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South Slave Region

All seven communities in this southern region are accessible by road, making them the easiest places to visit in the territory. Picturesque beauty can be found along side the highway – whether it is the waterfalls of Twin Falls Territorial Park, watching bison graze alongside the road, or a stop at the northern store for local arts and fine crafts.

Tradition reigns strong with the Akaitcho First Nations in the friendly community of Fort Resolution. There is also a strong presence of Métis peoples in this region, whose ancestors came north most likely as fur traders in the 1800s. They brought with them their own traditions and styles of weaving, sewing and beading. Arts and fine crafts made by Dene artists typically include intricate beadwork and tufting on tanned hide footwear, gloves and bags. There are well known storytellers who give cultural tours around the Twin Falls sacred area and share legends of the land and its cultural history.

The larger communities of Fort Smith and Hay River have a vibrant arts scene. Multicultural and eclectic, artists are encouraged to explore and express themselves through photography, film, music and performance arts. Contemporary artists make stain glass, jewelry and paint to capture the beautiful landscape of this region.

Fort Providence artists sew unique and practical fashion accessories under the label Dene Fur Clouds. Traditionally produced by finger knitting, the fabric is created from the inter-looping of strands of beaver or rabbit fur. Designs include hats, scarves, mittens, blankets and jackets and are amazingly warm and soft. 

To learn more about where to Buy local art in the South Slave region click here.

South Slave Regional Update

Through the Support for Entrepreneur and Economic Development (SEED) Policy, Industry, Tourism, and ITI has been able to fund emerging and established Artists and Organizations. With the launch of the new NWT Arts Program South Slave ITI staff has invested time and effort into collecting the stories and images of those Artists who wish to be involved in the Content Collection Project. They deliver workshops, encourage Artist participation in trade shows, and fund festivals and events in the region. 

October was a busy month for workshops and capacity building in the South Slave Region. Artists and entrepreneurs alike took part in workshops offered by the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI).

A Basic Record Keeping for Small Businesses course, hosted by ITI and Aurora College, welcomed 11 participants in Hay River and four in Fort Smith. The workshop is ideal for new business owners and covers how to keep track of accounts payable and receivable, invoicing, payroll and government remittances.

In addition, five artists in Fort Smith and seven artists in Hay River participated in evening workshops that provided insight into the business side of the art world. The workshop included sessions on How to Price Your Artwork, the NWT Arts Program (link is external), and Support for Entrepreneurs and Economic Development (SEED) Funding.

ITI is proud to support economic growth through training opportunities for local businesses, entrepreneurs and artists.

Anyone interested in learning more is encouraged to contact their ITI Regional Office.