Keeping the History of the Sahtu Alive

Originally dedicated to preserving the historical memory of the Canol Project, the Norman Wells Historical Society's mission has grown.  Today, its mandate is to preserve and promote the cultural and historical memory of the Sahtu settlement area and its people.

Since the Society opened the Norman Wells Historical Centre, its collection has expanded immensely. The centre now includes a wide range of displays relating to the oilfield, mining, aviation, geological, and cultural history of the region. Here, you'll find every aspect of life in the Sahtu over the years, from a log cabin built in the local traditional style and completely hand-furnished by a local Dene elder, to a World War II-era Quonset hut salvaged from the Canol Project that's been converted into a comfortable theatre where intriguing documentaries about the North are regularly shown.

Become our friend on Facebook & find information on upcoming events & programs at!/NormanWellsHistoricalSociety.

Welcome to the Sahtu. Welcome to Norman Wells. Welcome to a vibrant, rugged land steeped in history.

To view the digital version of the Sahtu Atlas and learn more about the geography, people and history of the region, please click the following link:  Atlas-screenresolution.pdf

Fishing the Sahtu Canoeing the Sahtu Winter Escape

Fishing the Sahtu

The Northwest Territories still holds world records for lake trout caught in Great Bear Lake, and Arctic Grayling pulled from the clear cold streams feeding the big lake.

Norman Wells is the point of departure for a variety of fishing trips, from day trips on Great Bear Lake to fully outfitted fly-in fishing camps on smaller lakes nearby. The options are as varied as your budget.

Canoeing the Sahtu

Norman Wells is a canoeists’ bonanza. Sixteen river systems can be accessed by air from this fly out outfitting centre. Eight of these rivers have earned world-class reputations in the paddling market: the Mackenzie, Mountain, Keele, Wind, Bonnet Plume, Snake, Anderson, and Horton Rivers.

Blackfeather, Canoe North, Nahanni River Adventures and Nahanni Wilderness Adventures offer fully outfitted adventures on two rivers that join the Mackenzie River close to Norman Wells.

Winter Escape

In winter, travel the Sahtu by snowmobile, skiis, or snowshoe.  Venture out with a group by snowmobile to visit the Canol Road project. Dodo Canyon’s waterfalls offer nature’s most spectacular ice sculptures.

Take to the trails. There are several kilometers of groomed cross-country trails in the Norman Wells area, and there’s an active ski club to welcome you.