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This article is about the river. For the town in Alberta see Peace River, Albertamarker. For other uses see Peace River


The Peace River (French: rivière de la Paix) is a river in Canadamarker that originates in the Rocky Mountains of northern British Columbiamarker and flows through northern Albertamarker.

History

The regions along the river are the traditional home of the Dunne-za or Beaver people. The fur trader Peter Pond is believed to have visited the river in 1785. In 1788 Charles Boyer of the North West Company established a fur trading post at the river's junction with the Boyer River.

In 1792 and 1793, the explorer Alexander Mackenzie travelled up the river to the Continental Divide. Mackenzie referred to the river as "Unjegah", from a native word meaning "large river". The Peace River, or Unchaga or Unjaja, was named after Peace Point near Lake Athabascamarker, where the Treaty of the Peace came authorized with the smoking of a peace pipe. The treaty ended the decades of hostilities between the Beaver (Athapascan branch) and the Cree in which the Cree dominated the Beaver until a smallpox epidemic in 1781 decimated the Cree. The treaty made the Beaver stay north of the river and the Cree south.

In 1794, a fur trading post was built on the Peace River at Fort St. Johnmarker, which was the first non-native settlement on the British Columbia mainland.

The rich soils of the Peace River valley in Alberta have been producing wheat crops since the late 19th century. The Peace River region is also an important centre of oil and natural gas production. There are also pulp and paper plants along the river in British Columbia.

Geography

Course

This river is 1,923 km long (from the head of Finlay River to Lake Athabascamarker). It drains an area of approximately 302,500 km2. At Peace Point, where it drains in the Slave River, it has an annual discharge of 2161 m3/s or 68,200,000 dam3/a.

Peace River Canyon from the air prior to inundation (area is now the Peace Arm of Lake Williston).
BC Govt aerial photo
large man-made lake, Williston Lakemarker, has been formed on the upper river by the construction of the W.marker A.marker C.marker Bennett Dammarker for hydroelectric power generation. The river then flows into Dinosaur Lake, which serves as a reservoir for the Peace Canyon Dam. After the dams, the river flows east into Alberta and then continues north and east into the Peace-Athabasca Deltamarker in Wood Buffalo National Parkmarker, at the western end of Lake Athabascamarker. Water from the delta flows into the Slave River east of Peace Point and reaches the Arctic Oceanmarker via the Great Slave Lakemarker and Mackenzie Rivermarker.

Communities

Communities located directly on the river include:

Many provincial parks and wildland reserves are established on the river, such as Butler Ridge Provincial Parkmarker, Taylor Landing Provincial Park, Beatton River Provincial Parkmarker, Peace River Corridor Provincial Park in British Columbia and Dunvegan Provincial Parkmarker, Dunvegan West Wildland, Peace River Wildland, Greene Valley Provincial Parkmarker, Notikewin Provincial Parkmarker, Wood Buffalo National Parkmarker in Alberta.

A few Indian reserves are also located on the river banks, among them Beaver Ranch 163, John D'Or Prairie 215, Fox Lake 162, Peace Point 222 and Devil's Gate 220.

Tributaries

Tributaries of the Peace River include:

Williston Lakemarker



Northeastern British Columbia

Alberta
  • Pouce Coupe River
  • Clear River
  • Montagneuse River
  • Hamelin Creek
  • Ksituan River
  • Hines Creek
  • Saddle River
  • Smoky River
  • Heart River
  • Whitemud River
  • Cadotte River
  • Notikewin River
  • Wolverine River
  • Buffalo River
  • Keg River
  • Boyer River
  • Caribou River
  • Wabasca River
  • Mikkwa River
  • Wentzel River
  • Jackfish River


Lake Clairemarker

References

  1. Peace River. (2006). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved September 12, 2006, from Encyclopædia Britannica Premium Service
  2. Coutts, M. E. (1958). Dawson Creek: Past and Present, An Historical Sketch. Edmonton: Dawson Creek Historical Society.
  3. Alberta Environment - Alberta river basins


External links




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