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We love our community and would love to share our rich history and traditions with you. Let us help plan your trip. For over 200 years, this region has attracted adventurers and explorers of all types and we hope you’ll join them in discovering all that our spectacular Fort Chipewyan community has to offer.
Fort Chipewyan, commonly referred to as Fort Chip, is a hamlet in Northern Alberta within the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. It is nestled on the western tip of Lake Athabasca, adjacent to Wood Buffalo National Park and approximately 220 kms north of Fort McMurray. Fort Chipewyan is Alberta’s oldest continually occupied settlement, first established as a trading post in 1788. This remote community can only be accessed by plane or boat in the summer and by a winter road in the winter.
Fort Chip is one of the oldest European settlements in all of Alberta; established as a trading post in 1788 by the Northwest Trading Company and named after the Chipewyan people living there. More than 200 years later, the community continues to reflect the same time-honored traditions, authentic and natural way of life, and love for the land and water.
Fort Chip is a designated UNESCO Heritage Site and gateway to the Wood Buffalo National Park, which is home to the largest free roaming herd of buffalo in the world and more than 200 species of migratory birds.
Fort Chip has a subarctic climate with long cold winters and short wet summers. The coldest day on record? -Minus 51 degrees Celcius.
Fort Chip has no all-weather roads. It is reachable spring to fall by boat or air and by ice road in winter.
Lake Athabasca is commercially fished for whitefish and lake trout.
Lake Athabasca is one of western Canada’s largest lakes, eighth largest to be exact; it covers an area of over 7,900 sq km and has a maximum depth of 407 ft.
Lake Athabasca is fed by the Peace and Athabasca rivers; known as the Peace-Athabasca Delta which is the largest freshwater inland river delta in all of North America.
The lake’s name, Athabasca, comes from the Cree word for lake, athapiscow.
Lake Athabasca is a part of a diverse wetland area; an important migration point and nesting area for many birds, including the whooping crane and whistling swan.