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The Ramparts on the Mackenzie River in the NWT The Ramparts on the Mackenzie River in the NWT
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The Ramparts on the Mackenzie

Starting at Fort Good Hope, the mighty Mackenzie River drastically narrows from almost two kilometres in width to barely over 100 metres. Towering limestone cliffs squeeze a massive volume of water into a swirling chute of chaos cutting through the sedimentary bedrock. 

Traditionally known as Fee Yee, the ramparts here are an important domestic fishery and were historically used as a refuge for local people to defend against raiding parties. Legends from the Sahtu say that it’s in this place that the important folk hero Wichididelle chased giant beavers and other creatures from the land, hurling great boulders that formed the region’s topography. (Giant beavers actually existed in the North and are thought to have died out some 10,000 years ago.)

Across the Mackenzie from Fort Good Hope is a huge marshland that acts as a productive (and protected) nesting and wildlife area of national significance. Further downstream is a tiny village called Little Chicago. It was home to the Shígágó Got'ine people, and earned its English name when prospectors on the way to the Klondike stopped there.

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