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The Northwest Territories turn 150!

A milestone anniversary in 2020! It was 150 years ago, in 1870 that the transfer of Rupert's Land and the North-Western Territory resulted in the establishment of Canada's first territory. The flora, fauna, landscapes and diverse peoples of the Northwest Territories have made it a cherished part of our Canadian family. But our "oldest" territory is also young at heart, with new generations of artists and innovators that are,today, looking to the past to shape the future of the North. This 2 oz. fine silver coin commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Northwest Territories' entry into Confederation. Its reverse design is an artistic expression of pride for the territory's medley of cultures, and for the land that has sustained its inhabitants since time immemorial.

An extraordinary piece of visual storytelling! Order today.


  • A MILESTONE: The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Northwest Territories' entry into Confederation, an event that greatly shaped the Canada you know today! Its story is closely tied to the surrounding territories and provinces that were carved from its initial size in 1870.
  • A STORYTELLING TRADITION: The coin's reverse design is a timeless celebration of life in the Northwest Territories, and every engraved detail has symbolic meaning—from the midnight sun to the ulus that represent the 11 official languages.
  • INCLUSIVE: Through the various motifs, the reverse design also celebrates the diversity of the cultures represented in the Northwest Territories.
  • TIMELESS: The timelessness of the artistic symbols in this design could easily speak to the history of the Northwest Territories, or its identity today. It carries a powerful message about traditions passed from generation to generation.
  • LOW MINTAGE: Limited to just 2,500 coins worldwide.


The reverse design by Inuvialuk artist Myrna Pokiak is an artistic celebration of life in the Northwest Territories. Beneath the midnight sun, migratory birds in flight symbolize a connection with the rest of Canada and the world. Landmarks (pingos, waterways) that define the North from the Mackenzie River to the Arctic Ocean represent both the land and water that have nurtured countless generations. A sash bearing an arrow pattern honours the Northwest Territories Métis, while below, the tipi represents the Dene. The Inuvialuit are represented by 11 ulus – one for each of the official languages of the Northwest Territories. Just above the ulus, the young girl is drumming and dancing to the songs in her heart; representing an artistic expression of pride in the people and traditions that shape life in the North. The obverse features the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.

"Canada's Northwest Territories is vibrant with culture. Indigenous cultures that have been here since time immemorial continue to root and centre heritage, language, arts and traditional ways of life. Artwork, such as this beautifully illustrated coin, celebrates our diversity and our unity, and will share this vision for generations to come." Johanna Tiemessen, Manager, Arts and Fine Crafts, Government of the Northwest Territories


  • Canada has two official languages, English and French, but the Northwest Territories have nine more for a total of 11 official languages. They are: Chipewyan, Cree, Tłįchǫ, Gwich'in, North Slavey, South Slavey, Inuktitut, Inuvialuktun, Inuinnaqtun, English and French.
  • In 1870, the North-West Territories (renamed the Northwest Territories in 1906) was a vast expanse of land that stretched from northern Quebec west to British Columbia. It included all of present-day Yukon, Alberta and Saskatchewan, as well as parts of Nunavut, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador. Its boundaries were extended north with the addition of the Arctic Archipelago in 1880.
  • The boundaries of the Northwest Territories have shifted over the years with the creation of new territories and provinces. By 1905, it still represented 34% of Canada's total landmass. The last big boundary change was in 1999 with the creation of Canada's third (and youngest) territory, Nunavut.


The Royal Canadian Mint is known as one of the most reputable mints in the world. The Ottawa Branch of the Royal Mint opened in 1908 and was renamed The Royal Canadian Mint in 1931 when control was transferred to the Canadian government. The Royal Canadian Mint is renowned for producing some of the highest quality and purity of gold and silver bullion coins and bars in the world. Their high standards for excellence and quality allowed them to be the first refinery to manufacture 9999 fine gold bullion coins in 1982, as well as the first to reach 99999 fine gold purity in 1999.

Royal Canadian Mint
CAD 30
Myrna Pokiak (reverse), Susanna Blunt (obverse)
2 oz

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