By the 1900s, trapping had become part of traditional life in the NWT. This period saw the rise of a new fur trade based on the white fox and centred in the Mackenzie Delta. The white fox trade brought enormous wealth to the Delta and in 1920, led to the creation of a fleet of schooners based in Aklavik.
Further up the Mackenzie Rriver, near a village called Tulita, people had known for generations that there was oil in the ground. It wasn’t until 1920 that the first oil well was built at Norman Wells, which is near Tulita. While the oil business prospered, it did not bring any appreciable work or wealth to the Dene.
News of the new economy did, however, bring the Treaty Commission to the North in 1921 to sign Treaty 11. Throughout these changes, the Northwest Mounted Police, which had arrived in 1903 to safeguard Canadian sovereignty and control the American whaling trade, did it’s best to maintain peace and order.