Fort Simpson, NWT, incorporated as a village in 1973, population 1238 (2011c), 1216 (2006c). The Hamlet of Fort Simpson is located on an island at the confluence of the MACKENZIE
rivers, 378 air km southwest of Yellowknife. The original fort, called Fort of the Forks, was built by the NORTH WEST CO
in 1804; in 1821 it was named after HUDSON'S BAY CO
governor Sir George SIMPSON
. The oldest continuously occupied trading post on the Mackenzie, the community in the late 1960s became a base for oil exploration and a NWT government administration centre. It was the terminus of the MACKENZIE HIGHWAY until 1994 when the highway was extended to Wrigley.
The mixed native-white population is now employed in government, the transportation industry or traditional hunting and trapping activities. The headquarters for NAHANNI NATIONAL PARK is also located in the village.
Pope John Paul II visited here 20 September 1987, 3 years after his first Canadian visit.
Simpson, Sir George
An able administrator and indefatigable traveller, Simpson was imperious when it suited his purposes (courtesy Notman Photographic Archives/McCord Museum).
Fort Simpson, Aerial View
Aerial view of Fort Simpson, NWT (photo by T.K. Tomlinson).
Links to Other Sites
Deh Cho Travel Connection
An extensive online guide to the Deh Cho Travel Connection, a remarkable journey through Canada’s north that traverses the Mackenzie, Liard, and Alaska Highways. Click on the links for more information about the history of the route, interactive maps, and details about local communities, parks, and wildlife. From the website for Industry, Tourism and Investment, Government of the Northwest Territories.
The Mackenzie Gas Project
The website for the Mackenzie Gas Project, a proposed 1,196-kilometre natural gas pipeline system along the Mackenzie Valley in the Northwest Territories which will connect northern onshore gas fields with North American markets. Click on the interactive map to view the pipeline's route.