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About Fort Chipewyan



Fort Chipewyan, commonly referred to as Fort Chip, is a hamlet in northern Alberta, Canada within the Regional Municipality (R.M.) of Wood Buffalo. 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.

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. The Fort was named after the Chipewyan First Nation living in the area. One of the establishers of the Fort, Roderick McKenzie, 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. From about 1815 to 1821 the Hudson's Bay Company maintained a competing Fort Wedderburn on Coal Island a mile and a half from the North West Company's fort