Behchokò, NT, established as community government in 2005, population 1926 (2011c), 1894 (2006c). First known as Rae-Edzo, Behchokò is located near the North Arm of Great Slave Lake, 106 km northwest of Yellowknife.
Behchokò, NT, established as community government in 2005, population 1926 (2011c), 1894 (2006c). First known as Rae-Edzo, Behchokò is located near the North Arm of Great Slave Lake, 106 km northwest of Yellowknife. Behchokò means "Big Knife (who was probably an American trader) place," and comprises the traditional Tilcho Dene community of Rae and the government settlement of Edzo.
Today the largest Dene community in the NT, Rae dates back to a Hudson's Bay Co post (1852) established on Mountain Island in the North Arm and named for explorer John Rae. The post was moved to its present location on Marian Lake in 1893. The area had been the traditional hunting grounds for the Dogrib (Tilcho) for centuries.
Edzo, inland about 24 km (by road) from Rae, was constructed by the government in 1965 as an alternative site to Rae, which offered poor drainage. However, most of the Tilcho preferred to remain at the original site and today still pursue hunting and trapping from there. Edzo has a small cluster of houses occupied mainly by NT government employees. It was named for the Tlicho chief Edzo who made peace with the Yellowknife chief Akaitcho.
A hamlet from 1971-2005, this municipal structure was replaced with community government when the Tilcho Land Claim agreement came into affect. Behchokò is governed by an elected chief, who also is a member on the Tilcho Assembly. The community is the headquarters of the Tilcho government.