territory of Nunavut was established in 1999. It encompasses the central and eastern Arctic regions and is nearly one-fifth of Canada’s land mass. The balance remaining is now the Northwest Territories.

S.M. Hodgson, Commissioner has indicated that on September 18, 1968 the transfer of the Northwest Territories administration from Ottawa to Yellowknife took place; i.e. ‘Self-government’.

Depending on the date of the event you are trying to establish and confirm you will have to focus your search in the area that would have housed the records at the time, or, may have transferred their records to the most recent governmental agency.

Records created prior to 1870 should be located at the Hudson’s Bay Company Archives.

Hudson’s Bay Company Archives

130 - 200 Vaughan Street

Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 1T5

Telephone: 204-945-4949


Land Titles Office

Northwest Territories Land Titles Office

First Floor, Stuart M. Hodgson Building

5009 - 49th Street

P.O. Box 1320

Yellowknife, Northwest Territories X1A 2L9

Telephone: 867-873-7491



Information in this Wiki page is excerpted from the online course Canadian: Land Records Course Part 1 and Part 2 offered by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies. To learn more about this course or other courses available from the Institute, see our website. We can be contacted at

We welcome updates and additions to this Wiki page.