Canada’s Northwest Territories has a population of approximately 44,000 people spread over a land mass of about 1.2 million square kilometres. Temperatures range from the high 20’s all the way down to -40 Celsius (the record is -57C). Daylight can range from 24 hours at summer solstice to total darkness in winter.
There are thirty one communities in the Northwest Territories (NWT) and eleven official languages. Yellowknife is the largest community with a population of about 20,000. The smallest community, Wrigley, has a population of around 100.
Access to larger NWT communities is by road, air or water. The smaller communities can only be accessed via air. Local transportation in our remote communities is typically by ATV, snowmobile and boat.
The RCMP is the lead agency for Search and Rescue in the NWT and they rely heavily on local hunters and trappers for searches in our remote communities. The two communities of Inuvik and Yellowknife have volunteer SAR organizations that function within three domains – Air (CASARA), Water (CCGA) and Ground (Inuvik GSAR and Yellowknife GSAR).
Inuvik and Yellowknife SAR Groups are composed of about fifty volunteers each. Inuvik SAR is going into its third season, while Yellowknife SAR has been active since 1998. Both groups have very active training and recruitment schedules.
To learn more about both groups check out these links:
Yellowknife SAR: Web