- Jun 2020
- Dec 2019
voyages which have been made in the prospect of arriving at the North Pacific Ocean
Both commercial and scientific voyages had been searching for a Northwest passage or open seaway between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. For the Arctic context of the novel, see Adriana Craciun, "Writing the Disaster: Franklin and Frankenstein," Nineteenth-Century Literature 65.4 (2011): 433-80.
- May 2017
Hay River is a town in the Northwest Territories, Canada that was incorporated at a town in 1963. It is located on the south shore of Great Slave Lake, at the mouth of the Hay River. This town is located 201 air kilometers southwest of Yellowknife. The town was permanently settled in 1868 by the Hudson’s Bay Company to establish a trading post with Anglican and Catholic missions. The Catholic church built during the late 1800s in Hay River is still being used today in the Hay River Reserve. The Hay River Reserve is home to about 300 K’atlodeechee First Nation and was created in 1974. Before the arrival of the Hudson’s Bay Company, the area was used by the Slavey Dene people. The town had a population of approximately 3,606 in 2011. Most members of the current Hay River community have ties to the postwar construction of the Mackenzie Highway. Due to its important transportation and communication amenities and abilities, Hay River earned the nickname “the hub of the north.” This town houses the staging point for shipping up the Mackenzie River and the commercial fisheries of Great Slave Lake. The economy of Hay River today relies heavily on private enterprise (The Canadian Encyclopedia, n.d.).
The Canadian Encyclopedia. (n.d.). Hay River. Retrieved from Historica Canada: http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/hay-river/
The Mackenzie Highway is the longest in the Northwest Territories. It begins at the Northwest Territory and Alberta border and ends at Wrigley, Northwest Territory. It is approximately 690 kilometers or 429 miles long. About 280 kilometers are paved while the rest of the highway is covered with gravel (Government of Northwest Territories, n.d.). The construction of this highway was ongoing between the 1940s and 1970s. In 1945, the Canadian federal government and the government of Alberta signed an agreement to build an all-weather road that would replace the existing Caterpillar tractor trails from Grimshaw to the Great Slave Lake of Hay River (Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Center, n.d.). As time passed and focus shifted to fossil fuel collection, the motivation behind further construction of the Mackenzie Highway was in “anticipation of a major oil pipeline development along the Mackenzie River valley” (Pomeroy, 1985). The intended use of the highway was to enable the pipeline developers to haul construction materials throughout the area. During its construction, many chiefs of the Indian Brotherhood opposed the completion of the Mackenzie Highway. There was additional opposition voiced from the people of Wrigley who also did not support further construction of the Mackenzie Highway (Cox, 1975).
Cox, B. (1975). Changing Perceptions of Industrial Development in the North. Human Organization, 27-33.
Government of Northwest Territories. (n.d.). Transportation Highway 1. Retrieved from Government of Northwest Territories: http://www.dot.gov.nt.ca/Highways/Highway_System/NWTHwy1
Pomeroy, J. (1985). An Identification of Environmental Disturbances from Road Developments in Subarctic Muskeg. Arctic, 104-111.
Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Center. (n.d.). Historical Timeline of the Northwest Territories. Retrieved from Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Center: http://www.nwttimeline.ca/1925/1948_MackenzieHighway.htm
Northwest Staging Route
The Northwest Staging Route was an airfield between Alaska and Alberta. The airfield was used for military personal to transfer supplies from Canada to Alaska in World War II (Christie). The string of airfields along the Northwest Staging Route were responsible for great contributions to the North American war effort. The earliest records of the Northwest Staging Route are from a survey by the Canadian Department of Transportation in 1935, but the Northwest Staging Route only consisted of a few airstrips by the 1940s. The Route was not used until right before the attack at Pearl Harbor. After the attack, America greatly increased their work on the Route and prepared the airfields due to fears that the Japanese would attack Alaska. The first few tests of the Northwest Staging Route airfields were unsuccessful and several planes were crashed in the process. The airfields were undeveloped and the pilots untrained. The Canadian government attempted to fix the Staging Route alone, but received pressure from the United States. Canada and the United States worked together on improving the airfields in 1943. Overtime, the Canadian government feared permanent United States presence along the Route. The two governments eventually came to an agreement where Canada would reimburse the United States for any permanent improvements to the airfields. At the conclusion of the war, the United States ceased military action in Canada. Canada then struggled with documentation of aircraft along the Northwest Staging Route, which was resolved after a conference with American air force members in August of 1943.
