Discovery of the Mackenzie River National Historic Event

Fort Providence, Northwest Territories
Discovery of the Mackenzie River (© Google Earth, 2017.)
Discovery of the Mackenzie River
(© Google Earth, 2017.)
Address : Fort Providence, Northwest Territories

Recognition Statute: Historic Sites and Monuments Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. H-4)
Designation Date: 1969-10-23

Other Name(s):
  • Discovery of the Mackenzie River  (Designation Name)

Importance: River discovered in 1789 by Alexander Mackenzie, followed it to the Arctic Ocean


Original plaque dismantled / removed / replaced: formerly near the Mission on the MacKenzie River near Fort Providence Fort Providence, Northwest Territories

On June 29, 1789, Alexander Mackenzie of the North West Company with voyageurs and Chipewyans entered the river about 45 miles above this point, seeking a route to the Pacific. Two weeks later he reached the Arctic Ocean. Mackenzie was the first European to travel on the river and the first to descend its entire length to the sea. Although disappointed in his original intention, he had discovered and given his name to one of the world's great rivers.