- May 2017
Fort Simpson was originally established by the Hudson’s Bay Company at a location on the north shore of the Nass River estuary. In the summer of 1834, the Hudson’s Bay Company moved its fort to a site on the Tsimshian peninsula at McLoughlin Bay, which is now called Port Simpson, British Columbia (Patterson 1994). In 1858 and 1894, Roman Catholic missionaries reached Fort Simpson and permanently resided there. The Roman Catholic Mission provided many resources for the community, such as St. Margaret’s Hospital built in 1916 and a school in St. Margaret’s Hall built in 1917. St. Margaret’s Hall was replaced by the Federal Day School in 1974 and was run by the Federal Government. Fort Simpson is still inhabited today and is a quite popular tourist destination. It is the only village in the Northwest Territories with a population of approximately 1,250. Some people of Fort Simpson still identify as Dene. Fort Simpson is accessible via airplane or highway. The Liard Trail Highway leads to Fort Simpson from British Columbia and the Mackenzie Highway reaches Fort Simpson from Alberta. Since both of these highways pass through expanses of nature, it is possible to see black bear, moose, woodland caribou, lynx, wolves, and bison alongside the highways (Fort Simpson Chamber of Commerce n.d.).
Fort Simpson Chamber of Commerce. n.d. Fort Simpson Nortwest Territories Canada. Accessed May 8, 2017. http://www.fortsimpson.com.
Patterson, E. Palmer. 1994. ""The Indians Stationary Here": Continuity and Change in the Origins of the Fort Simpson Tsimshian." Anthropologica 181-203.