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The Northwest Alliance is an alliance of settlements in the former Northwest Territories of Canada. Dark blue on the map is the territory effectively controlled, while the light blue is claimed.
The territory itself was created in June 1870, with a capital in the new province of Manitoba, when the Hudson's Bay Company transferred Rupert's Land and North-Western Territory to the government of Canada. This immense region comprised all of non-confederation Canada except British Columbia, the coast of the Great Lakes, the Saint Lawrence River valley and the southern third of Quebec, the Maritimes, Newfoundland, and the Labrador coast. It also excluded the Arctic Islands except the southern half of Baffin Island; these remained under direct British claim until 1880.
After the transfer, the territories were gradually whittled away. The province of Manitoba was created on 15 July 1870, a tiny square around Winnipeg, and then enlarged in 1881 to a rectangular region composing the modern province's south. By the time British Columbia joined Confederation on July 20, 1871, it had already (1866) been granted the portion of North-Western Territory south of 60 degrees north and west of 120 degrees west, an area that had comprised most of the Stikine Territory. In 1882, Regina in the District of Assiniboia became the territorial capital, the first to actually be in the territory; after Alberta and Saskatchewan became provinces in 1905, Regina became the provincial capital of Saskatchewan.
In 1876, the District of Keewatin, at the center of the territory, was separated from it. In 1882 and again in 1896, the remaining portion was divided into smaller districts for administrative purposes.
Keewatin was returned to the NWT in 1905.
In the meantime, Ontario was enlarged northwestward in 1882. Quebec was also extended, in 1898, and Yukon was made a separate territory in the same year to deal with the Klondike Gold Rush and to remove the NWT government from administering the sudden boom of population, economic activity and influx of non-Canadians.
The provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan were created in 1905, and Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec were further expanded from the NWT in 1912. In 1925, the boundaries of the NWT were extended all the way to the North Pole on the sector principle, vastly expanding its territory onto the northern ice cap.
After the loss of territory to the provinces in the early part of the century, the capital was moved to Fort Smith for the administration, and the federal capital of Ottawa for the legislature. The capital, after a fact-finding commission, would be permanently moved to the town of Yellowknife in 1967. Many of the administrative functions would, however, remain in Fort Smith for a number of years thereafter until they could be established in Yellowknife.
Despite there being no known impacts of nuclear weapons in the territory, life became very difficult shortly after the events of Doomsday. Food quickly became quite scarce in the larger settlements, and while in many of these places smaller populations meant that while food was scarce, they could keep themselves alive - somewhat - over the winter. However, in the capital of Yellowknife, this was not an option, for there were too many people in the immediate region for it to be possible to feed them using the methods that worked elsewhere in the territory. What food and fuel there was in the area around Yellowknife was quickly rationed by the government.
Contact was established between the capital and outlying regions of the western half of the territory which were outside of radio contact within a couple weeks of the event. As such, the government and the people in Yellowknife held knowledge that the rest of the western portions of the territory were intact. However, due to great distances and a lack of roads in that direction, they were unable to establish contact with the eastern regions at that time.
After two months with no outside contact besides truckers who had been on their way to the territories anyway, and with famine conditions now starting to appear in the capital, people began to leave for other communities, hoping to find somewhere where they could survive, despite government pronouncements to stay put and wait for outside contact, or at least the end of winter, when travel would be easier and hold a higher chance of survival. But, this flow of people would slowly increase, and by the end of the year, riots would begin to occur over food - while it looked like they would survive the winter, all were still hungry, being on greatly reduced rations. Soon, these riots took a turn for the worse, and degenerated into fighting, both against each other and against the government they viewed - locally - as being responsible for the crisis. This caused the government to flee the area, along with the remaining RCMP and militia under their control. They chose to relocate southward, towards the direction of Fort Smith, as it was both closer than other stable areas of the territory, and better equipped for their presence, having previously been the administrative capital of the territory for much of the century, yet was far enough away to be safe from anything coming out of Yellowknife. Most of the members of government and their escorts would survive the trip southward, as despite having left the capital in a hurry, they had been prepared for it, with adequate provisions.
