Canada’s rivers have actually played a crucial role in the country’s history and social heritage. Together transportation paths for aboriginal people and also early settlers, they connected the country before railways and also other modes of transportation. Castle have also been a source of water, food and also recreation for hundreds of years. Listed below is a perform of Canada’s 10 longest rivers. The list is bespeak by the river’s full length, not just the parts within Canadian borders.

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Canada’s rivers have played a critical role in the country’s history and cultural heritage. As transportation paths for native people and also early settlers, they connected the country prior to railways and other modes of transportation. They have likewise been a source of water, food and also recreation for countless years. Below is a perform of Canada’s 10 longest rivers. The perform is ordered by the river’s complete length, not just the sections within Canadian borders.

The Mackenzie river is the longest in Canada and the second longest in north America, ~ the Mississippi. Deh Cho, the Dene namefor the Mackenzie River, converts literally together “Big River.” The Inuvialuktun name, Kuukpak, way “Great River,” and also the Gwich’in name, Nagwichoonjik,means “river flowing with a huge country.” Each capture the great scale that the flow in the landscape. The English name derives from Alexander Mackenzie, thefirst European to take trip the length of the river to the mouth, in 1789.

2. Yukon River: 3,185 km


In Canada, the Yukon River and also its headwaters traverse the areas of the Tr"ondëk Hwëch"in, Tutchone, Tagish and Tlingit.In turn, the flow is central to Indigenous cultural landscapes. The story bike of the Athapaskan hero Tachokaii (“the Traveller”) tells of the make of both the river and time itself. Follow to these stories, the birchbark canoe wascreated ~ above the shores the the river, wherein it widens right into the south end of Lake Laberge. In enhancement to the canoe, indigenous people also travelled the river v mooseskin boats and also rafts that could lug entire households.

3. Nelson River: 2,575 km


Explorer Sir Thomas Button wintered at the mouth that the Nelson flow in 1612 and also namedit because that Robert Nelson, a ship’s grasp who died there. The enntrance gate to the river came to be the scene of a bitter battle for the fur trade. York Factory wasestablished at Marsh Point, a peninsula separating the Nelson and the Hayes rivers. However, the Hayes, not the Nelson, became the key route inland. 

4. Columbia River: 2,000 km


Originally dubbed “Rio de san Roque” through Spanish explorers, in 1792 the river was change the name “Columbia” by Boston fur trader Robert Gray, who named it ~ his ship. The headwaters that the Columbia Riverbelong to the classic territory that the Ktunaxa; the region surrounding Kinbasket Lake and Revelstokeis the traditional territory the the Secwepemc; and also the area in between Revelstoke and also the internal Columbia container is the traditional territory that the Sinixt (see Interior Salish).

5. Saskatchewan River: 1,939 km


The name “Saskatchewan” is obtained from the Cree word kisiskâciwanisîpiy, definition “swift-flowing river.” The Saskatchewan Riverwas a significant transportation course for first Nations for thousands of years. That was additionally an instrumental transportation and resource corridor during the hair trade and also early Europeanexploration. The basin includes the traditional territories that the Blackfoot Confederacy to the west, the Assiniboine (primarilysouth of the river), Cree, Ojibwa and Métis.

6. Tranquility River: 1,923 km

The peace River is among the primary tributaries of the Mackenzie River system. Thename the the river describes a negotiation between Cree and Dane-Zaa (Beaver)warring parties approximately 1781 in ~ Peace point at the lower section of the river. The Dane-Zaa word for the flow is Unchaga, an interpretation “Big River;” the Cree word for the settlement there is Sâkitawâhk.

7. Churchill River: 1,609

The river’s name — for john Churchill, first duke the Marlborough and also governor of the Hudson’s Bay firm from 1685 to 1691 — was used to the flow as at an early stage as 1686. TheCree dubbed it Missinipi, meaning “great waters” or “big water." Churchill river issuesfrom Churchill Lake in northwestern Saskatchewan and also flows southeast, east and also northeast come Hudson Bayat Churchill, Manitoba.

8. South Saskatchewan River: 1,392 km

The south Saskatchewan flow is a heavily utilized water source in southerly Alberta andSaskatchewan. It is a major tributary come the Saskatchewan River, at some point discharging toHudson Bay. The southern Saskatchewan river flows with an agriculturally productive an ar and is at risk to routine droughts and floods. Water withdrawals in the south SaskatchewanRiver basin are the highest possible of any kind of river container in Canada, and also since 2006 the basin has to be closed to new water licenses in Alberta.

9. Fraser River: 1,375 km

The Fraser river is the longest river in brother Columbia. It starts on the western next of theRocky hills at mountain Robson Provincial Park, and ends in the Strait the Georgia atVancouver. Called for explorer Simon Fraser, the river was a transportation path and source of foodfor the Indigenous human being of the region long before Fraser travelled its waters. In 1858, gold was found on sandbars south of Yale, setting off the Fraser river gold rush.

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10. North Saskatchewan River: 1,287 km

The phibìc Saskatchewan river flows indigenous Rocky hills headwaters, dominated by alpine fir, Engelmann spruce and lodgepole pine,through the foothills, traversing aspen forests and also parklands, residence to balsam poplar andmixed herbs and shrubs. A big portion of the river’s container is used for agriculture, primarily cereal crops. The water top quality of the north Saskatchewan is finest in theheadwater regions and decreases downstream due to the cumulative effects of human task in the basin, an especially agriculture and urbanization.