Fort Providence, Northwest Territories Canada

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

Fort Providence, known in Slave as Zhahti Koe or Zhahti Kue, meaning 'mission house', is a charming hamlet nestled in the South Slave Region of the Northwest Territories, Canada. Positioned west of the Great Slave Lake, Fort Providence boasts all-weather road connections via the Yellowknife Highway (Great Slave Highway) branch off the Mackenzie Highway. The Deh Cho Bridge, which opened on November 30, 2012, near Fort Providence over the Mackenzie, replaced the ice bridge and ferry, enabling year-round crossing of the river. Every August, Fort Providence hosts the annual Mackenzie Days celebrations, adding to its vibrant community spirit.

The Historical Journey of Fort Providence, Northwest Territories

Fort Providence was established in the 1860s as a Catholic mission site. By 1868, the Hudson's Bay Company, which previously had a trading post at Big Island at the source of the MacKenzie River, relocated the post to the mission site. From that point forward, the settlement was recognized as Fort Providence. In 1867, the Grey Nuns inaugurated a boarding school and an orphanage in the settlement. The instruction languages were English and French, and most of the nuns hailed from Quebec.

Demographics of Fort Providence, Northwest Territories

According to the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Fort Providence had a population of 618 living in 256 of its 292 total private dwellings. This represented a change of -11.1% from its 2016 population of 695. With a land area of 255.49 km2 (98.65 sq mi), it had a population density of 2.4/km2 (6.3/sq mi) in 2021. In 2016, the majority of its population, 620, were Indigenous people, composed of 590 First Nations, Dene people, and 30 Métis.

First Nations in Fort Providence, Northwest Territories

The Dene community in Fort Providence is represented by the Deh Gáh Got'ı̨ę First Nation, while the Métis are represented by the Fort Providence Métis Nation. Both groups are part of the Dehcho First Nations, contributing to the rich cultural tapestry of the region.

Climate of Fort Providence, Northwest Territories

Fort Providence experiences a continental subarctic climate (Dfc), typical of the Northwest Territories' populated areas. This climate is characterized by a long, cold winter season and short, warm summers, which are surprisingly warmer than expected for an area so far north. Transition seasons are extremely short, with temperatures rising and falling rapidly in their respective seasons.