Facts & Figures

Located at the confluence of the Mackenzie and Liard Rviers, 375 kms southwest of Yellowknife.

Incorporated as a Village January 1, 1973.

Population - 1269

First Nations Band - Liidlii Kue First Nation
Contact: 867 695-3131

Village of Fort Simpson
Contact: 867 695-2253

Fort Simpson Metis Local 52
Contact: 867 695-2431

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History

Fort Simpson is the oldest continuously occupied trading post on the Mackenzie River.  The post, originally named "Fort of the Forks", was built in 1804 by the Northwest Company and closed in 1812. In 1822 Fort Simpson was built by the Hudson Bay Company. Brigades of sailors that had operated the Hudson Bay York boats up and down the Mackenzie settled thre when the company steamboat "Wrigley" reduced the need for the large numbers of sailors, attributing to the growing population of the settlement.

The St. David Anglican Mission started in 1858 and developed with the construction of a church in 1861. The Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Mission followed in 1894. In 1910, the first Indian agency was opened by Gerald Card. The RCMP established a detachment in 1913 and St. Margaret's Hospital opened in 1916.

An experimental farm reached its height in the 1960's, providing supplies to the community and Mackenzie River barge traffic until it was closed in 1968.

The community suffered a record flood in 1963, forcing the moving of houses to higher ground. In the late 1960's, it became a base for oil exploration activities and an administrative centre for the territorial government.

 

(taken from Community Profile - ITI)