- Mar 2017
Fort McPherson is also known as “Tetl’it Zheh” in Gwich’in or “Town at the Head Waters”. It was established in 1849. The actual site of Fort McPherson now wasn’t the place where the original trading post actual was. This was four miles North up the lower Peel River, where John Bell, Hudson’s Bay Company explorer first arrived. This “Peel River” that connects to the McKenzie Delta, is named after Robert Peel, who first explored the area in the 1826 Franklin Expedition. The post is formally named after Murdoch McPherson, who was the “Chief Factor” for the Hudson’s Bay Company. Fort McPherson sits on a bluff and has quite the view of the Richardson Mountains. Anglican missionaries arrived to the area in 1866. This was a period that started the strong connection between the Native Gwich’in people and Christianity. Archdeacon Robert McDonald started this connection by translating the Bible into the local language. Since 1900 a school has existed in the area, first started by missionaries. The area began to be policed in 1903 when the Northwest Mounted Police arrived. Now, Gwich’in and settlers live in the same community in Fort McPherson. The population of the community is below 1000, at about 900, most of which have Gwich’in ancestry. Attached below is a picture of the area.
Fort McPherson Hamlet. “Fort McPherson- A Brief History.” Last modified 2010. http://www.fortmcpherson.ca/AboutUs http://static.panoramio.com/photos/large/28224426.jpg