Mackenzie Valley Region Research Paper

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Mackenzie Valley Region

The River Mackenzie measures up to around one thousand, one hundred and twenty miles that is equivalent to almost eighteen hundred kilometers of length. It originates from Canada, more specifically the Great Slave Lake in Northwest Territories. It passes through a delta, which is at the northwest of the Arctic Ocean. It is called the Slave River when it glows between the Lake Athabasca and the Great Slave Lake (Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 2010).

The river system known as the Final Peace along with the Lake Athabasca connects with the Mackenzie. The "Finlay Peace Mackenzie system" which is the second biggest uninterrupted flow of river in North America measures up to four thousand and two hundred kilometers long. The biggest tributary directly meeting the Mackenzie is the Liard River. Navigation is possible all the way from the Great Slave Lake to the Arctic Ocean only between the months of June and October (Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 2010).

There exist rapids of around twenty three km between the Lake Athabasca and the Great Slave Lake that need to be portaged. There are navigable waters of more than four hundred miles beyond the rapids. Between the Arctic, Fort Nelson and British Columbia, transportation is facilitated by the Liard River. One of the important routes for shipping is found between the Arctic, Edmonton and the Alta. This is also accompanied by the "Athabasca-Mackenzie" system (Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 2010).

The Mackenzie basicly has a number of lakes that are helpful in controlling floods by serving to act as reservoirs. The Canadian Shield and the Rocky Mountain flanks the basis which encompasses the northern area of the "Great Plains" in North America. Dense forests are found in the Mackenzie valley and the soil of the area is suitable for cultivation when climate conditions allow (Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 2010).

In the early years of the nineteenth century, several posts were developed alongside Mackenzie to carry out business and trade which mainly revolved around fur trapping. Fur trapping continues to be a major trade to this date. Aklavik, Fort Simpson and Fort Providence were the important and major trading posts. The area was considered to be realm of fur traders until huge fields of oil and other natural resources were explored in the 1930s. One of the major oil producing cities included Norman Wells (Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 2010).

In the delta part of Mackenzie, huge fields of gas were also found in the early part of 1970s. The Mackenzie Valley Pipeline project was decided to be constructed from Alberta to the Arctic Ocean but due to the possibility of the occurrence of severe environmental, political and law related issues, the project was sidelined by the federal royal commission in 1977 (Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 2010).


During the time period of 60 million years BCE, the Valley of Mackenzie was surrounded by tropical seas, giving way to the formation of petroleum deposits (Canadian Dimension, 2004).

Between the periods of 100,000 to 10,000 years BCE: Laurentide Ice Sheet was discovered to have covered the Mackenzie Valley. As per the Dene formation narration, the landscape was reformed by the giant Yamoria, who also killed the wild Pleistocene creatures and brought stability and law to the community (Canadian Dimension, 2004).

During the time period of 9000 years BCE: At the Fishermane Lake, present in the NWT the most ancient archaeological proof of aboriginal living was established (Canadian Dimension, 2004).

During the year 1789: On his way to the Pacific Ocean, Akxander Mackenzie was lost near the area of the River of Disappointment. He observed seeps of oil close to the Norman Wells while he decided to paddle to the Arctic Ocean (Canadian Dimension, 2004).

The trade of fur and the missionary era was at its peak in the 19th century, under the "benign neglect" policy of the federal authorities (Canadian Dimension, 2004).

During the 1920s, oil was explored by Imperial Oil in the Norman Wells which resulted in the increase of government's consideration to lawfully acquire the resources of petroleum found in the Mackenzie Valley (Canadian Dimension, 2004).

During 1921, Treaty 11 was agreed upon with the Dene of the Mackenzie Valley suggesting to eliminate the aboriginal title in return for an annuity of around five dollars per individual and for a family consisting of five members, one square mile reserves. The federal authorities do not form any reserves as a measure to save costs as no agriculture agreement is expected (Canadian Dimension, 2004).

In the years between 1942 and 1944, the pipeline of Canol was constructed by the "Bechtel Corp. And the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers" from the area of Norman Wells up to the point of Whitehorse so that the Japanese danger to Alaska could be countered. It was sidelined after it had been functioning for over a year (Canadian Dimension, 2004).

