The Peace River Expedition 1793

 

Courtesy of the National Gallery of Canada

 

In 1793 The North West Company’s Alexander Mackenzie began a remarkable journey of exploration from Fort Forks on the Peace River in Alberta through the Rocky Mountains to the Fraser River in British Columbia. From there, with the help of local indigenous peoples, MacKenzie and his party of nine men and one dog, travelled by land to Bella Coola, an inlet on the Pacific Ocean.

 

They were the first white Europeans to cross the North American continent north of Mexico, eight years before Louis and Clark’s famous expedition. By cooperating with the first Nations peoples they encountered, and avoiding hostile nations, MacKenzie never lost a single member of his party.

The inscription MacKenzie made on a rock at Bella Coola.
Photo by John Harvey
Many people have heard about Louis and Clark in the United States, but few are aware of the Peace River expedition led by Alexander Mackenzie which preceded them. Our aim is to tell these Canadian stories so that all Canadians can share in their heritage.

 

The Expedition Route

In 2021 we will help Canadians learn about the incredible feat which MacKenzie and his companions accomplished by re-enacting his journey, using a voyager canoe, muskets, and 18th century clothing and equipment. Like MacKenzie, we will partner with local First Nations communities along the way, building friendships and celebrating their culture.

How to Get Involved

First sign up as a member of Canadian EH Society. As a member you have the opportunity to go on one of our expeditions. Go to our Membership page.

Get in touch with us about what may interest you or how you may want to get involved. Contact us.