Thlewiaza River

EtymologyChipewyan: Łuaze, "small fish" + des, "river"
Native nameŁuazedes (Chipewyan)
Province/TerritoryManitoba, Nunavut
Physical characteristics
SourceSnyder Lake
 • locationnorthwestern Manitoba
 • coordinates59°24′12″N 101°34′14″W / 59.40333°N 101.57056°W / 59.40333; -101.57056
MouthHudson Bay
 • location
south of Arviat, Nunavut
 • coordinates
60°28′59″N 94°40′0″W / 60.48306°N 94.66667°W / 60.48306; -94.66667Coordinates: 60°28′59″N 94°40′0″W / 60.48306°N 94.66667°W / 60.48306; -94.66667
Basin size64,399.6 km2 (24,864.8 sq mi)
 • average507 cubic metres per second (17,900 cu ft/s)[1]
Basin features
 • leftWindy River
WaterbodiesKasmere Lake, Nueltin Lake, Edehon Lake, Ranger Seal Lake

The Thlewiaza River is a river in Canada. Although some sources define the river as originating out of Nueltin Lake,[2][3] according to the Canadian Geographical Names Database the river begins at Snyder Lake in northwestern Manitoba.[4] From there the river flows northeast through Kasmere Lake into the southwest end of Nueltin Lake. It exits Nueltin Lake at its northern end in Nunavut and flows 275 kilometres (171 mi) east through Edehon Lake and Ranger Seal Lake before emptying into Hudson Bay.[2][3] Its drainage basin covers an area of 64,399.6 square kilometres (24,864.8 sq mi).[5]

The river's name in Chipewyan is Łuazedes (pronounced thlu-assee-des), meaning "little fish river",[6][7] in reference to the plentiful grayling in its waters.[8] It is known to the Inuit as the "big river" and used by them to travel inland where they trap arctic foxes and hunt caribou.[8] A sighting of harbour seals at Edehon Lake has been documented and sightings further upstream at Nueltin Lake have also been reported.[2]

The Thlewiaza was first mapped in 1912 by Ernest Oberholtzer and Billy Magee, an Ojibwe trapper.[9] There are no permanent settlements in the area.[3]


  1. ^ Nilsson, Christer; Reidy, Catherine A.; Dynesius, Mats and Revenga Carmen; ‘Fragmentation and Flow Regulation of the World’s Large River Systems’; in Science; 15 April 2005: Vol. 308 no. 5720 pp. 405–408; DOI: 10.1126/science.1107887
  2. ^ a b c Beck, Brian; Smith, Thomas G.; Mansfield, Arthur W. (1970). "Occurrence of the Harbour Seal, Phoca vitulina, Linnaeus in the Thlewiaza River, N.W.T." The Canadian Field-Naturalist. 84: 297–300.
  3. ^ a b c Arctic Land Use Research Program 1978: A Survey of the Fisheries Resources of the Kazan Upland (southeastern District of MacKenzie, Southern District of Keewatin, NWT) (Report). Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. 1979. p. 8. ISBN 9780662105107.
  4. ^ "Thlewiaza River". Canadian Geographical Names Database. October 6, 2016. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  5. ^ Hoekstra, Aryen Y.; Mekonnen, Mesfin M.; Chapagain, Ashok K.; Mathews, Ruth E.; Richter, Brian D. (2012). "Global Monthly Water Scarcity: Blue Water Footprints versus Blue Water Availability" (PDF). PLOS One. 7 (2): e32688. Bibcode:2012PLoSO...732688H. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0032688. PMC 3290560. PMID 22393438. S2CID 8093356.
  6. ^ Henderson, Bob (2005). Every Trail Has a Story: Heritage Travel in Canada. Natural Heritage/Natural History Inc. p. 65. ISBN 9781554881581.
  7. ^ Chipewyan Dictionary (PDF). South Slave Divisional Education Council. 2012. p. 115. ISBN 978-0-9878616-0-3.
  8. ^ a b Layman, Bill (October 6, 2016). "Nu-thel-tin-tu-eh and the Thlewiaza River: The Land of the Caribou Inuit and The Barren Ground Caribou Dene". Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  9. ^ Carroll, Patrick (2001). "Review: The Oberholtzer Foundation, Toward Magnetic North: The Oberholtzer-Magee 1912 Canoe Journey to Hudson Bay". Manitoba History. 41.
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