Mere days later, the rioters had realized that the government had fled the region. This caused mass panic, and the majority of the populace that was left in the city left in mass droves, despite it being the dead of winter, for as a result of the violence, all of the remaining food was now effectively gone. This mass of people would soon overwhelm other neighboring communities, such as the village of Behchoko, causing the residents there to join the exodus. Some residents would remain, and when the government returned to the town in 1985, a hardy population of about 500 individuals had survived on the eastern edge of the town.
Outside of those who had left prior to the violence, along with the government expedition, very few of a once thriving population that had been in Yellowknife and the surrounding area had survived, with only some 700 people managing to make the journey around the Great Slave Lake to Fort Providence or over the ice of the lake to Fort Resolution, where they were able to safely ride out the winter. At the time, there was also reports of some small bands - maybe some 200 people total in number - who remained wandering in the region, following the rivers hunting game, though no proof was found at the time.
Contraction and Re-Organization
Come spring, the territorial government sent out messengers across the territory, as well as to settlements just across the Alberta and Saskatchewan borders, suggesting that they abandon smaller, isolated, settlements, and move to consolidate in more settled areas, where they could receive some aid. They also realized that communications and travel would be much more difficult than previously, so the messengers were told to invite delegates to travel back to Fort Smith to arrange some sort of new government structure for the area. Delegates traveled back to Fort Smith from major towns in the territory such as the regions around Inuvik, towns along the Mackenzie River, from Fort Liard in the southwest of the territory, the hamlet of Fort Franklin along the shore of Great Bear Lake, and the towns in the area south of Great Slave Lake. Most of these towns also received the residents of the extremely small and isolated settlements, and were promised that these new people would leave when conditions were more favorable for re-settlement of the abandoned hamlets. Representatives were also received from the Alberta towns of Fort Chipewyan, High Level, Fort Vermilion and the surrounding areas, as well as the Saskatchewan town of Uranium City.
These delegates would spend much of the spring and summer debating over what this new government would consist of, and who would join; the towns, villages and hamlets of the territory were not in question. Rather, it was the provincial towns that were. In the end, it was decided that each general region of the towns that remained populated in the territories would have an deputy commissioner, and an RCMP detachment of some sort, to govern and maintain order, but each retain some degree of independence due to the distance. The regions (or the towns themselves, in some cases) would then send representatives to Fort Smith, in order to make decisions through consensus, like the territorial assembly had done previously, that would effect them all, in a sort of alliance. This would be called the "Northwest Alliance" in recognition of the former territory and their alliance. They would meet like this through the summer, using spring and fall to travel and spending the winters in their homes.
The delegates from the villages of Fort Chipewyan and Uranium City opted to join the government, while those from Fort Vermilion and High Level opted to merely associate with the alliance, where they would technically ally with them, but not send delegates to Fort Smith with any degree of regularity.
As a result of this, along with no contact being made with the outside world since the event, a provisional declaration of independence was made on January 2nd, 1985, which was meant to last until meaningful contact with a Canadian government could hopefully be established.
Violence and Recovery
In late July of 1985, the government opted to send an expedition back to Yellowknife, in order to investigate reports of the condition of the city given to them by people who had fled after they did. This small expedition corroborated the reports, and found a very defensive small community of survivors along the eastern edges of the town in late September, who wanted very little to do with them because of the earlier abandonment. They would be left alone for now.
In 1989, scattered reports of attacks upon travelers along the Mackenzie River began to occur. While in these attacks people were only killed or injured if they fought back, it was obvious that the alliance government would have to do something about it. However, these attacks had never occurred against soldiers or government parties, since they were well-armed. So, the party of militia sent out from Fort Providence was disguised as civilians, and headed down the river in early spring, 1990. Going at a slow pace, by mid-May they had reached a river junction north of the hamlet of Wrigley, where they were attacked by one of these bands, putting them to rapid flight once it was realized that the travelers were definitely not regular people but were in fact the militia.
