Fort Chipewyan

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Fort Chipewyan
Hamlet
Aerial view of Fort Chipewyan
Aerial view of Fort Chipewyan
Fort Chipewyan is located in Alberta
Fort Chipewyan
Fort Chipewyan
Location of Fort Chipewyan in Alberta
Coordinates: 58°42′52″N 111°09′30″W / 58.7144°N 111.1583°W / 58.7144; -111.1583
Country  Canada
Province  Alberta
Region Northern Alberta
Census division 16
Specialized municipality RM of Wood Buffalo
Settled 1788[1]
Government
 • Type Unincorporated
 • Mayor Melissa Blake
 • Governing body
Area (2011)[2]
 • Total 10.23 km2 (3.95 sq mi)
Elevation[3] 221 m (725 ft)
Population (2011)[2]
 • Total 847
Time zone MST (UTC−7)
 • Summer (DST) MDT (UTC−6)
Postal code T9K
Area code(s) +1-780

Fort Chipewyan /ˈɪp(ə)wən/, commonly referred to as Fort Chip, is a hamlet in northern Alberta, Canada, within the Regional Municipality (RM) of Wood Buffalo.[4] It is located on the western tip of Lake Athabasca, adjacent to Wood Buffalo National Park, approximately 223 kilometres (139 mi) north of Fort McMurray.

History[edit]

Fort Chipewyan 1900 and SS Grahame
Fort Chipewyan HBC post in 1900
Fort Chipewyan HBC warehouse 1890s with $35,000 worth of furs

Fort Chipewyan is one of the oldest European settlements in the Province of Alberta. It was established as a trading post by Peter Pond of the North West Company in 1788.[1] The fort was named after the Chipewyan people living in the area.

One of the establishers of the fort, Roderick Mackenzie of Terrebonne, always had a taste for literature, as was seen years later when he opened correspondence with traders all over the north and west, asking for descriptions of scenery, adventure, folklore and history. He also had in view the founding of a library at the fort, which would not be only for the immediate residents of Fort Chipewyan, but for traders and clerks of the whole region tributary to Lake Athabasca, so that it would be what he called, in an imaginative and somewhat jocular vein, "the little Athens of the Arctic regions." This library became, perhaps, the most famous in the whole extent of Rupert's Land.[5][6][7]

From about 1815 to 1821 the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) maintained a competing Fort Wedderburn (named after Andrew Colvile's family) on Coal Island a mile and a half from the North West Company's fort.[8]

Demographics[edit]

The population of Fort Chipewyan in 2012 was 1,008 according to a municipal census conducted by the R.M of Wood Buffalo.[9]

As a designated place in the 2011 Census, Fort Chipewyan had a population of 847 living in 302 of its 358 total dwellings, a 12% change from its 2006 population of 756. With a land area of 10.23 km2 (3.95 sq mi), it had a population density of 82.80/km2 (214.44/sq mi) in 2011.[2]

The hamlet had a population of 902 living on a land area of 10.24 square kilometres (3.95 sq mi) at the 2001 census.[10]

The hamlet's population is predominantly made up of Cree First Nations, Chipewyan (Dene) First Nations, and Metis people.

Transportation[edit]

Air[edit]

The hamlet is served by the Fort Chipewyan Airport. Air is one of two methods of access to Fort Chipewyan in the summer.[11]

Water[edit]

In the summer, the hamlet also can be accessed by boat[11] from Fort McMurray via the Athabasca River.

Road[edit]

There are no all-weather roads to Fort Chipewyan, but it can be reached via winter roads in the winter.[11] These include roads from Fort Smith to the north and from Fort McMurray to the south. Although the Alberta government has previously conducted studies on all-weather road access, no action has been taken.[citation needed] In December 2005, one-third of Fort Chipewyan's residents signed a petition to request the government to build a 50 km (31 mi) all-weather road to connect with existing roads to the northwest that provide access to Fort Smith, Northwest Territories.[citation needed] The major expenditure would be a bridge over the Slave River.

Climate[edit]

Fort Chipewyan has a subarctic climate (Köppen Dfc) with long, very cold, dry winters and short, warm, wetter summers..

