Geography

In 2006, 1,060 inhabitants of the Northwest Territories had French as their first official language spoken. These Francophones represent 2.6% of the total population of the two census divisions that now form the Territories.

Francophones are present in numerous villages and towns in the Northwest Territories. The census subdivision covering the Yellowknife urban area has by far the highest concentration, with over 770 Francophones. Hay River, Fort Smith, Inuvik and Norman Wells are home to a total of 190 Francophones. The rest are spread among several other communities associated with mining and oil production in the Fort Smith area, the most southerly of the two divisions forming the present-day Northwest Territories.

Nowhere do Franco-tenois represent a significant percentage of the population: a little over 3% in the Fort Smith area, a little under 1% around Inuvik further north, and just over 4% of the population in Yellowknife. Despite their low numbers, Francophones have made their mark in the political, cultural and economic life of the Territories.

According to the 2006 census, the population of the Northwest Territories numbered 41,055. This figure is disputed by the territorial government, which collected its own data in 2007. The N.W.T. Bureau of Statistics estimated the population of the Territories to be 42,637, so it is possible that the statistics on the Francophone population presented in this document may be adjusted following a review by Statistics Canada.