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Virtual Museum of Canada The Making of Treaty #8 in Canada's Northwest
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The Peoples, Their Places

Northwind Dreaming

Metis family, Fort Chipewyan, 1899, during Treaty #8 expedition Fort Chipewyan is the oldest, permanently occupied community in Alberta, and one of the oldest in Western Canada. Approximately 1,500 people live there today, many of them the direct descendants of the Indians and Europeans who jointly constituted a new social formation with the coming of the fur trade two centuries ago. They are Chipewyan and Cree Indians, French and Scots Métis, and a scattering of non-Natives. The building of the post and local development of the fur trade in the heart of the Athabasca country went hand-in-hand with the generation of the new social community that historically comprised Fort Chipewyan.

Fort Chipewyan, fall 1977.In 1988, to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Fort Chipewyan, Dr. Patricia A. McCormack assembled an exhibit for the Provincial Museum of Alberta entitled NorthWind Dreaming. Her extensive research into the history of the town took her as far as the Orkney Islands off Scotland and into the homes of descendants of fur trade employees who still reside in Fort Chipewyan today. The exhibit was a great success and was accompanied by a commemorative publication by the same name, some of which we are delighted to share with you here.

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Heritage Trails: Naming Fort Chipewyan
Summary: Historian Merrily Aubrey relates the history of this community - and where its name came from!
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