Several members of this band were killed in the process, and one was captured and "interrogated" by the militia group. In this, it was found that several of these bands existed, and that they were survivors from the Yellowknife Disaster, having slowly hunted their way through the countryside over the last few years, until game became scarcer. They had then came to the river and started preying on passing travelers to supplement their hunting ... and their base camp was nearby. the militia finished off the prisoner, and then attacked the camp, laying waste to it. However, as word of this came to other bands, and they were reinforced by wandering bands from the Yukon, the attacks became more violent. The government then had to establish small fortified posts along the river, like had been the case with fur-trading posts there in the previous century. Over time the net effect was that these bands moved on elsewhere, outside of alliance territory, in peace, or were eliminated by the militia. After this crisis had been adverted, the government had finally recovered sufficiently, in their minds, to send out explorers looking for survivors elsewhere, since they believed that there had to be some somewhere. Five of these teams would go - one west, from Norman Wells, over the mountains towards Whitehorse; a second, south from High Level to make contact officially with the rumored government in Grand Prairie; a third, southwest from Fort Laird to British Columbia, to asses the situation there and confirm rumors of an ugly situation; a fourth southeast from Uranium City into Saskatchewan, in the direction of Saskatoon; Lastly, a fifth was sent eastward from Fort Resolution, with the hope of establishing some sort of contact with the settlements along the eastern coastline of the mainland, if they still existed. These groups would leave as summer began in 1992.
To the west, the first team, after a hard and strenuous journey through the mountains, reached Whitehorse just in time to ride out the winter there. They spent this time finding out about the situation there, and had several meetings with Alaskan officials. Upon the arrival of spring they returned to Fort Smith, but could only sadly say that while there was survivors to the west, they were in no condition to help them at all.
To the south, the explorers found that the rumors were indeed true, but the government there had no support to give them at the time, not being much better off themselves, though they did send promises of future support. Yet, they also told them that it would also be hard to support the area around High Level and Fort Vermilion. Given the state of this government, and that nothing was heard from them for years thereafter, they were believed, erroneously, to have been destroyed somehow.
To the southwest, the expedition managed to find evidence that the rumors were more or less true, before they were attacked by a band of outlaws and almost wiped out. One member managed to return to alliance territory, injured, months later, telling all of what had been found.
To the southeast, they managed to reach areas north of Prince Albert, finding them not in contact with any points south of there, though rumors that Saskatoon had survived and was the center of some island of authority were heard, and dismissed, since no contact had been heard from that city at all. The expedition, finding no help here and unable to offer any to them, turned back north. When representatives from Prince Albert and Saskatoon arrived in the area, reports from the locals of this expedition were considered to be mere stories, exaggerated accounts of natives from further north coming into town.
Lastly, after all of the other missions had returned, the eastern expedition returned ahead of schedule, in early 1994, in a plane with Canadian markings, of all things! Canadian representatives spoke with members of the government that were on hand in Fort Smith, informing them of the situation, thanking them for stabilizing the region, but sadly telling them that they too could do little. It was also agreed that while something both looked forward towards being the case, it was not feasible at all for them to take over for the alliance government at that time, due to the great distance; a new boundary was roughly established between the new province of Nunavut and the alliance as well. They also encouraged the officials to re-establish control of some sort over the settlement in Yellowknife, and promised that they would be made a province in the future with all the rights that allowed. The representatives then left back eastward, promising to remain in touch, somewhat. Contact between the two would be extremely intermittent until after the passing of the millennium.
In High Level and Fort Vermilion, there had always been debate over becoming part of the alliance government instead of merely being associated with it, and the combination of alarming news from the former British Columbia and the depressing news from elsewhere made it even more heated. Eventually, it was decided that they would join completely, so long as they could have an "out clause" where they could join a nation from further south - closer to them - if it became feasible. This was agreed upon, and the region joined the alliance in early 1995.