Reference: Christie, Carl A. "The Northwest Staging Route." Homefront in Alberta - The Northwest Staging Route. Accessed May 03, 2017. http://wayback.archive-it.org/2217/20101208171343/http://www.albertasource.ca/homefront/feature_articles/northwest_staging_route4.html.
- Northwest Territories
- World War II
- Great Slave Lake
- all-weather road
- Hudson's Bay Company
- Northwest Territory
- Indian Brotherhood
- Northwest Staging Route
- Mackenzie River
- Hay River Reserve
- Hay River
- Mackenzie Highway
- Apr 2017
Sir Alexander Mackenzie was a Scottish man famous for his North American expeditions. Mackenzie was a fur trader and explorer, who originally resided at the North West Company trading post. Mackenzie is famous for believing in the existence of the Northwest Passage, an Alaskan canal that would link the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The Northwest Passage would provide opportunities for trade (PBS). In 1789, Mackenzie organized a crew of French-Canadian explorers and Native American interpreters to travel by canoe from Fort Chipewyan in search for the Northwest Passage. This expedition helped to create records of the northern parts of North America in the Arctic, rather than prove the existence of a Northwest Passage. In 1973, Mackenzie led a second voyage from Fort Fork along the Peace River. Mackenzie’s crew crossed the Rocky Mountains to the Fraser River. Mackenzie relied on Native Americans for support and guidance throughout his travels. Shuswap Indians warned the crew of the dangers of the river, causing Mackenzie’s crew to take a shorter route overland (CBC). Mackenzie’s party eventually reached the Pacific Ocean and encountered the Bella Coola Indians, who were upset about the presence of Mackenzie’s crew. Despite the concern of an attack from the Bella Coola Indians, Mackenzie became the first European to cross the North American continent north of Mexico on land. Lewis and Clark did not reach the coast until 1805(PBS). King George III knighted Alexander Mackenzie in 1802 for his efforts and success in traversing the North American continent.
"Alexander Mackenzie-From Canada, by Land." CBCnews. Accessed April 09, 2017. http://www.cbc.ca/history/EPCONTENTSE1EP6CH3PA4LE.html.
"Empire of the Bay: Alexander Mackenzie." PBS. Accessed April 09, 2017. http://www.pbs.org/empireofthebay/profiles/mackenzie.html.
Fort Chipewyan is located on the northwest shore of Lake Athabasca. Fort Chipewyan was founded in 1788 by the Northwest Trading Company and is the oldest settlement in Alberta (Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo). The North West Company and Hudson Bay companies established the first fur trading post at Fort Chipewyan because of its proximity to three rivers (Alberta Museum Association). These rivers provided easy opportunity for trade. Today, Fort Chipewyan has 1,261 residents made up of Mikisew Cree First Nation, Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, and Metis ethnic groups. Trapping and fishing are popular resident activities, which continue Fort Chipewyan’s longstanding tradition that was established by the original trading post. Lake Chipewyan is a tourist destination that gives opportunity for visitors to enjoy the outdoors and visit a professional sized synthetic ice rink (Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo). Fort Chipewyan is isolated by water and can only be reached by visitors in a plane or boat during the summer months. In the winter, an ice road can be used to access Fort Chipewyan. In 2009, a recreation center was created with an ice rink, fitness center, youth center, playground, and office space, which led to increased community involvement (Fort Chipewyan Aquatic Centre). In 2016, an aquatic center, including pools and a water park, was opened for community use. Since it’s original establishment, Fort Chipewyan has created community development and fostered tradition.
