Fort Providence, NWT, incorporated as a hamlet in 1987, population 734 (2011c), 727 (2006c). The Hamlet of Fort Providence is located on the northeast bank of the MACKENZIE RIVER, 233 km southwest of YELLOWKNIFE. Local Slavey Dene were attracted to this community after a Roman Catholic mission was built by Bishop Vital-Justin GRANDIN in 1861. In 1867 the Grey Nuns established a boarding school for Dene children, and a HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY trading post, RCMP Station and federal government departments followed soon after. Prior to the 1950s, when an all-weather road was built, access was limited to river or air.
Today the Yellowknife Highway, between Hay River and Yellowknife, passes within 6 km of the community, which is also the site of a Mackenzie River ferry crossing. Many of the community's residents still speak South Slavey. The Dene and MÉTIS residents practise the traditional hunting and trapping lifestyle, combined with a wage economy. Fort Providence is the centre of a renaissance of traditional crafts, notably moosehair tufting and porcupine quill weaving.