As promised to the Canadian officials, an expedition was sent to ruins of Yellowknife in the summer of 1995. The small settlement that had been found there in 1985 had grown in size, to some 650 people, but had fallen on hard times over the winter, with many becoming ill with a disease, which they could not easily treat - but the alliance could, though it would hurt their own stocks more than they would like. They decided it was worth helping them, for it would be a perfect opportunity to bring them back to the fold. And, in return for the aid and supplies that could be spared for them, the residents agreed to associate themselves with the government once more. This allowed previous residents to return if they desired, and some of the residents who had earlier been evacuated from their homes in the smaller communities who had not returned there a place of their own. While this action drained resources for a while, it made up for it with the increase in morale, so it worked out well in the end.
An expedition was sent northwards from the village of Tuktoyaktuk in the winter of 1996, hoping to make contact with the extremely isolated native settlements in the extreme western islands of the Arctic, where the Nunavut government had little authority or access. By the end of the next winter, the party of Inuit scouts had reached the farthest stop that they had planned, what was once the settlement of Isachsen on Ellef Ringnes Island, where they had hoped to find something at the weather station there. Finding nothing, except for abandoned settlements and a rather ghastly scene of death at the Mould Bay weather station where most seemed to have died from cold, though according to records found there some had evacuated eastward years before. They then began to slowly make their way back to alliance territory. The following winter, within sight on Banks Island, they spotted birds circling on the horizon. Making their way towards the birds, they spotted a group of people - Inuit hunters - cleaning a kill on the shore, and made contact. As things turned out, these people were once the residents of the the town of Holman, on Victoria Island. These Inuit informed the party of the goings-on in the region over the past decade and a half - that the Inuit, when they found out what happened, had abandoned their forced settlements for the wilderness. Finding out this reliving news, and inviting them to visit the alliance at some point in the future, they continued back homeward, arriving in mid-2000. The first Inuit parties would visit in midwinter, something which happened during most winters afterwards, often with locals leaving with them, having grown away from the settlements.
As more and more of the neighboring nation-states strengthened and stabilized over the next decade, they started to send some supplies to the alliance, where it helped the people slowly rebuild what was damaged and to better their lives.
Despite the ongoing stability in the region, much of the damage and other social problems from the events that occurred after Doomsday remain. The settlement of Yellowknife is still ongoing, now containing around a thousand people, mostly consisting of those who had stayed behind originally and their descendants. The city itself, however, is still largely in ruins, with only the northeastern part of town and the old government buildings having any significant population in or around them.
Much of the effort of the government in recent years has been put toward transportation routes and communication between the settlements and towns in the alliance. Only in 2008 was a system of well-cleared paths finally finished between the settlements - and these are merely packed dirt roads, often covered with boards hauled from much further south to help protect against mud, which have to fixed up each summer. Working, modern, battery-powered radios, however, were finally supplied from outside in 2000, and had reached the outer member settlements by late 2001, allowing easier communication with both each other, and from the larger station built in Fort Smith, the outside world. Currently, the government is slowly expanding the electric power grid, based off small-scale hydroelectric dams, as well as building a system of telegraph lines between the larger towns to replace the now-useless telephone lines.
The recent move of the Yukon towards joining the Commonwealth of Australia and New Zealand and the League of Nations has caused some buzz, but the first is far from being a realistic option with the citizenry, and the second is impossible because they refuse to let each town become a member in their own right like they, and the alliance government, desire.
The government has changed little from what it was before Doomsday, with the positions of both Commissioner and Premier in continuing use. The Commissioner at Doomsday, John Havelock Parker, remained commissioner until July of 1990, when he stepped down. As per the alliance agreements, later agreed to by the Canadian government, the premier then appointed a chief of one of the native tribes to the position, so that some sort of balance of could be maintained between the various ethnic groups. The holders of the position of Commissioner have been appointed for four-year terms since then. The Premier would continue to operate as an independent, chosen directly from the legislature by consensus, only now each member is no longer "independent" in theory - they all operate under the banner of the "Alliance Party" yet in reality they are all effectively independents still, largely due to the distances maintained in territory held by the alliance and the independence of the various members that it requires as a result.
