The Incoming Wave

Outside the boundaries of the Northwest Territories (NWT), the world shook with economic depression and war. Fur prices plummeted, and the demand for mineral resources stored deep in the rocks on Treaty 8, and Treaty 11 land became vital for industrial development and war systems far from the earth on which it had always rested. People came, built roads and pipelines, and created bureaucratic machinery that allowed easy extraction and removal benefitting few local Indigenous people. Gold was found, and oil at Norman Wells would need transportation options. Much of the southern incursion of people and technology would retreat below the 60th latitude, coming again in a wave of new needs and processes as the snow receded each year. Still, with every season, more and more non-Indigenous people started to settle in the NWT permanently. The Dene leadership fought to keep their hold on the territory, despite limited political or legal means to question governmental decisions. Houses, mines and infrastructure appeared, populated with newcomers who built their connections and relationships with the land. The face of the NWT steadily changed.