Climate data for Fort Chipewyan, Alberta
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 10.5
(50.9)
11.0
(51.8)
14.5
(58.1)
27.1
(80.8)
32.3
(90.1)
34.7
(94.5)
34.0
(93.2)
34.1
(93.4)
29.0
(84.2)
26.5
(79.7)
17.0
(62.6)
8.8
(47.8)
34.7
(94.5)
Average high °C (°F) −16.5
(2.3)
−12.5
(9.5)
−4.6
(23.7)
5.5
(41.9)
13.8
(56.8)
20.4
(68.7)
23.0
(73.4)
20.9
(69.6)
14.0
(57.2)
4.8
(40.6)
−6.7
(19.9)
−13.2
(8.2)
4.1
(39.4)
Daily mean °C (°F) −21.9
(−7.4)
−18.4
(−1.1)
−11.3
(11.7)
−0.6
(30.9)
7.7
(45.9)
14.1
(57.4)
17.0
(62.6)
14.9
(58.8)
8.7
(47.7)
0.6
(33.1)
−11.1
(12)
−18.2
(−0.8)
−1.5
(29.3)
Average low °C (°F) −27.1
(−16.8)
−24.3
(−11.7)
−18.0
(−0.4)
−6.6
(20.1)
1.5
(34.7)
7.8
(46)
11.0
(51.8)
8.9
(48)
3.4
(38.1)
−3.6
(25.5)
−15.4
(4.3)
−23.2
(−9.8)
−7.1
(19.2)
Record low °C (°F) −50.0
(−58)
−46.8
(−52.2)
−43.8
(−46.8)
−34.1
(−29.4)
−21.8
(−7.2)
−7.0
(19.4)
−0.9
(30.4)
−4.2
(24.4)
−12.2
(10)
−30.0
(−22)
−39.8
(−39.6)
−47.8
(−54)
−50.0
(−58)
Precipitation mm (inches) 14.9
(0.587)
14.1
(0.555)
15.8
(0.622)
16.0
(0.63)
27.2
(1.071)
44.4
(1.748)
67.4
(2.654)
50.2
(1.976)
44.0
(1.732)
28.8
(1.134)
24.5
(0.965)
18.4
(0.724)
365.7
(14.398)
Rainfall mm (inches) 0.3
(0.012)
0.1
(0.004)
0.2
(0.008)
6.2
(0.244)
24.5
(0.965)
44.4
(1.748)
67.4
(2.654)
50.2
(1.976)
43.2
(1.701)
13.3
(0.524)
0.4
(0.016)
0.2
(0.008)
250.4
(9.858)
Snowfall cm (inches) 14.8
(5.83)
14.4
(5.67)
15.7
(6.18)
9.8
(3.86)
2.7
(1.06)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.7
(0.28)
15.5
(6.1)
24.7
(9.72)
18.5
(7.28)
116.9
(46.02)
Source: Environment Canada[12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Athabasca Tribal Council – Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation
  2. ^ a b c "Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, provinces and territories, and designated places, 2011 and 2006 censuses (Alberta)". Statistics Canada. 2012-02-08. Retrieved 2012-04-07. 
  3. ^ "Alberta Private Sewage Systems 2009 Standard of Practice Handbook: Appendix A.3 Alberta Design Data (A.3.A. Alberta Climate Design Data by Town)" (PDF). Safety Codes Council. January 2012. pp. 212–215 (PDF pages 226–229). Retrieved October 8, 2013. 
  4. ^ Alberta Municipal Affairs (2010-04-01). "Specialized and Rural Municipalities and Their Communities". Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  5. ^ The Rev George Boyce, MacKenzie – Selkirk – Simpson – The Makers of Canada [1]
  6. ^ http://www.electricscotland.com/history/canada/makers/mackenzie3.htm
  7. ^ Campbell, Wilfred; Bryce, George, "The Scotsman in Canada", Toronto, Musson Book Co.,1911 [2]
  8. ^ James Raffan, "Emperor of the North :Sir George Simpson and the Remarkable History of the Hudson's Bay Company", 2007, pages 108-119,
  9. ^ "Municipal Census 2012: Count Yourself In!". Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. p. 24. Retrieved January 26, 2013. 
  10. ^ Statistics Canada (Census 2001). "Wood Buffalo Regional Municipality - Population counts". 
  11. ^ a b c "Fort Chipewyan". Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. Retrieved 2011-09-28. 
  12. ^ "Fort Chipewyan, Alberta". Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010 (in English & French). Environment Canada. Retrieved March 28, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 58°42′52″N 111°09′30″W / 58.71444°N 111.15833°W / 58.71444; -111.15833 (Fort Chipewyan)