Norman Wells (Legohli – “where there is oil”) is the location of the fourth largest single oil deposit in Canada. The transportation hub and largest community in the Sahtu settlement area overlooks the Mackenzie River and the Mackenzie Mountains, with the Franklin Mountains offering accessible recreation. The oilfield was first drilled in 1919 and has been producing ever since. Today, oil and gas exploration are the backbone of the town’s bustling economy. This is an industry town that relies on skilled tradespeople, and industry has created strong demand for a variety of secondary service industries and private entrepreneurship. As well, the community is a hub for the tourism industry in the region providing air access to mountain hunting or fishing opportunities and to canoeing on mountain rivers.
Norman Wells has daily scheduled flights from Edmonton, Yellowknife or Inuvik via Canadian North, First Air and North-Wright Airways. The Mackenzie River serves as the major barge route for freight during the summer, and a winter road connects to the NWT's year-round highway system.
Mackenzie Mountain School provides K-9 education, and there is an Aurora College Community Learning Centre. Norman Wells has groceries, restaurants, high speed Internet, a health centre, hotels and an active and engaged community with plenty of recreation. There’s a museum featuring the wartime Canol construction project, as well as an aviation museum. The community boasts a busy four-hole golf course.