Between the years of 1969 and 1973, the Mackenzie Delta region became one of the places where natural gas was found. The most initial NWT Natural gas pipeline was constructed from the area of the Pointed Mountain, found near the Fort Liard up to the point of West Coast system in British Columbia (Canadian Dimension, 2004).

During 1970, the Dene Nation (or Indian Brotherhood of the NWT as it was earlier called) was formed (Canadian Dimension, 2004).

During the year 1973: The historical documents depict that the Dene was orally confident that the Treaties 11 and 8 did not revolve around the dissemination of any kind of land and only entailed the application of peaceful and friendly sentiments. Justice Morrow is of the opinion that there is room of doubt about whether these treaties were the ones that helped eliminate the aboriginal title (Canadian Dimension, 2004).

During the years between 1974 and 1977, the Inquire in the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline carried out by Justice Berger advised a moratorium of ten years on the construction of pipeline (Canadian Dimension, 2004).

During 1984, the land claim of Inuvialuit was settled letting go of the Aboriginal title in return for over a hundred and fifty million dollars in cash and the ownership and co-management of the traditional lands of up to twenty one percent (Canadian Dimension, 2004).

During 1986, the pipeline that continued from Norman Wells up to Alberta was established (Canadian Dimension, 2004).

During the years between 1986 and 1989, the Beaufort Sea and Mackenzie Delta discovery occurred that was financed by the Petroleum Incentives Program of the federal Republic (Canadian Dimension, 2004).

In the 1990s, Dene Nation decided not to accept the Dene Metis Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement in Principal that applied to the entire Mackenzie Valley as it did not approve of the federal decision to eliminate Aboriginal title (Canadian Dimension, 2004).

In the year 1992, Gwich'in Dene-Metis eliminated the aboriginal title and settle claims of the regional land in return for over seventy five million dollars cash and around twenty nine percent ownership and co-management of the traditional lands (Canadian Dimension, 2004).

In the year 1993, Sahtu Dene Metis eliminated the aboriginal title and decided to settle claims of the regional land in return for over seventy five million dollars of cash and of around fifteen percent of ownership and co-management of the traditional lands. The "Kakisa Declaration" was passed by the Dehcho First Nations that rejected the land claims policy of the federal authorities (Canadian Dimension, 2004).

In the year 1994, the Sahtu and the Gwich'in lands were allowed to be used for exploring petroleum resources. Petroleum exploration also began in Fort Liard that went against the moratorium of the 7 Deh Cho First Nations (Canadian Dimension, 2004).

In the year of 1999, Chevron established one of the biggest gas explorations near Fort Liard in North America at K -29 and connected it with the pipeline system of Pointed Mountain / West Coast. Ikhil pipeline was constructed by Inuvialuit Regional Corporation to provide gas to the Inuvik town (Canadian Dimension, 2004).

In 1999, negotiations were commenced by the Deh Cho First Nations that premised on self-government and connected land jurisdictions as a substitute to the decision of the elimination of aboriginal title (Canadian Dimension, 2004).

During 2000, ArctiGas along with BP Consortium and MGP presented three proposals for rival northern pipeline projects (Canadian Dimension, 2004).

In 2001, the Memorandum of Understanding with signed with MGP by the Aboriginal Pipeline Group (Canadian Dimension, 2004).

In the years between 2001 and 2003, the Interim Measures Agreement was signed by the Deh Cho First Nations who also took out around fifty percent of their territory and labeled them as conservation fields (Canadian Dimension, 2004).

During 2003, the Preliminary Information Package was submitted to regulators by MGP (Canadian Dimension, 2004).

During August 2004, the Joint Review Panel Agreement was signed between the federal Minister of the Environment, the Inuvialuit Game Council and the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board. Legal action was started by Deh Cho First Nations that opposed the Joint Review Panel Agreement (Canadian Dimension, 2004).

During October, 2004 Environmental Impact Statement was submitted by…

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