"Fort Chipewyan." Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. Accessed April 06, 2017. http://www.rmwb.ca/living/Communities/Fort-Chipewyan.htm.
"Fort Chipewyan Aquatic Centre." Fort Chipewyan Aquatic Centre | Regional Recreation Corporation of Wood Buffalo. Accessed April 06, 2017. http://www.rrcwb.ca/fort-chip-aquatic.
"Fort Chipewyan Bicentennial Museum." Alberta Museum Association - Museums. Accessed April 06, 2017. http://public.museums.ab.ca/museums.cfm?ItemID=46
- Mar 2017
Berger refers to wanting to obtain the views regarding the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline, from the native people of the Western Arctic and the Mackenzie Valley. This area was called the western arctic when this inquiry was written and now it is more often referred to as the Northwest territories. The Western Arctic, or North West territories, contain parts of Canada such as the Beaufort Sea, Yellowkinfe, Fort Simpson, Fort Goodhope, Norman Wells, Deline, Inuvik, and many more. Berger when speaking of the Western Arctic was referring to the northwest territories in Canada, but there is also the Western Arctic in Alaska. The Canadian Western Arctic is home to the Mackenzie River, which is the second largest river in all of north America. In the decade after 1960, oil companies spent 25 million dollars on the development of wells. As of 2013, the Legacy Well Strategic Plan, made a plan to clean up some of the abandoned oil wells that are no longer in use in the Western Arctic. While Berger’s inquiry was about the threats the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline would have on the Western Arctic, there are still other threats happening in the Western Arctic. Some of the current threats to the Northwest Territories are the oil and gasses immediate threat to wildlife and the extremely fragile ecosystem in the Arctic. Another huge threat to the Western Arctic is climate change. The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world and this is a problem for the fragile Arctic ecosystem. So while the Mackenzie Valley pipeline was never built, the common threats that people were scared of are still occurring. "BLM to clean up old oil wells in western Arctic." BLM to clean up old oil wells in western Arctic. September 26, 2013. Accessed March 08, 2017. http://wilderness.org/blog/blm-clean-old-oil-wells-western-arctic.
"Oil and Gas." Western Arctic. 2016. Accessed March 08, 2017. http://www.westernarctic.org/story-of-the-western-arctic/threats/
Knut Lang (1896-1964) was a Scandinavian man who settled in the Mackenzie Delta from the 1936-1964. He operated a trading post that serviced fur trappers (mostly muskrat), both Inuit and non-Inuit. He was well liked and known for his generosity, eventually becoming elected to the territorial council of the northwest territories from 1957-1964 (Gwich'in Social & Cultural Institute).
Knut is recognized as suggesting the name Inuvik for the town on the eastern edge of the delta. Inuvik later became administrative center of the region (Gwich'in Social & Cultural Institute) . In the 1950's and 1960's the Canadian government began to entertain the idea of indigenous government (Assembly.gov.nt.ca) . Knut saw the most direct path towards self governance of the northwest territory lay by dividing the northwest territory into an Inuit dominated eastern Arctic and western Arctic comprised of Inuvialuit, Métis, and Dene. This culminated in the creation of the nunavut territory in 1999 (Assembly.gov.nt.ca).
- Gwich'in Social & Cultural Institute,. Nomination Form For Territorial Historic Sites:Knut Lang's Place. Fort McPherson, NWT: Gwich'in Social & Cultural Institute, 2007. Web. 7 Mar. 2017. (http://gwichin.ca/sites/default/files/gsci_benson_2007_nomination_form_knut_langs_place.pdf )
2."Creation Of A New Northwest Territories". Assembly.gov.nt.ca. N.p., 2014. Web. 7 Mar. 2017. (http://www.assembly.gov.nt.ca/visitors/creation-new-nwt )
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