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Explore GNWT

The GNWT’s 5,000 public servants deliver programs and services to more than 44,000 Northwest Territories (NWT) residents through rewarding careers in one of our 11 Departments and 13 Agencies. The most common language spoken in the NWT is English, but the NWT has 11 official languages including French, English, Chipewyan, Cree, Gwich’in, Inuinnaqtun, Inuktitut, Inuvialuktun, North Slavey, South Slavey, and Tłįchǫ.

Our employees live and work throughout the NWT in 33 communities ranging in size from less than 50 people in the NWT's smallest community of Kakisa to more than 20,000 in the capital city of Yellowknife.


An Opportunity to Make a Difference

Our public service is small in comparison to other Canadian jurisdictions. However, our territory’s unique tri-lateral consensus government allows its public servants to work directly on programs and services that matter to northern residents.

Our Senior Management teams are approachable with a strong appreciation for the importance of mentorship and professional growth- and given our small size, they are often just down the hall. 

Once in a Lifetime Experience

The North is a special blend of innovation and tradition. In many communities across the NWT, northerners still trap, hunt, fish and craft to generate an income. Living and working in many of our communities provide unique opportunities to learn about traditional living and on the land survival from Indigenous elders.  Our communities are small, but filled with a wealth of tradition, diversity, and warm welcoming community members open to sharing their cultures and experiences. In contrast, the economic development opportunities combined with continued care for our land and an evolving understanding of changing climates, provide a unique platform for innovative and skilled development, unparalleled in many other regions. 

Delivering programs, services and infrastructure in the Northwest Territories presents additional environmental challenges with financial, ecological and intergovernmental implications.  Two recent infrastructure projects have further connected our vast territory with road access playing a vital role in lowering the northern cost of living and improving economic opportunity.  The Deh Cho Bridge, completed in November 2012, spans more than a kilometre across the Mackenzie River and eliminated the need for a winter ice road and summer ferry crossing.  In 2017, the Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk Highway was complete.  This road was built on permafrost and provided opportunities to test new engineering methods, conduct scientific studies and, most importantly, further connect our communities with road access.

Living and working in the Northwest Territories is both professionally and personally rewarding with career advancement and professional development opportunities as well as valuable travel, adventure, and social activities.  Join Peter Clarkson, Director of Regional Operations as he shares stories and photos of his own northern adventures.

Diverse Workforce

The Northwest Territories is a welcoming, diverse part of Canada, with many residents from throughout the North, across Canada, and around the world.  The GNWT is committed to being representative of the diverse population it serves.  Our organization works to remove employment barriers and provides accommodations throughout the employment process to any candidate that indicates a need for additional support. 

The GNWT developed initiatives, like the Indigenous Employees Advisory Committee and the GNWT Advisory Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, to lift employability and employment options for Indigenous northerners.

Other program and policy initiatives include:

Summer Student and Internship Opportunities

The GNWT supports northern post-secondary students through the Summer Student Employment Program.  This program provides meaningful employment to northern post-secondary students, if possible within their study field, during the summer months.  The money earned by students helps offset the education costs and living expenses while the employment experience can help secure post-graduation employment.

Northern post-secondary graduates, who have completed their program within the last 24 months, can apply for government intern positions through the Internship Program.  GNWT internships can last up to 24 months and provide rewarding work experience and professional development opportunities. Many interns find permanent employment within the GNWT. 

Advancement Opportunities

The GNWT has a relatively small workforce when compared to other provincial or territorial governments across Canada.  This means employees have direct access to decision makers.  The GNWT operates in a team-based environment giving employees at all levels of government opportunities to work directly on the successful outcome of their projects, with their supervisors and colleagues. This, in combination with the large number of training opportunities, creates an environment that pushes career advancement within the organization.