The South Slave Region is located south of Great Slave Lake, and borders the Provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan to the south and Nunavut to the east. The Region possesses 17% of the NWT’s population and 17% of its income. Hay River and Fort Smith, respectively, are the second and fourth largest communities in the NWT.
Most communities in the South Slave have well-developed air and road connections. Hay River and Fort Smith both have direct air connections to Edmonton.
Hay River is the largest community in the South Slave. It is a major transportation hub for the Territories and is one of Canada’s largest inland ports. Hay River is also home to the only rail connection in the NWT.
The Region’s second largest community is Fort Smith. Once the capital of the NWT, the community now provides public services to the South Slave Region. It is a major educational centre in the NWT. Wood Buffalo National Park, one of the largest National Parks in Canada, is headquartered here.
Parts of the South Slave Region are within the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin. Oil and gas development potential is significant. The region was home to one of Canada’s largest lead zinc mines at Pine Point, which is currently being evaluated for re-development. A number of residents also work at the diamond mines on a rotational basis.
Development plans are also being considered to expand the region’s hydro capacity to supply the diamond mines. Other industries include tourism, transportation, manufacturing, commercial fishing, forestry, trapping and arts and crafts.