Originally known as YWCA Yellowknife, the organization was founded in 1966 to provide housing for single working women. Since then the YWCA has offered a variety of services to women, girls, families in Yellowknife and beyond. Housing is still a key component of the YWCA mandate, along with shelter from family violence, afterschool care for children and empowerment programs. In 2017, YWCA Yellowknife became YWCA NWT - a name change reflecting the broader services and reach across the territory.
Its mission is to build safe and equitable communities where women, girls and families can realize their full potential.
YWCA NWT has a volunteer board of directors of up to 10 members. They work with the executive director and she works with the rest of the agency's senior staff. YWCA Yellowknife is one of 33 member organizations that comprise YWCA Canada, the country's oldest and largest women's organization. In turn, YWCA Canada is affiliated with the World YWCA with its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.