Yellowknife is the capital and largest city of the Northwest Territories (NWT), Canada. It is located on the northern shore of Great Slave Lake, approximately 400 km (250 mi) south of the Arctic Circle, on the west side of Yellowknife Bay near the outlet of the Yellowknife River. Yellowknife and its surrounding water bodies were named after a local Dene tribe once known as the 'Copper Indians' or 'Yellowknife Indians' who traded tools made from copper deposits near the Arctic Coast.Of the eleven official languages of the Northwest Territories, five are spoken in significant numbers in Yellowknife: Dene Suline, Dogrib, South and North Slavey, English, and French.
Yellowknife was first settled in 1935, after gold had been found in the area; Yellowknife soon became the centre of economic activity in the NWT, and became the capital of the Northwest Territories in 1967. As gold production began to wane, Yellowknife shifted from being a mining town to being a centre of government services in the 1980s. However, with the discovery of diamonds north of Yellowknife in 1991, this shift has begun to reverse.
Traditionally, First Nations people had occupied this region; by the 1930s they had a settlement on a point of land on the east side of Yellowknife Bay, Dettah. The current municipal area of Yellowknife was occupied by prospectors who ventured into the region in the mid-1930s.