Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Fort Good Hope, Northwest Territories

Photo: Courtesy of Spectacular Northwest Territories.

Our Lady of Good Hope Church, with its beautiful frescoes, is a National Heritage site. It was built after 1865, and the murals were begun while Father Emile Petitot was in charge of the church.

This early trading post of the Northwest Company is located near the rapids of the great Mackenzie River at the same latitude as Great Bear Lake. According to the Legislative Assembly website, the traditional name, Radili Ko, means "place of the rapids." The government reports a 2010 population of only 567 people.

In 1805, this first trading post on the Lower Mackenzie was established by the Northwest Company (est. 1783 as a rival to the Hudson Bay Company). After a couple of moves, the present settlement was established in 1839.

Early trade involved various aboriginal groups: the Hare, Mountain Dene, Inuvialuit and Sahtuotine.

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