The Charter Community of Délı̨nę (pronounced "day-li-neh"; formerly Fort Franklin) is at the western shore of Great Bear Lake, 544 km (338 mi) northwest of Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories. Many of the inhabitants rely on fishing and hunting as a way of life: there is excellent trout fishing on the lake.
In 1825, the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) erected an outpost here as the staging area and winter quarters for Sir John Franklin's second Arctic expedition of 1825–1827. It became known as Fort Franklin. Sir John Franklin's diary records that his men played ice sports very similar to what we now call hockey. As such, the modern-day town promotes itself as one of the birthplaces of the sport of ice hockey.
As of 2020, about 500 people live here. Deline is predominantly Roman Catholic. The local government considers North Slavey to be an official language of the community, but less than half of the population identifies the language as their mother tongue (as of 2011).
- Tourist information: Destination Deline
- 1 Délı̨nę Airport (YWJ IATA). Délı̨nę is a fly-in community. There are no roads. There are flights from Yellowknife (YZF IATA) to Délı̨nę three times a week (1 hr 20 min, $920 each way) on North-Wright Airways. You can also fly here with North-Wright from Norman Wells.
- 1 Fort Franklin. John Franklin's 1825-1827 outpost was excavated in 1987. The excavation uncovered beads, rings, and buttons indicating the extent of trade between the Dene and Europeans. The site is protected by the Northwest Territories Archaeological Sites Regulations. In 1996, the site was designated a National Historic Site of Canada.
- 2 Eht’se Ayah Memorial Site. The grave of community’s legendary prophet and spiritual leader, Ehtseo (grandfather) Louis Ayah (1857 - 1940). Prophet Ayah gave more than 30 prophecies to the people of Deline during his life. Ayah’s prophecies continue to attract visitors from across the North each summer, during the community’s annual spiritual gathering in August, to visit Ayah’s grave and the shrines dedicated to the prophet around the community.
- 3 Saoyú-ʔehdacho (Sahoyue-Edacho, Grizzly Bear Mountain and Scented Grass Hills). A cultural landscape comprising two peninsulas in Great Bear Lake. The site has great cultural and spiritual significance for the Sahtu people, including archaeological resources related to pre-contact occupation from over 5000 years ago. It was designated a National Historic Site in 1997.
Grey Goose Lodge organizes cultural and sporting activities.
There is a gallery of locally made arts and crafts at the Grey Goose Lodge.
There is a Northern Store on the main street where you can get very expensive groceries. It is open M-W 10AM-6PM, and Th F 10AM-7PM.
The Great Bear Co-op is another grocery and general goods store.
Eat, drink and sleep
There is limitation in the amount of alcohol you can transport into the community.
- 1 Grey Goose Lodge, toll-free: . The only place to eat and sleep in town, the Lodge offers guided excursions such as ice & sport fishing, ATV adventures, interpretive tours and cultural interaction. It has 12 rooms with a mix of single and doubles and two suites: one 2-bedroom, and one suite with kitchen. The lodge has a full-service dining room with a spectacular view of nearby Great Bear Lake. Rates were reported to be $250 per night in 2014.
There is WiFi at Grey Goose Lodge.