Norman Wells Historical Centre

The Norman Wells Historical Society was formed in 1977 to preserve and promote the historical memory of the Canol Project, one of the biggest construction projects of World War II.  The Society’s mission has evolved into one that aspires to preserve and promote the cultural and historical memory of the Sahtu settlement area and its people.  The Historical Society opened the Norman Wells Historical Centre in 1989 which today encompasses a museum and gift shop specializing in local Aboriginal hand-made crafts and artwork.  The museum’s collection has expanded since its opening to include displays relating to the oilfield, mining, aviation, geological, and cultural history of the Sahtu settlement area.

A unique log cabin sits on the centre’s grounds, built by local craftsman Rick Muyers and furnished by Dene elder Edward Oudzi. A tiny tugboat and barge lies in dry dock on the lawn, a relic, along with the salvaged wartime trucks of the Canol Project.  A stern wheel paddle from a small riverboat that once plied the Mackenzie adds to the outdoor display of oilfield equipment and transportation vehicles.

A Quonset hut from one of the Canol Project camps was salvaged and constructed as an addition to the Historical Centre in 1994.  The addition was named the Canol Theatre and currently houses a cozy fireplace with comfy chairs for visitors to view a wide selection of northern-themed documentaries.

The Historical Centre is open year round Mondays to Fridays 10 am – 5:30 pm, and Saturdays 10 am-4 pm. From June to August the Centre is also open on Sundays 12-4 pm.

Be sure to check out our Facebook page with info on upcoming events and programs at

For more information, contact:

Norman Wells Historical Centre
Sarah Colbeck, Manager/Curator
(867) 587-2415
(867) 587-2469 (fax)