The membership of the alliance legislative assembly holds an effective permanent membership of twenty-five legislators, elected each winter, though this number may vary somewhat due to weather conditions, etc. These members consist one member from most of the communities, with the larger ones getting two, and the tiniest members of the alliance having one between them, in an attempt to balance things and to keep it small enough to not cause a burden on the population of the capital, and to actually get work done. Currently, there are seven general regions that these members fall into, each with a local alliance headquarters, with any that have more or less legislators so noted:
|Arctic Red River||Delta||1/2||Joint seat with Fort Mcpherson|
|Fort Chipewyan||Athabasca||1/2||Joint seat with Hay Camp|
|Fort Franklin||Mackenzie||1/2||Joint seat with Sawmill Bay|
|Fort Good Hope||Mackenzie||1|
|Fort Laird||Mountain||1/2||Joint seat with Nahanni Butte and Regional Headquarters|
|Fort Mcpherson||Delta||1/2||Joint seat with Arctic Red River|
|Fort Norman||Mackenzie||1/2||Joint seat with Norman Wells|
|Fort Providence||North Great Slave||1|
|Fort Resolution||South Great Slave||1|
|Fort Smith||South Great Slave||2||Capital|
|Fort Vermilion||High Level||1|
|Grumbler||South Great Slave||1|
|Hay Camp||Athabasca||1/2||Joint seat with Fort Chipewyan|
|Hay River||South Great Slave||2||Regional Headquarters|
|High Level||High Level||1||Regional Headquarters|
|Nahanni Butte||Mountain||1/2||Joint seat with Fort Laird|
|Norman Wells||Mackenzie||1/2||Joint seat with Fort Norman and Regional Headquarters|
|Reliance||North Great Slave||1|
|Sawmill Bay||Mackenzie||1/2||Joint seat with Fort Franklin|
|Uranium City||Athabasca||1||Regional Headquarters|
|Yellowknife||North Great Slave||1||Regional Headquarters|
There is talk of expanding the assembly, in order to give all members their own representative, but as of yet this has been put on the back burner until better roads and communications can be established. On the same page recent talk of moving the capital back to Yellowknife has occurred, but has been quashed until at least 2020 due to the ruined condition of the once-proud city.
Currently, the Premier of the Alliance Assembly is Jane Hobart, the senior delegate from Fort Smith, and the Commissioner is Chief Allan Adam, of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, from in and around Fort Chipewyan, who replaced Steve Kotchea of the Acho Dene Koe First Nation on July 16th, 2012. He will hold the position until July of 2016.
There has also been some debate as of late in the towns of High Level and Fort Vermilion over possibly leaving the alliance and joining the nation of Athabaska out of Grand Prairie, but good relations with Fort Smith, the opposition of the Athabaska government to the Canadian government, and the recent establishment of a road and telegraph link between High Level and Fort Smith have been enough to keep them in the alliance, for now.
Security and Defense
The alliance was once kept secure by the RCMP, militia/reserves, and the few members of the armed forces who had been in the territory at Doomsday. After 1985, all of these were merged into the RCMP, which regained its old name of the "Northwest Mounted Police", or the NWMP, though a small reserve of militia was maintained outside of this to aid them in dealing with brigands and the like.
All settlements have a detachment of at least one of the Mounties, with the larger ones obviously having more. The NWMP is also responsible for such things as manning the forts at that were constructed in 1989 at crucial points along the Mackenzie, as well as at other critical water junctions in more recent years, and for protecting dignitaries. Despite the name, the vast majority, except for the guards of government buildings in Fort Smith, are not mounted, and often cannot even ride a horse.
As a concession to the alliance membership, the training academy for the organization, though tiny, was established in the town of Hay River in 1996, with support from St.John's.
A tiny Coast Guard is also maintained by the NWMP to police the lakes, Arctic Ocean, and the Mackenzie during the summer. Mostly, it is made up of surviving vessels from the Hay River detachment of the Canadian Coast Guard, but newer vessels made at the shipyards there are mostly what is in use, along with canoes and motorboats on smaller rivers and lakes. Dogsleds are used for the same task in winter.
