Information for Prospective Teachers & Teaching Positions in the NWT

Teaching in the Northwest Territories is a challenging and rewarding career which provides educators with the opportunity for an adventure in a spectacular part of Canada. Our schools are great places to work and our communities are great places to live. We recognize that our most important resource is our young people and educators are in a very unique position to help develop the full potential of our students.

Teaching in the Northwest Territories, either in a small community or a larger center, will offer unique learning opportunities for educators. By participating in community events, newcomers are able to learn about the cultures and languages of the region, and to get to know the students and their families. Being involved in the life of the community allows educators to have a more enriching, rewarding and enjoyable experience teaching in the north.  

Basic information and items to further investigate for educators who may be considering a position in the NWT. 


1) Applying for Work

For educators who may be considering a position in the NWT, some basic information and items to further investigate are linked below for convenient access. 

For the most up to date information about vacant teaching positions and hiring, contact the education authority offices directly.

Prospective teachers interested in teaching in the Northwest Territories are recommended to follow the following steps:

  1. Submit an online application on the Education Canada NWT website to ensure your name is in the general online application pool.
  2. Submit a copy of your cover letter and resume to each of the educational authorities where you would like to work.    
  3. Consult the Education Canada Network site for job openings throughout the year for each individual competition that you would like to be considered for.
  4. Once you have accepted a job, then you can apply for an NWT Teaching Certificate.


2) NWT Schools and Education Authorities

There are eight Education Authorities in the Northwest Territories which are illustrated on the map below.  Each of the education authorities is responsible for hiring their own principals, teachers and education consultants.


3) Teacher Induction and Mentorship

As a beginning teacher, or an experienced teacher new to the NWT, each year is an opportunity to enhance your professional knowledge and skills, and to refine your teaching style.  Part of being a good teacher is recognizing that you are always learning and helping to instill that passion for life-long learning in your students.   The NWT has a Teacher Induction and Mentorship program to support new and beginning teachers in their first year in the North.

Teaching in the NWT will provide educators with an unforgettable experience. Before you accept a teaching position, make sure you research the implications of living and working in the NWT. Successful NWT educators are flexible in their thinking, have an understanding that things will be different than expected and, most importantly, come to learn as much as teach.


4) Collective Agreements

All NWT teachers will be members of the Northwest Territories Teachers’ Association. The NWTTA is the bargaining agent for all teachers in the NWT and it interprets the collective agreements for its members. Their webpage for prospective teachers provides valuable links. 

There are three Collective Agreements:

Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT)
Yellowknife Public Schools (YK1)
Yellowknife Catholic Schools (YCS)


5) NWT Language and Culture

There are two foundational curricula that form the basis of all classroom instruction in the Northwest Territories K-12 education system. The Dene Kede curriculum provides a framework from which all instruction in all other curriculum areas is delivered.  This Dene world view honours the culture and values of the people of the Northwest Territories. Similarly, the Inuuqatigiit curriculum provides the instructional foundation from the Inuit world view.  This framework informs instruction in all other curriculum areas for those communities where the Inuit culture is the culture of the students and their communities or their heritage.


6) Curriculum Documents and Resources

  • K- 12 Curriculum links can be found here
  • Western and Northern Canadian Protocol, includes the development of common curriculum frameworks with learning outcomes in mathematics, language arts, social studies, aboriginal language and culture project and international languages

NWT Library Services

  • Community libraries are established in many NWT communities.  For those communities where a local library is not available, NWT Library Services has a “Borrow by Mail” program that delivers requested books free of charge.


7) Enseigner en Francais


8) Housing

It is important to note that, in the NWT, the employer does not provide housing for its teachers. A Northern Living Allowance is provided to teachers in the Northwest Territories to offset the high cost of living in the remote northern communities. 

Some employers/principals/education authorities may assist in locating housing. It is recommended that you research this issue thoroughly.

Please consult Housing Information (page 5) for District (Regional) Office Contact Information.  

In larger communities, there are apartment buildings and houses for rent either through the local housing office or through local rental agencies. Links to Northern newspapers and real estate agencies are provided for reference.




Real Estate Companies


9) Community Information

Larger Communities 

A list of contact information for all communities in the Northwest Territories is available through the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs (MACA) website.


Small Communities

A small community is one in which five or less members of the NWTTA reside and is isolated from other communities by more than a 30 km all weather road. Small community populations range from 70 to 285. All are isolated from other communities either by air or distance.

The following communities fit the small community definition:

  • Colville Lake
  • Dettah
  • Gameti
  • Jean Marie River
  • Kakisa
  • Nahanni Butte
  • Paulatuk
  • Sachs Habour
  • Trout Lake
  • Tsiigehtchic
  • Wekweeti
  • Wrigley

Communities in the Northwest Territories are able to decide whether or not they will permit alcohol to be brought into the community or if the quantity of alcohol will be restricted or unrestricted. For more information and details by community, please refer to this document.


10) Shopping for Food and Household Supplies

The Northern Living Allowance helps to defray the high cost of living in remote communities in the Northwest Territories.  There are some ways to lower the cost of groceries such as ordering non-perishable items by barge where feasible.  Ordering groceries from larger regional centres is another alternative.  


Groceries - Food Mail Program


Barge Orders

Northern Transportation Company Limited (NTCL) serves the following communities: Lutselk'e, Tulilta, Norman Wells, Fort Good Hope, Tuktoyaktuk, Sachs Harbour, Paulatuk, Aklavik and Inuvik.


11) NWT Recreation

Living in the Northwest Territories provides opportunities for a myriad of recreational activities.  If you enjoy outdoor activities such as cross country skiing, snowmobiling, ice fishing, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, the variety is amazing.  Indoor activities for adults and students, such as volleyball, soccer, basketball, hockey, figure skating, pottery, quilting, traditional arts and crafts are options in many communities throughout the NWT.

Information about hunting, fishing and trapping is provided by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources

Sport North Federation provides information on sports for adults and children.

Contact the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs or the town offices directly for information about sport and recreation opportunities for NWT youth.

Contact Northwest Territories Tourism for information about sights and experiences.


12) Travel in the NWT

There are 33 communities in the NWT. While many of these communities are connected by a road system, there are some communities that can be reached only by air on small aircraft. Some fly-in communities are accessible for a few months during the winter by winter ice road. The information and links below will provide more detailed information.

Travel by Road


Travel by Air

  • Canadian North
    Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton to Yellowknife,  Norman Wells, Inuvik and Nunavut Communities
  • First Air
    Edmonton, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Montreal to Yellowknife, Hay River, Fort Simpson, Norman Wells, Inuvik, Ulukhaktok and Nunavut Communities
  • Air Canada Jazz 
    Calgary, Edmonton, Yellowknife
  • WestJet
  • Aklak Air (Beaufort Delta)
    Inuvik to Fort McPherson, Ulukhaktok, Paulatuk, Sachs Harbour, Tuktoyaktuk
  • Northwestern Air Lease (Fort Smith)
    Yellowknife, Fort Smith and Hay River
  • Air Tindi (Tlicho, Dehcho, South Slave)
    Yellowknife to Fort Simpson, Lutsel K’e, Wekweeti, WhaTi, Gameti
  • North Wright Airways (Sahtu)
    Yellowknife, Norman Wells, Tulilta, Deline, Yellowknife, Fort Good Hope, Colville Lake, Inuvik, Aklavik, Fort McPherson
  • Air North 
    Inuvik, Yellowknife, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Ottawa

Last modified: 2015-03-11

© 2015 Government of the Northwest Territories