Saoyú and Ɂehdacho are two large peninsulas reaching into Sahtú (Great Bear Lake) just south of the Arctic Circle in the Northwest Territories.

Saoyú-ʔehdacho National Historic Site is accessible only by boat in the summer and by snowmobile in the winter. The community of Délı̨nę is the closest hamlet to the site. To get to Délı̨nę, there are scheduled flights through North-Wright Airways from Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.

Getting here

Location

Western Arctic Field Unit
Parks Canada Agency
PO Box 164
Délı̨nę, NT X0E 0G0

Délı̨nę – Where the Water Flows

Délı̨nę is a special community, perched on the largest freshwater lake entirely within the borders of Canada – Sahtú, the lake that gave this region its name.

The name Délı̨nę means “flowing water,” referring to the nearby Great Bear River that pours from Sahtú to the Mackenzie River. This is a place thriving with fish and wildlife, ideal for people who subsist on the bounty of the land.

At one time, Délı̨nę was named after the explorer Sir John Franklin, who built a fort there and used it as winter quarters during his second expedition in 1825-27. The remains of the old fort were excavated in 1987.

Franklin’s adventures and eventual disappearance are well documented. But there is another, much more ancient history of that area that is not so well known. For local histories from Délı̨nę Elders, visit the Saoyú and Ɂehdacho Stories page.

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