Northwest Territories Civil Registration

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Introduction[edit | edit source]

Records of births, marriages, and deaths for what is now the Northwest Territories began in 1925. All vital records of birth, marriage, and death must be requested on forms available from the Division of Vital Statistics.

Earlier records labeled for the Northwest Territories were made for areas now part of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Yukon Territory. They must be obtained from offices in those provinces. For a time line and more information, see Northwest Territories History.

Some births, marriages, and deaths not recorded in vital records may be in church records.

Availability[edit | edit source]

Depending on the date of the event you are trying to establish and confirm you will have to focus your search in the area that would have housed the records at the time, or, may have transferred their records to the most recent governmental agency. The Health Services Administration division administers and maintains a territory-wide system for registering births, deaths, and marriages. According to Eric Jonasson’s The Canadian Genealogical Handbook regarding Vital Records, all civil vital records for the Northwest Territories are available from:

Northwest Territories, Health and Social Services
Vital Statistics
Bag #9
Inuvik, Northwest Territories X0E 0T0
Telephone: 867-777-7440
Toll Free: 1-800-661-0830

Most records do not go back much further than the 1940s.

Initially, the R.C.M.P. was charged with the task of maintaining ‘Disc Lists’ for all Inuit residents in the Arctic Districts. Disc Lists provided names, date of birth, family relationships, and the all-important ‘Disc Number’. This number was tattooed onto old members. Because they were nomadic and they often changed their names, this was the only way the Inuit could be traced.[1]

Additional Information[edit | edit source]

For additional information about vital records and search strategies, see:

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Murphy, Sharon L. "Northwest Territories Birth, Marriage, and Death Records (National Institute)," National Institute for Genealogical Studies (2012),,_Marriage,_and_Death_Records_%28National_Institute%29.