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Practical information about living in the Northwest Territories.

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Kate's Story - Yellowknife

I arrived in Yellowknife on Canada Day 1989, when I was a kid. I spent much of my teen years plotting my escape to the big city. When I got there, I realized that although there were lots of things to do and see, my soul just wasn’t there. I spent seven years off and on in Toronto for school and work. There’s simply no comparison. If I’d chosen to stay there after graduate school, I’d likely still be unemployed or working at a level far below my education. Working in the NWT can really fast track your career. I’d likely have to work for 5 to 10 years to be given the same responsibilities and salary in Toronto that I receive right now in Yellowknife.

I’m an archivist for the NWT Archives, at the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre. A regular day for me is helping people find what they’re looking for, be it researching government programs for an academic paper or photos of their relatives from the past.

I’m not a lifer ‘knifer but I feel like one! It’s impossible to go to the grocery store without bumping into friends. Both of my parents are still in Yellowknife, and I live in a house with 3 friends who are my extended family. That’s one of the things I love most about living here – it’s easy to meet new people and gain lifelong friends.

Right now I’m really into kickboxing. It’s a fantastic workout! I’m also about to co-DJ a charity dance party. I love to hike the trails around the area whenever I can. I also dabble in painting, knitting, my bass guitar, participate in plays, volunteer for events like Motorcycle Ride for Dad and V-Day: the movement to stop violence against women. And, I love potlucks and just spending time with my friends at home or on the town. The options are limitless!

I love music, art, and politics/current events. It’s so easy to become involved with anything your heart desires! All you have to do is engage. I’ve talked politics with people from similar and opposing ends of the political spectrum, and learned from them all. I love to get out and see bands, art shows, plays and community events, none of which are in short supply.

I believe that I live in the most beautiful place on earth – from the mountains of the Nahanni to the east arm of Great Slave Lake, all the way up the Deh Cho to the Beaufort Sea. On top of that, you’ll rarely meet friendlier, more welcoming people.

I feel grounded in the North, connected deep to a community of like-minded people. I feel like there’s unlimited potential for me to grow here in whatever way I please.

Photo credit: Jeremy Childs, 2010