Yellowknife is situated on the northern shore of Great Slave Lake within the Northwest Territories and is the province's capital city. The Arctic Circle lies roughly 400 km north of the city of Yellowknife. The Dene tribe of the area, the 'Copper Indians', were responsible for naming the city and the waters in the surrounding area. The population within the city of Yellowknife is culturally diverse. There are 11 official languages within the Northwest Territories, but just around five are spoken in Yellowknife. These five consist of Dogrib, Dene suline, French, English as well as South and North Slavery.
The first settlers arrived in the year 1935, drawn by the gold that had been recently discovered in the region. By the year 1967, Yellowknife had established itself as the capital of the Northwest Territories. The city was bustling with economic activity which was largely centered around the production of gold until the year 1980, when the city shifted towards being a centre of government services. Due to the decreased price of gold and the increased operating costs the last gold mine in the city was closed during the year 2004.
The city of Yellowknife is the central hub for some of the main businesses in the territory, such as mining, education, health, tourism, government and commerce activity. Nonetheless, the economy within Yellowknife is still recovering after the closure of numerous gold mines in the 1990's and the downsizing of the government workforce in the year 1999. The diamond boom, which began during the year 1991 when a diamond mine was discovered just north of the city, has played a significant role in the cities recovery. BHP Billiton operates and owns the Ekati Diamond Mine which opened during the year 1998 and in 2003 a secondary mine, Diavik Diamond Mine, was opened. During 2004 Yellowknife was ranked 3rd in the country with a production value of about C$2.1 billion and 6th within Canada by weight, coming out with 2,524 kg. In the year 2007 a third mine, De Beers' Snap Lake Diamond Mine, went into production. Construction of a forth mine, likewise owned by De Beers, was started in the year 2010 and is expected to begin production during 2012.
The top businesses within the city are the Diavik Diamond Mines Incorporated, Territorial and Federal Governments, Harry Winston Diamond Corporation, First Air, the city of Yellowknife, RTL Robinson Trucking, Northwest Tel and BHP Billiton. Around 7,633 jobs are in the Government sector.