Fort McPherson, Northwest Territories Canada

Discover Fort McPherson, Northwest Territories: A Blend of History and Culture

Fort McPherson, known in Gwich'in as Teetł'it Zheh, is a charming hamlet nestled in the Inuvik Region of the Northwest Territories, Canada. Situated on the east bank of the Peel River, it is a mere 121 km south of Inuvik on the Dempster Highway. The majority of the population is made up of the Gwich'in (Teetł'it Gwich'in) First Nations people, with Gwichʼin and English being the two principal languages spoken.

The Rich History of Fort McPherson, Northwest Territories

Originally a Hudson's Bay Company post, the community was named after Murdoch McPherson. Fort McPherson is also known as the starting point of Francis Joseph Fitzgerald's tragic journey of "The Lost Patrol". All four men on the Patrol, including Fitzgerald, were buried at Fort McPherson on 28 March 1911. In 1938, their graves were cemented over into one large tomb, with a memorial in the centre dedicated to the Royal Northwest Mounted Police Patrol of 1910.

Fort McPherson, Northwest Territories: A National Historic Site

In 1969, the community of Fort McPherson, as mapped in 1898, was designated a National Historic Site of Canada. This recognition was due to the site's role as the principal Hudson's Bay Company trading post in the MacKenzie Delta region for over 50 years, and as the first North-West Mounted Police post in the Western Arctic.

Transportation in Fort McPherson, Northwest Territories

Fort McPherson is accessible by road all year from Dawson City and Whitehorse, Yukon, except during the spring break-up and fall freeze-up on the Peel River. The community also has access to Inuvik via the Dempster Highway and crosses the Mackenzie River at Tsiigehtchic. Fort McPherson also boasts a small airport, Fort McPherson Airport, that offers seasonal flights to Inuvik (Mike Zubko) Airport on Aklak Air when the road across the Peel is closed.

Demographics of Fort McPherson, Northwest Territories

According to the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Fort McPherson had a population of 647 living in 255 of its 318 total private dwellings, a decrease of 7.6% from its 2016 population of 700. With a land area of 53.83 km2, it had a population density of 12.0/km2 in 2021. In the 2016 Census, 695 people identified as Indigenous, 610 as First Nations, 15 as Métis, 20 as Inuit or Inuvialuit, 10 giving multiple or other aboriginal responses and 40 non-Aboriginal.

Climate of Fort McPherson, Northwest Territories

Fort McPherson experiences a subarctic climate (Köppen climate classification Dfc). The highest temperature ever recorded in Fort McPherson was 33.3 °C (91.9 °F) on 7 August 1919 and 20 July 2001. The coldest temperature ever recorded was −55.6 °C (−68.1 °F) on 14 January 1894.