Great Slave Lake, second largest lake of Canada, c.10,980 sq mi (28,400 sq km), Northwest Territories, named for the Slave (Dogrib), a tribe of Native Americans. It is c.300 mi (480 km) long and from 12 to 68 mi (19–109 km) wide and is the deepest lake (2,015 ft/614 m) of North America. The Hay and Slave rivers are its chief tributaries; it is drained by the Mackenzie River. The western shores are wooded, but the long east and north arms reach into tundralike country. Samuel Hearne, a British fur trader, explored the lake in 1771. Gold was discovered in the 1930s on the northern shore, and the town of Yellowknife was established as a mining center. The area is still important for gold mining. The lake has commercial fisheries. Fort Providence, Hay River, and Fort Resolution are the chief towns on the lake.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.