Occasionally encounters with armed bands moving throughout the region still occur, but the region is fairly secure today.
The NWMP is currently commanded by Colonel Clyde T. Russell, formerly of the Canadian Army.
Relations with the Yukon and Alaska - and through them, the rest of the ANZC- are good, but fairly intermittent due to the mountains between there and the alliance. Of course, communication with most nation-states, such as in Prince George and Assiniboia is like this, essentially due to the distance involved, though other factors are definitely involved.
The Canadian governments based in Saskatoon and St.Johns would like the alliance members to join them as part of Canada again - a desire that is mutually held, and the alliance government has every year recommitted itself to rejoining Canada as soon as it becomes feasible, though this does not look likely for quite some time to come.
About the only nation with which contact comes fairly easily for the alliance is the nation of Athabaska, through the town of High Level. However, due to the anti-Canadian leanings of the government there, to say that relations are strained is an extreme understatement, though they do send supplies of one sort or another to High Level and Fort Vermilion fairly regularly.
The alliance representatives are particularly known for proclaiming support for St.Johns in its war with the "separatists" and Superior weekly. They are somewhat distressed at the result of that war, but believe that the Canadian government will eventually be able to reclaim its territory, as there is little doubt it will be stronger in the future than the "Republicans" in both states.
Culture and Economy
Canadian nationalism still runs very strongly in this rugged landscape, and Canada Day is the highlight of the year for the vast majority of residents, through in recent years the celebrating of aboriginal holidays has taken an upswing.
However, there is a large bias in the society today against both those who are, or were once in, the wandering groups that now exist in the region, as well as those who were relocated in the aftermath of Doomsday. But, as contact with the outside world increase, this is slowly going away.
A new holiday, called "Alliance Day", on the 2nd of January, was enacted to mark the signing of the alliance agreements; this is also the case in High Level and Fort Vermilion, though the day is different to mark their addition to the alliance.
In addition to Remembrance day, a new day to mark the dead was established on September 26th, Solace Day.
While the Canadian government had made French an official language, the government of the NWT had resisted this and when they held their convention, they also made it not official again. This is currently the only sticking point between Fort Smith and the Canadian government.
To be called a Republican or anything of that sort is considered the greatest insult that anyone could call another person in the area.
Economically, much has reverted to the simple barter system, though it is not uncommon to see old Canadian currency used. It is taken as being the same as the newer currency that the alliance has started to produce since 2007 in small amounts, the Northwest beaver, though both are not in common use.
Most of the economic activity in the territory today consist of mining and forestry, with most of the minerals mined being exported to other countries in exchange for supplies, such as trading gold and silver for electronics. The wood from the forest is used for construction projects in the region, lately for the telegraph lines currently being installed.
Like the rest of Canada, the sports of hockey, curling, and lacrosse are the biggest sports in the alliance.
Due to the isolation of communities and the harsh weather, hockey and curling do not not really exist as organized sports, with nearby communities playing in their own small championships, and being unable to travel far in winter to play many games against those from other areas at this time. By agreement between the members of the Alliance, however, a small championship tournament, the Alliance Championship Series, first held in 2004, is held over the month of February in Wrigley each year, since it is a very central location in the alliance. The relative backwardness of the area prevents the upkeep of ice for such events in summer as well. The current champion in hockey, and holder of the Laird Cup - named for the first resident Lieutenant-Governor of the Northwest Territories - is the Fort Smith Bison, having won a surprise victory in 2012 over the Hay River Steel by a 4-3 score, for their first championship in the sport.
Lacrosse, however, has become the main sport of the region. It is played on a more local level in the spring and summer, when travel again becomes easy, and a tournament, first held in 2005, is held in Fort Smith each fall. The winning team from each region competes, as well as the second-place team from Mackenzie, due to the number of teams there, to determine the alliance champion. The players then make the journey home with their legislators after the government session for the year is completed at the end of the month. The champions from the 2011 tournament, and the current holders of the Frederick D. White Championship Trophy, named for the first Commissioner of the Northwest Territories, are the High Level Ravens, who defeated the Inuvik Deltas for the title. The next tournament will start on September 10th, 2012, and last for a week.
