Churchill River (Atlantic)

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Churchill River (Grand River, Mishtashipu)
Churchill river newfoundland and churchill falls.PNG
Churchill River and waterfalls, Labrador
Origin Smallwood Reservoir, Labrador
Mouth Atlantic Ocean
Basin countries Canada
Length 856 km (532 mi)
Source elevation 1,550 m (5,085 ft)
Avg. discharge 1,620 m3/s (57,210 cu ft/s)
Basin area 79,800 km2 (30,800 sq mi)

The Churchill River is a river in Newfoundland and Labrador which flows east from the Smallwood Reservoir in Labrador into the Atlantic Ocean via Lake Melville. The river is 856 km (532 mi) long and drains an area of 79,800 km2 (30,800 sq mi); it is the longest river in the province.

This river is still known locally as Mishtashipu by the Innu, and the Grand River by the people of NunatuKavut, the people of Nunatsiavut, and Settlers who identify as Labradorians.

1821, Captain William Martin, in command of HM brig Clinker, took it upon himself to name it Hamilton River after Sir Charles Hamilton, who was Governor of Newfoundland from 1818 to 1825. In 1965, it was renamed, without consultation, by Premier Joey Smallwood, to honour former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Sir Winston Churchill on February 1, 1965 though never officially recognized by the people of the Labrador territories.


Hydroelectric projects[edit]

Churchill Falls is the site of a major hydroelectric project, which has a rated capacity of 5,428 MW. Other hydroelectric plants on the river are planned bringing the total to over 9,200 MW. The Churchill Falls development has become a source of friction between two Canadian provinces. The province of Newfoundland and Labrador believes that Hydro-Québec, which provided a major part of the financing and access to the North American power grid, has taken a disproportionate share of the profits from this development. Hydro-Québec buys power from the Churchill Falls project at rates established in 1969.

Further reading[edit]

A.P. Low and party on a hauling picnic up Lake Winokapau, Hamilton River (now the Churchill River), Labrador, 1894.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°20′58″N 60°10′39″W / 53.34944°N 60.17750°W / 53.34944; -60.17750