Giving our past a future.


Permanent Exhibit

STEP BACK IN TIME and immerse yourself in the history of the South Slave. The Northern Life Museum & Cultural Centre is where the history of the area is kept and the stories are told. Our permanent exhibit takes you from the traditional life on the land to the fur trade, the shipyards of the early 20th century, the Roman Catholic Mission, the Canol project and the creation of Fort Smith.

NORTHERN LIFE MUSEUM holds what is considered among the best collection of northern native and early white settlement material in Canada. Our collection is comprised of over 17,000 artifacts including traditional work of the Inuit, Inuvialuit, Dene and Métis, as well as mission, trade, pioneer and portage items. Displays include a reconstructed trapper’s cabin, trading post, natural diorama, beautiful beadwork and clothing, birch bark canoe and a hands-on exhibit of the fur trade. Our natural history exhibit offers the opportunity to view specimens such as the endangered whooping crane, birds of prey and wood bison at close range.

The Radium King was built in 1937 for shipping resources to and from the Northwest Territories on the Mackenzie River. Its main cargo was radium and uranium ore, some of which was used in the construction of the first atomic bombs. The Radium King was retired in 1967, and now resides on the grounds of the Northern Life Museum and Cultural Centre.