Each member of the Alliance does have their own team that participates in these events:
|Member||Region||Team Name||Championships Won|
|Arctic Red River||Delta||Crimson|
|Fort Chipewyan||Athabasca||Nor'Westers||1 in Lacrosse|
|Fort Good Hope||Mackenzie||Jacks|
|Fort Providence||North Great Slave||Traders|
|Fort Resolution||South Great Slave||Lakers|
|Fort Smith||South Great Slave||Bison||2 in Lacrosse and 1 in Hockey|
|Fort Vermilion||High Level||Ghosts|
|Grumbler||South Great Slave||Bandits|
|Hay Camp||Athabasca||Riders||1 in Lacrosse|
|Hay River||South Great Slave||Steel||7 in Hockey|
|High Level||High Level||Ravens||1 in Lacrosse|
|Inuvik||Delta||Deltas||1 in Hockey and 1 in Lacrosse|
|Norman Wells||Mackenzie||Lights||1 in Lacrosse|
|Reliance||North Great Slave||Mariners|
|Wrigley||Mackenzie||Fighting Fish||1 in Lacrosse|
|Yellowknife||North Great Slave||Golden Men|
On June 12th, 2010, Premier Hobart announced that starting next year, a dog sled race would be held, where the teams would race along the Mackenzie River from Fort Providence at Great Slave Lake to Inuvik in the Delta, with a tentative start date set as January twenty-first. It will be called the Dehcholi, after the river, and the winner will be awarded the Haultain Cup, named for first premier of the Northwest Territories. On December 21st, 2010, It was announced that it would indeed begin in a month, as anticipated, and that the prize to the winner will be ten ounces of gold, with the next nine getting amounts of gold in similar amounts as well, down to the 10th place person getting an ounce.
On January 21st, 2011, at high noon, the twenty-four teams entered in the race started out from Fort Providence. Over the next week and half, they raced along a path set out previously for them, with manned and supplied checkpoints that they had to check in at. By a stroke of good fortune, none of the days of the race were affected by snow, so the racers were able to make good time. In the evening of February 2nd, 2011, the winner of the competition, Martin Buser of Alaska, crossed the finish line in Inuvik, with a time of 12:8:45:12. In second and third, respectively, were Rick Swenson of Alaska with 12:10:23:23 and Emmitt Peters of Alaska with 12:11:23:53. In last place, and crossing the line 8 days later, was Warren Palfrey of the Northwest Alliance, with a time of 20:3:6:45, who also won the traditional red lantern awarded to the last to finish. All in all, twenty of the racers completed the course, with the others having to be evacuated for one reason or another. Most of the entrants were from Alaska, followed by the Yukon and the Alliance, with a couple of racers even traveling from Siberia and the Canadian province of Nunavut, respectively.
January 21st, 2012, saw the next race start off, slightly earlier than last year, this time at ten in the morning, with a slightly increased number of twenty-six teams entered this year, including one who came all the way from New Zealand. Aside from a weak storm on January 30th, it was rather uneventful, as well, like the year before. During the late afternoon of February 1st, establishing a new record, the winner, Hans Gatt of the Yukon, crossed the finish line with a time of 11:5:34:56. Placing second and third were Jeff King and John Baker, both from Alaska, with times respectively of 11:8:28:43 and 11:12:54:21. In last place, and crossing the finish line eight and a half days later, was Bob Storey of New Zealand, with a time of 19:16:24:10, who received the traditional red lantern. Aside from Storey, and another new Musher from Victoria, the makeup was more or less the same as the year before. Due to the storm, only eighteen mushers managed to finish the course, leaving eight to be evacuated, including the favorite, Martin Buser, after he suffered a broken bone when his sled hit a large bump on the ice.